Traditionally, a 40th anniversary is celebrated with stones like ruby or garnet; however, you don't need to always stick to the norm.
To help you find the perfect gift, we researched the best 40th anniversary gifts, both modern and traditional, considering the interests of the intended recipient and the budget of the gift giver. Our favorite picks include adorable ruby studs from Macy's, a personalized anniversary journal from Uncommon Goods, and a BloomsyBox Subscription for fresh flowers delivered right to your door every month.
Here are the best 40th anniversary gifts.
Macy's Certified Ruby (3/4 ct. t.w.) Button Stud in 10k Yellow Gold
When the traditional 40th anniversary gift is ruby, naturally a pair of ruby earrings have to be an option for the woman who loves a bit of sparkle. Though the gem is vibrant, the small cluster studs are still modest and classic. The 10k gold prongs also add a timeless feel. These are easily a pair of earrings that can be worn on a daily basis or on those special nights.
Compared to other jewelry gifts, these add a fun pop of color to any wardrobe without being too flashy. Users note that the studs are small yet sparkly for an understated shine. Some claim they are a bit more pink than red, but either way, the color is sure to impress and spark conversation.
Cuff Daddy Mens Swarovski Crystals Cufflinks and Studs
For men who seemingly have everything, these cufflinks from Cuff Daddy are a suave choice. They will add a pop of color to his shirts, but also act as a sweet reminder of his long-lasting love. With a gunmetal finish and ruby red Swarovski crystals, these cufflinks are simple and elegant. The barrel shape is unique and is sure to make a statement with any look.
Venus Et Fleur Large Square Classic Roses
Maybe your sweetheart has received their fair share of roses over the years, but this bouquet from Venus Et Fleur is different and absolutely remarkable. The brand is known for their eternity roses which can last up to a year. That's right, the real roses, which are specially treated, remain vibrant and beautiful for a year. The Large Square bouquet includes 42-49 roses and you can choose the color of the chic box they're stored in.
Uncommon Goods The Personalized Anniversary Journal
Forty-plus years together means there are surely some memories and this personalized anniversary journal helps you note many of them. The binded book features close to 300 pages with enough room to write memories of each of your years together, up to the 60th anniversary. There are a few writing prompts and even room to add your favorite photos.
Etsy Night Sky Print by Date and Location
Most couples have a song, like their first wedding dance, that just holds special meaning. But sometimes specific locations can be just as meaningful. This print is a night sky map of your desired date and place. Choose your frame, background color, font, and of course text with your names and the location the print represents.
Uncommon Goods Memory Keepsake Dish
A love that's spanned several decades deserves a sweet, vintage-inspired gift. This keepsake memory dish is a beautiful way to display one of your favorite pictures. Choose 8 x 10 or 10 x 12 inches and the image of your choice is glazed on a piece of stoneware. You can even choose to upload a note that has sentimental meaning. The dish doesn't just aww-worthy, but it's also pretty functional as a catchall tray for miscellaneous items.
Happily Date Subscription
After several decades together, you've probably been on your fair share of dates. Try something new with Happily's subscription service. It's pretty simple; just answer a few questions about yourself and your relationship and then you’ll receive a box straight to your doorstep with activities for a perfect stay at home date night.
Uncommon Goods Rememory Game
This game is great for couples to play together or even get the entire family involved. Rememory helps you remember fun, interesting, beautiful events and with special people that you may have forgot. Players pull cards that give them prompts of certain people or time frames and they share the moment. This is one game that isn't about winning or losing, but just reminiscing and having a blast.
Uncommon Goods Custom Love Boat Portrait
Successfully navigating the choppy waters and ups and downs of a relationship is certainly something to celebrate and this 'love boat' print is a cute way to do so. The personalized print shows two lovers in a boat with one of them rowing. The look of each partner can be personalized, from the gender, skin tone, hair, clothing, and you can even add a few accessories or objects that are unique to them.
Pottery Barn Grant Leather Watch Box
A classic watch box is essential for anyone who wants to keep their precious timepiece stored or just anyone who needs to organize their life a bit better. The leather box is available in black or brown and with three or five slots. The suede lining keeps all watches, or even bracelets, securely stored away. Make this gift really stand out by monogramming the glass top.
Etsy Ruby Wedding Anniversary Card
Though we live in a digital world, physical cards will never go out of style. And this card is perfect for that special 40th anniversary. It's beautifully designed to look like it has two rubies on the front holding hands. Add an equally cute or sentimental note inside the card to make this a wallet-friendly, but smile-worthy gift.
Mark & Graham Wood & Marble Gift Set
For the entertaining duo, a stylish gift set like this from Mark & Graham is a welcome treat. The set includes a wine chiller, large wooden cheese board, and four coasters. They all come in the marble and wood design and you can even have initials laser engraved on each item in the set. This is truly a gift that isn't just cute, but will also get tons of use.
Uncommon Goods Personalized Anniversary Pushpin World Map
Chronicle your years of travel with this world map that comes with 100 pushpins. Mark off your favorite destinations or maybe add different color pushpins to designate where you want to head next. The map comes beautifully framed and to make it truly personalized, have your names and wedding date printed at the bottom.
Luna Bean Keepsake Hands Casting Kit
This kit includes everything you'll need to make your own one of a kind keepsake. The hands casting kit features powder, stone, sandpaper, and easy to follow instructions. The eight inch wide bucket easily fits both hands and after about three minutes, a molding of your intertwined hands is revealed. This is an easy, quick activity that reveals a finished product that can last for years to come.
