Can you believe that the U.S. presidency was transitioning from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan just over four decades ago? Or that the world was mourning the death of John Lennon? Do you remember the new Pac-Man and The Empire Strikes Back releases?
Maybe most of it is a blur because you were busy with wedding planning at the time and, who could blame you?
A new chapter was just starting, and it either feels like a lifetime ago or just yesterday. Either way, your marriage is now approaching a significant milestone, and you deserve to celebrate the beginning of yet another new chapter. So, we’ve got a 40 year anniversary guide that’ll inspire you with traditions, tips, and travel. And most importantly, we’ll talk about the best 40 year anniversary gifts for your spouse, friends, or family!
In This Guide:
- Best 40th Anniversary Gifts
- Traditional 40th Anniversary Gifts
- Unique Celebration Ideas
- How Many People Reach their 40 Year Anniversary?
40 Year Anniversary Facts
- Anniversary Stone/Material: Ruby
- Anniversary Flower: Gladiolus
- Modern U.S. Gift: Ruby
- Traditional U.S. Gift: Ruby
- Traditional U.K. Gift: Ruby
Best 40th Anniversary Gifts
1. Evermore Diamond Anniversary Band
40 years is a major milestone! Make it memorable with a gorgeous diamond anniversary band from Clean Origin. The Evermore band includes a twisting array of over 40 lab-created diamonds. Each sparkles magnificently inside a gold band, which can be changed to your partner’s preference of white, rose, or yellow gold.
- Best ring to give as a 40 year anniversary gift.
- Available in a huge selection of sizes.
- Can be changed from a gold band to a platinum band.
- Look elegant alongside existing jewelry.
2. Carlisle by Perfums de Marly
Carlisle is a scrumptious scent with both floral and fruity notes that makes a beautiful addition to the scent collection of anyone. This unisex cologne not only smells amazing, but the bold black bottle with embossed stallions looks great upon a shelf or mantle. With notes ranging from bergamot to patchouli, your partner will love Carlisle’s transcendent aroma. If you want a gift that your partner can use every day, this is the one!
- Best scent to give as a 40 year anniversary gift.
- Fruity top notes with floral mid notes.
- 4.2 oz in a stunning black and silver bottle.
- A great perfume/cologne choice for collectors.
3. Whiteshark Mix Underwater Scooter
Does your partner love being in the water? Then they are going to be speechless when they get their new Whiteshark underwater scooter. This handheld device contains two propellers that glides the user through the water at speeds up to 3.35mph and depths down to 131 feet. This gift will let you and your loved one create new and exciting memories on the lake, in the sea, or even in the pool!
- Best 40 year anniversary gift for divers and swimmers.
- Built in camera mount to help document your adventure.
- Comes with everything you need to get started, plus some.
- Magnet activation switches make the device easy to use with minimal grip strength.
4. Stuhrling Depth Master Watch
This year, give your partner something that is striking and durable! This depth master watch by Stuhrling has all the beauty of a high end accessory, while also being tough enough to withstand water submersion up to 660 feet! The case is over 14mm thick, and the sharp brushed gold and black coloring keeps the watch looking like a fashionable statement choice. No need for those gaudy, rubber-esque watches – the depth master watch by Stuhrling is a great gift for your spouse if they want to look great while getting all the utility of a waterproof watch.
- Best watch to give as a 40 year anniversary gift.
- Available in a wide variety of colors.
- Belt style closure with matching metal buckle.
- Automatic watch means no annoying battery changes.
5. Lobster Dinner for Two
When you go out for a fancy dinner, it is a date. When you make a fancy dinner at home, it is a gift! Treat your spouse to a beautiful lobster dinner at home with the help of Harry and David’s gourmet dinner kit. There is minimal prep required on your end, usually just a quick heat in the oven, but your partner will be amazed at the delicious dinner you’ve provided. Give them all the luxury of a lobster dinner without the long wait of fine restaurant dining.
- Best “stay at home” gift for your 40th anniversary.
