Lists of traditional anniversary gifts generally do not list a specific gift for the 36th year. They usually list gifts for individual years up through the first 15 years, then for every 5 years after that. However, modern anniversary gift lists are often more complete, although they do duplicate some of the earlier gift ideas. On these lists, year 36 is designated as bone china.
Anniversary gift lists were designed so that the gifts increase in value as the number of years married increase, representing the couples' increased investment in the relationship. Some gifts are listed more than once, but the same type of gift is given in a form that is more expensive for later anniversary years.
The first time china appears on the modern anniversary gifts list is for the 20th anniversary. The 36th year is the second time it appears, and is appropriately listed more specifically as bone china. Bone china is a form of porcelain developed by potters in England around the end of the 18th century. The materials used to temper it and the labour-intensive work it requires makes it a more expensive form of china.
If you decide to give a bone china gift for a 36th anniversary, you have several ideas from which to choose. If the married couple registered for a formal fine china pattern when they were originally married, add to the set with serving pieces. If they did not, give place settings of a pattern you believe they will like. Enclosing a gift receipt with the gift will allow them to exchange it for another pattern if they wish.
More Unusual Gifts
If you prefer something more unusual, buy a bone china tea set or a set of mugs. Another possibility is a vase, particularly nice when presented along with fresh flowers. Even more unusual are bone china statuettes. A pair of personalised bone china mugs decorated with a picture of the couple is another option.