If 20 years of marriage isn't a reason to celebrate, we don't know what is. Whether you're about to reach the milestone with your spouse or you know a couple who is, the occasion calls for a meaningful anniversary gift. And in case you're not hip to the long-standing customs dating back to medieval times, every year of marriage calls for a traditional gift that grows in value each anniversary. Each was selected as an agent of good fortune and prosperity for the marriage.
Two decades of marriage call for the traditional gift of china. The term 'china' comes from its country of origin and describes a smooth, white, lustrous, and often fragile product. It represents the delicate nature of your relationship and symbolizes the beautiful life you and your partner have built together.
Interior designer Lauren Behfarin tells us, “people can be intimidated when shopping for china because it has long been associated with antiques and fine dish ware,” but incidentally, she says, “it’s another word for porcelain.” Used interchangeably, china or porcelain has many iterations from vases to candle holders and many decorative objects in between. And the best part is it comes in every price point to suit your budget.
Meet the Expert
Lauren Behfarin is a NYC-based interior designer who focuses on residential home decor.
Read on for the best china anniversary gifts.
Olivia & Oliver Harper Splatter Gold China Set in Blue
We can only imagine you're eager to update that china set you registered for 20 years ago, and this design is just what you need to modernize your place setting. This watercolor-inspired composition with gold banding and metallic splatters is both fun and effortlessly elegant.
Versace La Scala del Palazzo Mug
If you're looking to make that special someone's morning coffee a whole lot more luxurious, this Versace mug is just the way to do it. Emblemized with the signature Medusa head, this is a gift sure to wow.
Rosenthal Bag Mini Vase
An unexpected take on the traditional china vase, this crinkled paper bag shape is whimsical, modern, and downright cool. If this is a gift for another couple, you may want to grab one for yourself too.
Arteriors Howey Vase
If you're looking for a more sophisticated design—and a price point to match—this gold fluted vase boasts modern lines but would look right at home in the most classic style home.
Michael Aram Pomegranate Casserole
A perfect table addition for formal dinner parties and garden brunches alike, this casserole dish with ornate pomegranate branch handle designs is sure to make for an Instagrammable moment every time.
Aerin Ginger Jar Champagne Bucket
20 years warrants popping the cork off your best champagne, and this porcelain ice bucket will keep your bubbles chilled toast after toast. And the classic blue and white chinoiserie pattern paired with a woven cane handle looks beautiful to boot.
Pillivuyt Plisse Porcelain 3-Tiered Stand
If you plan to host guests at a 20-year-anniversary party (because why wouldn't you?), this three-tiered stand will display all your celebratory confections most beautifully. It's a traditional piece that's been streamlined for a more modern feel.
Ridge Road Décor Country Round Porcelain Planters in White
If your significant other boasts a green thumb, get them china they can put to use. This trio of planters will instantly upgrade even the tiniest budding seedlings. Plus, it's a gift that keeps giving, long after your anniversary has passed.
Portmeirion Chelsea Cake Slice
If you're thinking of recreating the cutting of your wedding cake, this gilded cake slicer with a porcelain handle is the perfect piece to do it in style. We especially love the gorgeous bird pattern embellished with 22K gold gracing the handle.
Lladro "Endless Love" Porcelain Figurine
A classic ode to love, this porcelain swan figurine featuring a heart shape is a perfect gift to celebrate 20 years. Handcrafted in Valencia, Spain by an iconic heritage brand, this piece is one that they'll treasure forever.
Wedgwood Cuckoo Collection
Treat a loved one to the tradition of English tea when you pick up a set of this bird-themed bone china set. Adorned with birds, blooms, and glinting gold details, this set calls for tiny sandwiches and buttery scones.
Jonathan Adler 1948° Sugar Bowl
Since there's nothing sweeter than celebrating 20 years of marriage, the gift of a sugar bowl seems more fitting than ever. This porcelain bowl with gold details will keep the sweetness coming year after year.
Lenox x Kate Spade New York Wedding Picture Frame
If you're still meaning to display your favorite wedding photo after all these years, this is the perfect frame to show it off. The porcelain frame with the words "better together" couldn't be more perfect for a 20-year union.
L'Objet Lito Candle
It's always a good idea to gift a candle, and this one is sure to catch the eye of anyone who receives it. Enjoy notes of green vetiver for hours, then enjoy the look of this porcelain holder with 24k gold plating in your space after the wick has run out.
L'Objet + Lito Porcelain Marble Vanity Mirror
This gorgeous vanity mirror featuring a protective eye shape is certainly an unconventional option, but the porcelain frame qualifies it as a traditional china gift. Her vanity will feel extra luxe while she's getting ready for an anniversary date.
Simone Rocha Cameo Porcelain Hoop Earrings
If jewelry is high on your significant other's wish list, these earrings are sure to make quite the impression. Cast from gold-tone metal and set with engraved porcelain, these modern earrings are a gorgeous twist on antique styles.
Ginori The Friar Porcelain Incense Burner
This is the most bougie incense burner we've ever seen, and we can't get enough of it. Hand-painted and crafted from porcelain, this coffee-table staple doubles as a beautiful art piece.
What to look for in china gifts
China is used interchangeably with porcelain and can range from luxury items to affordable pieces. No matter your budget, you can gift the traditional material to anyone celebrating 20 years of marriage—or any other anniversary if you'd like to go off the traditional theme!
Does china only refer to dishes?
Not at all! While it most often includes plates and teacups, bone china and porcelain come in all forms, including home decor and jewelry.
Is china dishwasher-and microwave-safe?
Make sure to check the manufacturer's label—most fine china pieces should only be washed by hand and is too fragile to go in the microwave. This is especially true if the pieces have metallic accents or delicate detailing.
Many couples choose to have at least two sets of dish ware—one, more durable option, for every day use and a more high-end option for entertaining and special occasions.
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Brides contributor Stephanie Montes has been testing the latest trends in lifestyle and beauty and, and exploring all things current in clothes and accessories for over 10 years. Stephanie's bylines have also appeared on Elle, Byrdie, Who What Wear, Women's Health, Well + Good, and more. She keeps her finger on the shopping pulse, including the best in gifts at all price points.