A Complete Guide to Your 3rd Anniversary
(History, Symbolism, Traditions and Gifts Ideas)

The History of the Third Anniversary Gift

The American National Retail Jewelers Association (ANRJA) is credited with giving rise to the third anniversary gift tradition. In 1937, they published a list of symbolic materials to give as gifts in recognition of wedding anniversaries that fell between the major milestones. Couples have relied on this list ever since.

Source: The Complete History of Wedding Anniversaries

Third Wedding Anniversary Gift Symbolism

The symbolic gift to give on a third wedding anniversary is something made from leather. The gift of leather is said to symbolize the durability of the relationship.

Traditional Gift (Leather)

Why is leather the traditional third anniversary gift?

Leather is the traditional third anniversary gift because of its durable qualities. Like a marriage that has remained intact for three years, leather proves itself to be durable and sturdy, even after years of wear and tear.  In Germany and Russia, leather represents how well a couple knows each other by the third anniversary. By then, they’ve grown close enough to feel each other in their skin.

Leather Anniversary Gift Ideas

  1. Leather Travel Bag –Surprise your spouse with a new travel bag, complete with an itinerary for a romantic weekend getaway.
  2. Leather-Bound Journal or Album – Writing journals and photo albums with leather covers are both thoughtful and useful gifts for a third anniversary.
  3. Leather Bracelet – Leather bracelets are very popular these days. If you want to make your gift romantic, buy a matching set for the both of you to wear.
  4. Leather Jacket –Perhaps your spouse is in need of a quality leather jacket, or would like another one to add to their wardrobe. This is one gift that never goes out of style.
  5. Leather Gloves, Belt, or Slippers –Gloves, belts, and slippers make excellent third anniversary gifts that will serve as loving reminders every time your gift is worn.

A complete list of leather gift ideas: Leather Anniversary Gifts
A complete list of leather gifts for him: Leather Anniversary Gifts for Him
A complete list of leather gifts for her: Leather Anniversary Gifts for Her

Modern Gift (Crystal or Glass)

At the turn of the 21st century, the Chicago Public Library issued a list of modern gifts for celebrating each wedding anniversary. The modern gift for a third anniversary is crystal. Glass is also considered an alternative gift to give on a third anniversary.

Crystal/Glass Gift Ideas

  • Wine Glasses – A set of wine glasses engraved with your name or the date of your third anniversary is a welcomed contemporary third anniversary gift for wine lovers.
  • Crystal Vase – An elegant crystal vase with a bouquet of third anniversary flowers makes for a beautiful gift.
  • Crystal/Glass Figurine – Does your spouse collect something? Add a piece made from crystal or glass to their collection.
  • Glass Photos – For a unique and sentimental gift and a gorgeous piece of artwork, have a favorite photo or two printed onto glass.
  • Crystal Desk Accessory – Add a touch of class to your spouse’s work environment with a crystal desk accessory, such as a pen holder, clock, or globe.

Third Anniversary Flower

The fuchsia is the traditional third anniversary flower. Fuchsias are exotic flowers that are vibrant purple in color. The word fuchsia means taste, as in good taste. They also represent the confiding love and agreeableness found between couples that have been married for three years.

Fuchsia Gift Ideas

  • Bouquet of Fuchsias – Few flowers are as impressive as the fuchsia. If you can find them fresh, don’t pass up the opportunity to impress your spouse with a bouquet in a crystal vase.
  • Fuchsias Garden – A gift basket with fuchsia seeds, leather gardening gloves, and gardening tools makes for a romantic gift, especially when you plant and grow the flowers together.
  • Fuchsia Stationery/Note Cards – A thoughtful gift for anyone who still enjoys the art of writing letters or thank you notes by hand. Wrapping your gift in fuchsia-colored wrapping paper adds a nice touch.

Third Anniversary Gemstone

The traditional third anniversary gemstone is the pearl. Over the years, jade has become recognized as the modern gemstone for a third anniversary. Both make exquisite gifts.

Pearl Gift Ideas

  • Pearl Jewelry – Pearls make beautiful jewelry pieces that never go out of style.
  • Jewelry Box – A jewelry box with a lid made with Mother of Pearl or pearl accents is the perfect keepsake for a third anniversary.
  • Gifts with Pearl Handles/Inlays – There are a number of exquisite gifts that feature handles and inlays made from Mother of Pearl, such as knives, dinnerware, and watches.

Jade Gift Ideas

  • Jade Jewelry – In addition to jade, look for jewelry pieces that incorporate leather into the design and you’ll have yourself the perfect traditional third anniversary gift.
  • Jade Figurine – The beauty of jade is that it can be carved into unique figures. Perhaps you can find something that your spouse would treasure as a third anniversary gift.
  • Jade Vase – Giving your spouse something that can be displayed on a table or desk will serve as a reminder of your love and devotion.