- Perfect dinner choice for those who aren’t great cooks.
- Can be upgraded to include steak or truffle mac and cheese.
- Includes dessert!
6. Neutra Black Hybrid Smartwatch
Smart watches are great, but many people don’t love the look of them. If your partner loves the look of traditional watches, but craves the utility of a smart watch, consider this hybrid. The Neutra Black Hybrid Smartwatch is the best of both worlds. On the surface it is a handsome watch that anyone would love to wear, but the face of the watch can actually shift into a digital surface to display messages and allow for easy music streaming.
- Best smartwatch gift idea for 40 year anniversaries.
- Custom straps available for an increased price.
- Watch comes in black or silver.
- Compatible with Android and IOS.
7. Veritable Connect Garden
Does your love enjoy gardening? Take their passion indoors where they can enjoy it year round! This countertop garden is perfect for growing herbs, small flowers, and mini vegetables, year round. The initial set comes with everything you need to get started, which makes it a perfect gift option! Your spouse will love being able to utilize their green thumbs, even in the depths of winter!
- Favorite 40 year anniversary gift for gardeners.
- Comes with pods to grow chives, basil, tomatoes, and parsley.
- Connects to a smart app to help monitor plant health and growth.
- Adjustable lights are built in for an all-in-one approach to gardening.
8. Ruby and Diamond Halo Pendant
Rubies are a traditional and popular gift for your 40th anniversary, but they can tend to look a bit outdated on jewelry. That’s why we love this ruby and diamond halo pendant by Gabriel and Co. This modern take on ruby jewelry will look stunning on your partner! The unique shape makes the necklace bold enough to accompany any outfit. Not much of a traditionalist? You can change out the ruby for a wide variety of stones!
- Best 40 year anniversary gift for jewelry wearers.
- The 14K white gold necklace chain is 18”.
- Comes with a wear and tear warranty.
- The ruby is substantial at over 3mm thick!
9. Las Vegas Getaway
Have fun for your 40th anniversary with a getaway to Las Vegas! Your partner will be in heaven when they learn they are going to one of the most bustling and exciting cities in the US! One hotel in the area – The Cromwell – is a great choice for those wanting to explore the casinos and nightlife of Vegas. They are less than 10-minute walk from the airport, Bellagio, Cosmopolitan Casino, and Colosseum at Caesars Palace!
- Best vacation gift for your 40th anniversary.
- Tons of attractions to meet every person’s interests.
- Hotels tend to be all inclusive with dozens of high-end amenities.
- Delicious restaurants, nightlife, and casinos all in the same place!
10. Pendleton Acadia Throw
Gorgeous, handcrafted throw blankets are one of those gifts that immediately makes your partner feel warm and loved. This throw by Pendleton is so stunning and outrageously comfortable that you will want to keep it in the family for generations. Known for their soft-touch wool, Pendleton has created this throw from merino wool for a fleece feel and longstanding durability.
- Best home decor 40 year anniversary gift.
- Blanket size is 54” by 72” with a 3” fringe.
- All Pendleton Mills blankets are a piece of textile history.
- The bold stripes create a gorgeous accent while not overpowering your existing home decor.
11. Maps of Your Memories by GrafoMap
GrafoMap offers the perfect way to make a beautiful piece of art for your 40 year anniversary. You can choose from a place that means something to your partner (or to both of you) and have it’s location forever commemorated as a gorgeous display. The maps are auto-generated – all you need is an address to start. Then, you can zoom in and out, adjust the location manually, remove or add place names, and add custom location markers. It is a gift your partner will be proud to display for all to see!
- Best customizable 40 year anniversary gift.
- Available on a wide variety of base materials.
- Comes in multiple sizes to fit space and budget limitations.
- Maps can be displayed in a variety of color schemes.
12. Portable Speaker Set
If your spouse loves listening to music, then this portable speaker set by Sonos is a great gift choice! The set comes with the Roam speaker and the Move speaker. The Roam speaker is a compact, waterproof speaker that is easy to carry from room to room. The Move speaker is a larger, still portable speaker that is perfect for taking outdoors. Together, you can untether your love’s listening and allow them to enjoy great sound wherever they move and roam.
