Married couples who celebrate 50th wedding anniversaries have reasons to bask in their lifetime achievement. A 50th wedding anniversary is the golden anniversary, with the oldest known historical roots for anniversary celebrations and gifts. Gold enjoys a long tradition as a precious metal and is linked to symbols of brilliance and success. Unlike many other wedding anniversaries, only one element, gold, qualifies as the traditional, modern and alternate modern 50th anniversary gifts. Fortunately, there is no lack of options for memorable golden anniversary gifts.
Traditional 50th Anniversary History
Giving gold to celebrate 50 years of marriage may date back to the Middle Ages. The website Elegant Anniversary cites newspaper columnist George Simpson who wrote that when medieval German couples marked 50 years of marriage, friends gave the wife a gold wreath. The wreath acknowledged the wife’s success in her marriage. Friends may have given gold because of medieval alchemists’ high regard for the precious metal’s properties. The idea, “golden anniversary” dates back to this tradition with gold still the reigning 50th anniversary traditional gift.
Gold and Alchemy
Medieval alchemists believed that gold had healing powers. According to the alchemy website Crucible, Middle Ages alchemist Paracelsus wrote that the sun influenced gold, giving it mental, physical and spiritual cleansing and strengthening properties. Paracelsus and other alchemists believed that gold balanced and harmonized every aspect of the body-mind and could ease emotional and mental distress. What a perfect element to celebrate 50 years of marriage in which partners certainly would experience all of life’s turmoil and joy.
Gold and the sun share ancient meanings and symbols. The symbol of the sun, a circle with a dot in the center was the alchemical symbol for gold, which medieval alchemists considered “the most perfect of the metals.” (Aurum, Latin for gold, derives from the Greek Aurora, who was the goddess of the dawn. Gold 50th anniversary gifts are brilliant, dazzle like the dawn and are fitting expressions of love and 50 successful years of marriage.
Gold 50th Anniversary Gifts
Gold anniversary gifts may run the gamut from the mundane to the extraordinary. Since gold is usually stunning in most forms, even a mundane gold 50th anniversary gift likely will please. A couple may want to remind themselves of their participation in gold’s mystical symbolism by giving themselves a 50th anniversary journey to the Land of the Midnight Sun, Norway. Just as the Sun naturally never sets during Norway’s summer months, so can a couple affirm their mutual resolve never to let the sun set on their love and commitment to one another. A golden anniversary couple can bask in the remembered golden glow of a midnight sun cruise for years to come.
Alyson Paige has a master's degree in canon law and began writing professionally in 1998. Her articles specialize in culture, business and home and garden, among many other topics.