Etsy Custom Handwriting Signature Bracelet
Sentimental gifts will forever illicit a sweet reaction or at least a smile from the person you love. And this custom handwriting bracelet from Etsy is seriously aww-worthy. The bracelet features an oval disc (bronze, copper, or silver) and the text is a replica of your actual handwriting. This can be "I love you" or a short phrase of your choosing.
Brookstone Smart Digital Picture Frame
There's surely no shortage of photos that have been snapped over the years and if you want to keep them all on display in an organized way, this digital frame is a great option. It can store more than 5,000 pics. Also, if your family wants to share photos or videos with you, that's a breeze. The frame can connect to other picture frames just like it or even social media accounts.
BloomsyBox Flower Subscription
Whether you've been together a year or five decades, a beautiful bouquet of flowers will always be a great gift and make someone feel appreciated. BloomsyBox has a few options that range from 22 to 32 stems in a bouquet or even weekly delivery options. The flowers are seasonal blooms and there's also the option for a plant subscription.
Etsy 40th Anniversary Newspaper Poster Sign
For a last minute, but still thoughtful gift, this digital print is a great option. The newspaper poster shows stats like the minimum wage, sports highlights, and the world population at that time. Add personalization with a photo of the couple, date and location of the wedding, and a special headline. Print this out and pair it with a gorgeous frame.
Emile Henry 3.7-Quart Flame Tagine
For the couple that has nearly every set of pots and pans, coffee makers, Instant Pots, and so much more, how about a tagine? The unique cone-shape makes it perfect for slow cooking all while keeping dishes moist and full of flavor. It works for gas or electric stovetops and it's even dishwasher safe. The pot comes in a few color options, all of which will look great on display.
Etsy Personalized Lyric Photo
Maybe it was your first dance as a married couple or the song that was playing during your first kiss. Whatever you choose, this wall decor is the perfect way to display the lyrics of a song that hold special meaning. The words, which can be lyrics or even wedding vows, surround a photo of your choosing. Opt for your frame color (black, white, or barn wood) and hang the 8.5 x 11-inches or 11 x 14-inches art in your favorite room.
Macklin Bath & Home Bamboo Tray and Bath Pillow Combo
The gift of relaxation is absolutely priceless. Encourage your sweetheart to unwind with this bamboo tray and pillow from Macklin Bath & Home. The tray is made of sturdy, 100 percent bamboo and fits tubs up to 43 inches wide. With a book or magazine holder, slots for wine, a phone, or even a candle, this tray keeps everything secure. And the pillow provides amazing neck support.
What to Look for in an Anniversary Present
Before you pick out a 40th anniversary present, it's important to think about who the gift is actually for. Are you celebrating your 40th anniversary with your significant other, or are you treating a special couple in your life who just crossed this major milestone? (After all, shopping for one person is very different from shopping for a couple.) Plus, if you are celebrating this big anniversary with your partner, you might opt for a more intimate or romantic present.
Traditional Versus Untraditional
Ruby and garnet might be the predominant present idea for a couple's 40th anniversary, but you don't have to stick with the status quo. Ultimately, the decision rests in the recipient's tastes. If you think the recipient would prefer something more traditional, opt for a ruby-adorned gift. But, if they prefer something more atypical, think about the recipient's hobbies. Music fans might love a high-end speaker, while travel enthusiasts might enjoy a fancy tome about their favorite destination.
Fortunately, 40th anniversary presents are available in a range of prices: you can pick up a thoughtful card for just a few dollars or spend a couple hundred on a standout gift. Though it's always important to keep your budget top of mind, you'll also want to consider how close you are with the couple. You might be inclined to treat your family members or close friends to a pricier gift, while a thoughtful card might suffice for work colleagues or acquaintances.
What is the traditional gift for a 40th anniversary?
Spending 40 years with someone is a major feat, so couples typically celebrate this big milestone with stones like rubies or garnet. The good news is this theme can be interpreted in multiple ways. If you want to keep it classic, consider buying some ruby-clad earrings, cufflinks, or upscale home decor.
What should I get my partner for our 40th anniversary?
After spending 40 years with your partner, it's likely you have an in-depth understanding of their likes and dislikes. So, it's important to pick up something your partner will actually enjoy. If ruby stones aren't their thing, lean into their hobbies. Home chefs will find a lot to love about a new cookware set, while homebodies might enjoy a new, plush blanket. But, if you'd like to give your gift a traditional-twist, consider picking up one of these picks in a rich, ruby hue.
What should I get friends for their 40th anniversary?
Buying an anniversary gift for your friends can be easier said than done. On the one hand, you want to shower your friends in matrimonial joy. But, since you're not the ones celebrating the special milestone, you don't want to get them something too romantic. Instead, gift your friends something they can enjoy as a couple such as a cooking class or tickets to see their favorite band. Or, if you want to treat them to something with a personal touch, consider a platter or set of coasters with their original wedding date etched on.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Patrice J. Williams. She has contributed gift guides to The Spruce since 2020. She loves helping her friends and family find unique, thoughtful, and wallet-friendly presents. In addition to her work for The Spruce, she writes commerce articles, including product suggestions and reviews, for other outlets as well as appearing on air for The Today Show, WEtv, and she was the Savvy Shopper reporter for WPIX in New York City. Additional reporting was done by Kelsey Mulvey, who has contributed décor and lifestyle content to The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Real Simple, Wallpaper*, Elle Decor, MyDomaine, and AD PRO.