- Best tech gift for 40 year anniversaries.
- Roam is water and dust proof, Move is water and dust resistant.
- Each device has 10-11 hours of use on a single charge.
- The set comes with everything you need to set up and use the speakers.
13. Pink Freshwater Pearl Set
Does your spouse love a vintage aesthetic? Do they prefer softer, more beautiful things to the flashy and bold jewelry of modern style? Then this pink freshwater pearl jewelry set is a perfect gift idea! The set comes with a matching necklace, bracelet, and stud earrings for a cohesive look. The soft pink pearls have a victorian appeal to them while being versatile enough to wear with modern clothing and styles. Your partner will be drooling over these delicious pearls!
- Top 40 year anniversary jewelry choice for nontraditional styles.
- All pearls are between 7 mm and 7.5 mm.
- Each piece of jewelry can be customized based on length, clasp, and detail colors.
- Pearls are guaranteed AAA or AAAA quality.
14. Mosquito Magnet Outdoor Insect Trap
Does your spouse love the outdoors but hate mosquitos? Then this gift will change their life! This amazing, carbon dioxide mosquito trap works 24 hours a day to eliminate the mosquitoes in your yard. It is done by an emission of carbon dioxide that draws the mosquitos in and never lets them leave! Make your partner’s outdoor living space an oasis with the Mosquito Magnet!
- Best 40 year anniversary gift for outdoorsmen!
- Can be easily relocated around the yard to adjust for wind direction.
- Doesn’t release any grass damaging or smelly chemicals.
- Works immediately with a noticeable drop in overall population visible within 10 days!
15. Sofo Weekender Bag
Whether your spouse is traveling for work or pleasure, a good travel bag is a must! You won’t find one better than the Weekender Bag by Sofo. This bag is sleek in design and impressive in functionality. The canvas is treated with wax to keep it water resistant, which your partner will love. There is even a separate, quick access compartment for passports, phone, wallet, and other important items. If you want to give a gift your partner will actually use, try the Weekender Bag by Sofo!
- Our top 40 year anniversary gift for travelers!
- Perfect for a weekend getaway or as a carry on luggage.
- Available in 4 colors for a customizable look.
- Outer strap that allows the bag to be securely attached to larger luggage.
16. 40 Year Tawny
Celebrate your 40 year anniversary with a delicious port as enduring as your love! This 40 year tawny port is a favorite among users of the Wine Library for its lightly sweet and smooth finish and bright top notes. Some of the most common reviews of the port refer to it as rare, delicious, and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. If you have a wine or spirits connoisseur for a partner, they will be impressed by this gift!
- Best 40 year anniversary gift for wine and spirit enthusiasts.
- Tastes of honeysuckle and caramel.
- Slow aged in a wooden cask for a more distinct color and flavor.
- Beautiful bottle looks great among a collection.
17. Best Way Inflatable Hot Tub
Do you really want to impress this year? Consider this amazing, inflatable hot tub! This outdoor escape is a great way to impress your partner while creating a comfortable and sultry space for the two of you to relax. Setup is a breeze and the material is super puncture resistant. Don’t let the word “inflatable” fool you – this is no kiddie pool. You and your partner will enjoy many amazing nights in the SaluSpa Inflatable hot tub!
- Best outdoor gift idea for 40 year anniversaries.
- Tub has controls on the inside for convenience and comfort.
- The 71” tub can fit up to 4 adults.
- Water temp goes up to 104°F.
Traditional 40 Year Anniversary Gifts
You know the drill by now. Every year there’s a new way to commemorate your anniversary with traditional and modern gift themes, gemstones, and flowers.
While you’ve got a manual to follow every year for the first 25, the formula switches to every five years, starting with the 30th anniversary. You might not have a theme for 39, but you do for 40, and it’s ruby.
