Celebrating the Long Haul

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Different types of people prefer different types of gifts. This is a tried and true fact in my own relationship. I tend to gravitate towards life’s finer things: a new purse, makeup, and being treated to as many of Los Angeles’ burritos as humanly possible. My husband? He’d like to be given something he can put to use, like gift cards or cash. Having been married recently, I found myself googling anniversary gifts. I was surprised to learn that traditional wedding anniversary gifts can not only include the type of flashy presents I prefer, but also many materials that have a history of being used as currency.

How appropriate these anniversary materials are used to celebrate the longstanding relationships our members have with Logix Federal Credit Union. Whether it’s through better interest rates, improved facilities or better training for our staff (so that you receive the best possible service), we’re all about giving back to our members. We thought it would be fun to offer this list with the same spirit of gift-giving in mind. Whether you’ve been with us for one year, five years or even 40 years, these are anniversaries we value and hope to celebrate for years to come.

 YEAR ONE: Paper Anniversary

Paper used as currency is very familiar in American culture, but did you know it originated in 11th century BCE China? The Song Dynasty licensed specialty shops for traders to keep their coin in exchange for notes. Imagine how relieved people were to stop lugging around heavy copper coins! The success of these notes was so impactful that the government began issuing the world’s first paper money called jiaozi.  Today there are over 180 currencies recognized worldwide made up of an array of different materials.

Paper gift ideas: Concert tickets, framed vows, hire an artist to create a print of the location of your first date.

YEAR TWO: Cotton Anniversary 

If you’ve ever compared currencies when you’ve gone traveling outside of the U.S., you might find that American bills have a distinct feel to them. Most people assume that United States bills are made from wood pulp like you’d see in newspapers or books! In reality they are made from 25% linen (or more recently synthetic fibers) and 75%... you guessed it…cotton! This type of rag paper serves Americans well as it’s the reason bills won’t fall apart if accidently run through the washer.

Cotton Gift Ideas: Cotton matching pajamas, throw blanket, or a cotton hammock to bring camping.

YEAR THREE: Leather Anniversary 

Leather money also originated in China, well ahead of paper bank notes. This type of currency consisted of one foot square pieces of white deerskin. In the 13th century, inspired by the Chinese, India would go on to adopt coin leather money as a mainstream form of currency. Denominations of these coins were primarily determined by weight. Europe also attempted the use of leather, but ultimately leather coins weren’t successful overall. As any pleather lover would know, leather is somewhat easy to reproduce, which led to fake funds being easily circulated.

Leather Gift Ideas: A designer purse, gloves, or a timeless leather jacket.

YEAR FOUR: Fruit & Flowers Anniversary

During the Golden Dutch Age, northern Europe went through a turbulent period known as Tulip Mania. In 17th century Holland, exotic flower bulbs became immensely popular among the royal court. So much so that investors bought them in frenzied droves, causing a huge spike in price. The price of a single flower easily exceeded a year’s worth of income! This craze died down rather dramatically and is widely referred to as the first asset bubble in history - where a price differed radically from its perceived value. This begs the question: Would a $60,000 tulip still smell as sweet in today’s market?

Fruit and Flower Gift Ideas: Fruity and floral cocktail mixers, a decorated fruit basket, or perhaps a bouquet of tulips!

YEAR FIVE: Wood Anniversary

The Tenino Wooden Dollar, a locally created wooden currency, was first produced to help the small town of Tenino, Washington survive economic hardship during the 1931 Great Depression. In 2020 the same town took a page from its proud history when it started reprinting the wooden money intended to help current day residents struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These wooden bills can only be used to buy goods from local stores and restaurants who accept the alternative currency. They are created using the same 1890s press and custom engraving blocks as used for the original Tenino Dollars. Keeping it local takes on a whole new meaning when you create your own means of economy!

Wood Gift Ideas: Planting a tree in honor of your spouse, an engraved cutting board, or a wooden framed picture of your wedding day.

YEAR SIX:  Candy Anniversary 

Chocolate coins are low in value, but high in sugary goodness. Many of you might remember receiving these coins wrapped in silver and gold foil as children around the holiday season. Some believe the tradition came from the celebration of St. Nicholas Day in December. This is when a celebrated children’s character leaves small tokens for children. Chocolate coins called gelt are also given out during the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. These foil-wrapped chocolate coins gained popularity in the 1920s when they began being produced by chocolate makers for the winter holiday season.

Candy Gift Ideas: Candy, candy, and more candy! (You can never go wrong with candy, in this chocolate lover’s humble opinion.)

YEAR SEVEN: Wool/Copper Anniversary

If I asked you to shake out the contents of your wallet chances are you’d probably have a spare penny or two bouncing around, but would you know what they are made of? Most of us would assume copper, but if you have a penny later than 1982, it only has a very thin plating of the metal. Pennies are now roughly produced with 97.5% zinc. If you do happen to possess a coin prior to the 80s in that wallet, know that your coin has acquired a value of around 2.5 cents due to its 95% copper composition. A penny, or 2.5, for your thoughts?

Wool and Copper Gift Ideas: A copper guitar pick, a wool blanket, or personalized copper mugs.

YEAR EIGHT: Bronze Anniversary 

It has been discovered that bronze scraps were used as an early form of cash during the Bronze Age. The remains of Roman soldiers were found with purses filled with bronze items, such as broken-down weapons and jewelry. Researchers believe that this type of currency circulated through all walks of life, creating a pre-global market. It even made its way across Western Eurasia before civilizations as we know them today were even a thought.

Bronze Gift Ideas: A bronze sculpture, bronze jewelry, or bronze plaque. 

YEAR NINE: Pottery Anniversary

It turns out metal wasn’t the only material used for coins. Porcelain was used along with other materials that today might make a work of art, not economic commerce. Notgeld was a type of currency that originated in Germany and Austria during World War I as a way for states to support themselves during hardship. Notgeld circulated on and off for years, but was finally put to an end after World War II, when the German government forbade locals from continuing its production. They are still considered historical collectables, in particular notgeld made from playing cards.

Pottery Gift Ideas: Handmade coasters, a porcelain vase, or couple’s pottery classes.

YEAR 10: Tin/Aluminum Anniversary 

In 1974, a coin was created to offset the price of more expensive materials: the 1974 Aluminum cent. More than a million of these coins were made to be circulated, but not a single one was released to the public. The Mint recalled and attempted to destroy them all, but a few coins escaped. One such coin can be found today at the Smithsonian Institution. If you happen to stumble on one, let’s just say it’s worth a pretty penny!

Tin and Aluminum Gift Ideas: A collar stay set, a party tub for beverages, or a keepsake box.

Other notable anniversaries: 

  • YEAR 11: Steel Anniversary
  • YEAR 12: Silk Anniversary
  • YEAR 13: Lace Anniversary
  • YEAR 14: Ivory Anniversary
  • YEAR 15: Crystal Anniversary.

Which anniversary are you celebrating with Logix this year? Please comment below! If you’re interested in exploring the gifts of ongoing commitment click here for part two: Celebrating the Long(er) Haul!

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*Logix Federal Credit Union is not affiliated with any outside sources, and is a separate entity. Please contact Logix at (800) 328-5328 or visit www.lfcu.com if you have any questions about this topic or would like to consider opening an account. 

Meet the blogger

Katy Dunn-Lynch

Katy Dunn-Lynch

Katy Dunn-Lynch is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. As a former flight attendant, she has traveled near and far, eaten all the snacks, and has been happy to call Los Angeles home for the last few years. Katy has served over twelve Logix branches, and is currently working as the Tarzana branch's Financial Services Representative.