20th Anniversary Gifts:
China, Platinum

20th Anniversary gifts of
traditional fine china or modern platinum
celebrate a notable marriage milestone.

Traditional 20th Anniversary Gifts:

Additional pieces of their china pattern, if your anniversary couple has one, will be well-appreciated. You might begin by replacing any pieces that have been broken or damaged, or adding a serving dish. Don't worry about duplicating what they have; they'll be grateful for a second gravy boat or sugar & creamer at their next big dinner party.

Bestwishes.net and GiftCollector.com are two sources that list many china manufacturers and patterns (check the brands menus). If your couple's china is a discontinued pattern - perhaps a family heirloom - you can probably find it at Replacements, Ltd. I've had good luck there, and excellent service.

Some china patterns offer unusual accessories - look for candlesticks, large coffee mugs, napkin rings, beer steins, placecard holders, a vase or a coffeepot. Or, choose a china/porcelain twenty year anniversary gift, such as a cache pot or a bread dipping set, that coordinates with your recipients' china pattern.

There are all kinds of china/porcelain collectibles to consider, being extra careful to match your recipients' tastes - statuettes, ornaments, a nativity set, a Judaica gift, or career-related figurines are popular 20th anniversary gifts.

For something a bit different, here are music boxes decorated with lifelike porcelain flowers. Lenox makes some nice china picture frames, and this pretty bone china candleholder will produce interesting light patterns in a darkened room.

And as we remind you at 2nd Anniversary Gifts, in the Modern section (where you'll find more china gift ideas), "china" gifts can also mean gifts made in China. For that matter, you might get everyone to chip in and put your anniversary couple on a "slow boat to China" - perhaps the most exciting 20th anniversary gift of all!

Modern 20th Anniversary Gifts:

Platinum is sometimes called "rich man's gold," in part because the worldwide supply is very scarce (more about platinum). Apart from jewelry, which accounts for about 40% of the platinum supply, relatively little is used for consumer goods. This impacts the price and limits the selection of platinum gifts - but we have a few suggestions for you!

The mints of various countries issue proof coins for collectors - American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, Australian Koala and others are impressive 20th anniversary gifts that can be ordered online.

You may also find platinum plated gifts, or gifts finished in a genuine platinum dip; for example, a platinum dipped rosebud will remain lovely for the next 20... or 40!.. years. Of course, gift items that are fully plated will be more expensive than those just trimmed with platinum plate.

Platinum accents give several fine china patterns their names and may include serving bowls and accessories that will coordinate nicely with your anniversary couple's china pattern. Platinum accented china items, such as vases, candle holders or picture frames, do double duty as 20th anniversary gifts - traditional and modern! You can also find crystal stemware patterns with platinum accents.

As you shop, you'll find many gifts with a "platinum finish" that actually are platinum colored only, and not genuine platinum plate. The price is usually a big clue, but don't be fooled... if you pay for platinum, be sure that's what you get!

As you think creatively about the platinum theme, look for 20th anniversary gifts that use the term "platinum" to indicate the "top of the line." A gift of Platinum Kona coffee, or the "Platinum Assortment" from Phillips Candy House clearly express the theme. A platinum album CD of your recipients' favorite musician(s) is also a thematic gift idea.

Worth considering is a "Platinum Gift Catalog" - your recipients can select any gift from the catalog, which is prepaid much like a gift certificate. Given the price for the platinum catalog, you may want to organize this as a group gift. Similarly, a platinum debit MasterCard will allow your anniversary couple to select the gift(s) of their choice.

For something a bit different, here's a "Platinum Mink" Tonkinese cat - if not a real one, at least you can download this photo for a screensaver or desktop wallpaper. You can also order a print for framing, or have the image printed on various gift items - affordable "platinum" 20th anniversary gifts from the kids, perhaps.

Finally, let's call your attention to platinum/palladium photography prints. This process embeds the metal in the paper fibers, rather than on the surface (as in other printing processes). The result is distinctively subtle tones, shadows and highlights.

Contemporary platinum photo prints are generally more affordable than vintage prints (the process dates back over 100 years). For 20th anniversary gifts, I think you'll like the work of Kerik Kouklis.

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Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer, courtesy of morguefile.com.