Ruby represents 40
Ruby is modern, traditional, used in the U.S. and the U.K., and the designated gemstone. The Jewelers of America don’t even provide a back-up plan for the 40 year anniversary. So, if you like to take the conventional route, it’s all about the ruby.
The ruby is more than just a symbol of romance and love. It’s a gem representing inner fire, or red hot passion. Couples celebrating 40th anniversaries undoubtedly possess a combination of all these characteristics or wouldn’t enjoy the sweet longevity of the ruby milestone.
We’ve got some incredible ruby-inspired gifts in our 40 year anniversary gift guide. Plus, we’ll embrace the ruby as inspiration for some activities and experiences later in this anniversary guide. This is a fiery red jewel that should spark plenty of creativity.
A florist order for 40 year anniversaries
While ruby is the primary focus for 40 anniversary gift-giving, there’s a second traditional symbol, and that’s the gladiolus.
We think the gladiolus is an unusual choice for this particular milestone. This specific flower is typically associated with infatuation. But you can take it as a reminder that, even after 40 years, you can still get those little butterflies in your stomach when you think of your partner.
If you’re gifting a couple with the official 40 year anniversary flower, ask your florist to put together a red-themed bouquet. Red gladioli not fit the bill for the ruby celebration but are a much more elegant choice.
Unique Ruby Anniversary Celebrations
Nothing is set in stone with ways to celebrate anniversaries. While some people prefer to stick to parties for the silver and gold milestones (25th anniversary and 50th anniversary), 40 is a significant number. You might choose to do it up big and rent a venue or plan for a big dinner with family and friends.
We thought we’d highlight a different approach, though, with a few memory-making vacation ideas for you and your spouse. Rubies are red hot, and your anniversary trip can be as well.
Take a Fire and Ice Tour in Iceland
Iceland is anything but the same old, same old. Within 40 years, you might have enjoyed a cruise, Disney World, and Hawaii. But have you ever considered Iceland? It’s time to make some new memories, and this particular excursion is going to do the trick.
Contiki Tours has a six-day Iceland Fire and Ice Adventure. You’ll head to Reykjavik, Midgard, Vik, and Skaftafell. Your photo album will be filled with shots of waterfalls, volcanoes, and glaciers. There’s even a rooftop hot tub in Midgard where lucky guests have caught glimpses of the Northern Lights.
Focus on fire only at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa
If you prefer to stick to the red hotness of the ruby, the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Wisconsin is an idyllic setting.
The cozy fire pit on Embers Terrace will keep you warm and toasty as you take in the beautiful golf course backdrop, complete with a lake and forest. Of course, you might not even notice your surroundings as you rekindle your enduring romance.
Grand Geneva is a AAA Four Diamond resort with a spa, golfing, fitness center, and villa rentals.
How Many People Reach their 40 Year Anniversary?
If you happened upon our 40 year anniversary guide, you might be preparing to celebrate the big 4-0. To many people, it’s awe-inspiring to see couples like you and your spouse stick to your “for better or worse” vows for four decades.
Compared to some couples, though, you’re still newlyweds. Quite a few partners have logged twice as much time, hitting the 80th anniversary mark. Can you even imagine it at this point? Of course, when you celebrated your silver anniversary, 40 probably seemed like a lifetime away.
So, just how many couples achieve ruby anniversary status?
You’ve got a way to go before 80 arrives. But you’re still in an elite group, as not even a third of couples achieve 40-year status.
Up-to-date figures aren’t entirely accurate, as the U.S. census bureau doesn’t publish anniversary reports regularly. However, we know that more than a third of marriages make it to 25 years, but only an estimated 6% goes for the gold with 50 years and counting.
Between 25 and 50, the kids are usually out of the house. When empty nest syndrome sets in, separations rise.
There’s good news, though, as the divorce rate has been steadily declining since 2011.
From 2018 to 2019, divorce filings dropped by more than 5%, which is significant. So, it’ll be pretty interesting to see stats 40 years from now when today’s newlyweds are part of the 40-year survey.
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