The natural world offers so much splendor. Natural materials and precious stones have been prized and cherished by humans forever. It’s no secret that these treasured materials have inspired many baby names. A century ago, jewel and gemstone names were all the rage. It’s no coincidence that these names were most popular during the excesses of the roaring twenties. Fortunately, many nature lovers are helping make jewel and gem baby names surge in popularity today. These names seem to dazzle like the stones that inspired them and have remained in use for decades. They might not have been the most popular from the 1950s-90s, but we bet you know someone named Crystal! Baby names inspired by jewels and metals are so special because they connote value and glamor. We have to admit that we love names that really shine! Here are 35 baby names inspired by gems, jewels, metals, and other natural materials. It’s like a little treasure chest of baby names.
While the name Amethyst has never hit the top 1,000 in popularity, the name is not completely unheard of. In ancient Greece, Amethyst was a popular name for girls. According to superstition, the stone was thought to have “sobering” qualities and would protect the owner from the effects of a stiff drink! What? Amethyst is such a beautiful and unique name that can be shortened to Amy.
Fossilized ivory from mammoth or walrus tusks is a prized material. While illegal poaching of rhinos and elephants accounts for much of the ivory trade today, fossilized ivory is the most ethical and should be the only ivory distributed. Fossilized ivory is at least 300 years old and has a completely different structure than poached ivory. The name Ivory is English and means “pale.”
The Italian name Gemma means “precious stone.” The name comes from a medieval nickname for gems. The Italian poet Dante’s wife famously had the name. Gemma hasn’t become popular in the US until recently and as of 2018, the name ranks 229th in popularity for baby girls.
The warm, honey hue of amber is intoxicating (better grab the amethyst!). The beautiful, rich stone has a name that’s perfect for girls. Amber comes from Arabic and means “jewel.” Amber has fallen in popularity over the last two decades, but it’s ready for a comeback.
If you’re looking for a moniker of a smooth operator, the name Slate is perfect. This name for boys has been climbing the charts and is a great alternative to Slade. Inspired by the cool, smooth rock, Slade would be a very unique name for your little boy.
The French baby name Turquoise certainly sounds exotic, and it was when it became popularized when it was adopted from Persian traders. The name means “Turkish stone.” Turquoise is a beautiful aqua stone that’s prized around the world.
Silver is a slick unisex baby name that was popularized by hippies for their flower children after the Summer of Love. Now, Silver is making a comeback! The name was originally an English occupational name for silversmiths.
We love the name Pearl. More Pearls in the world, please! For baby girls born in June, this name would match their birthstone. Pearl comes from Latin and means, well, “pearl.” The name was one of the hottest names for girls in the late 19th century, becoming one of the top 25 names for girls.
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Can we make Japanese names a thing? The Japanese girl’s name Takara is absolutely gorgeous and means “treasure” or “jewel.” Takara and other Japanese names have not been celebrated enough in the US, but we hope that changes.
Alabaster is a boy’s name that was taken from the mineral. Alabaster is commonly used in sculpture and got its name from the Egyptian al-abaste which refers to the Egyptian God Bast. This pure, smooth stone would be the perfect inspiration for a boy’s name.
If the name Jade seems overdone to you, consider its Italian form, Giada. Giada refers to the green, ornamental mineral that’s popular around the world. The name grew in popularity in the early 2000s after the premiere of Giada De Laurentiis’s cooking show.
Again, Diamond might seem a bit on the nose for you and you might be looking for a name with some more mystery to it. The Greek girl’s name Diamante means “diamond” but it has a bit more flair than its English counterpart.
The Hebrew name, Atara is a lyrical name for girls. Atara has been around a long time and we’d love to see this name in use more often. The name means “crown.” If you’re looking for an alternative to Tara, Atara is a great choice.
Jasper has long been considered a posh name for boys in the UK. It’s finally gaining popularity in the US. The name Jasper has a complicated meaning. In Persian, the name means “bringer of treasure.” In Semitic languages, the name refers to the “speckled stone.” Jasper is an aggregate of quartz and is most commonly red in color.
The French name, Carolie is having a moment in Quebec at the moment. The name is more popular there than in France! The name Coralie means “coral” and refers to the coral stone also called a Moonga in Hindi. If you’re over the name Caroline, but want something similar, Carolie is one romantic option.
In Japan, naming babies for precious stones is a tradition that’s meant to ward off evil spirits and energy. The Japanese name for girls, Ruri is gorgeous. Ruri refers to lapis lazuli, a deep blue rock that’s been cherished since antiquity for its striking blue color.
For girls born in October, the name Opal would match the birthstone for the month. Opal is a name that’s fallen out of favor, but it should come back! It’s a storied stone and name. Opals were Queen Victoria’s favorite gem. The ancient Greeks believed that opals were formed when Zeus cried tears of them after defeating the Titans. Opal comes from Sanskrit and means “gem.”
Beryl is a Greek girl’s name that means “sea-green jewel.” The name has enjoyed popularity in the UK, but it never translated across the pond to the US.
When you first hear the name Jet, you might think of a plane, but the name predates flight. Jet refers to the black gemstone that’s a precursor to coal. If you want to give your son a name that’s very cool, Jet is the one!
The name Sterling is a unisex name, but it’s commonly given to boys. The name comes from English and means “pure” and refers to high-quality silver. The name was also given to pre-medieval refiners of silver and meant “easterner.”
Another unisex name, Garnet is a very handsome option. The name comes from Middle English and refers to the dark red gemstone that was named for the seeds of a pomegranate. Yes, garnets are named for pomegranate seeds. Garnet is a better option than Garrett and we hope to hear more of the name.
Pierce, Peter, and Piers all come from the same Greek root, Petros, which means stone. Pierce is our favorite form of the name, and it was popularized in Wales. For parents who have a love for geology, you could do no better than naming your son Pierce.
The smooth, black stone, onyx is elegant and mysterious. The boys’ name Onyx has a certain ring to it! Onyx comes from Greek and means “claw.”
First things first, the “T” in Peridot is silent. It’s pronounced, PEH-ree-doe. The birthstone for August, peridot is a vibrant green mineral. In Hawaii, peridots are valuable because they’re believed to be the tears of the volcano goddess Pele. Peridot is Arabic but has a French sound. It’s a chic name for girls.
The Swahili boy’s name Kito means “precious jewel.” Kito has a great sound to it and has more character than its English counterpart Kit.
We couldn’t do a list about jewel inspired baby names with the name Ruby! This time-tested classic name for girls will always be a winner. The name comes from Latin and means “deep red precious stone.” As of 2018, Ruby was the 74th most popular name for girls in the US.
For a baby girl born in November, why not name her for her birthstone, Citrine. Citrine has not been widely used as a baby name, but with other stones like Ruby, Onyx, and Amethyst on the list, why not Citrine? The name sounds vaguely French and you could always tell people it is.
Jem is often considered a nickname for James or Jeremiah. Why can’t this stone-sounding name stand on its own? Jem would be a great name for a boy and in fact, there’s precedent in American literature. There was a character in To Kill a Mockingbird with the name Jem.
The Chinese name Lin is a beautiful girl’s name that means “fine jade” or “forest.” A different take on the name Lynn, Lin is a name that should top every parent’s list.
In Spanish and Portuguese, the name Emerald is heightened to Esmeralda. Emeralds are such beautiful stones and have a name to match. The popular name for girls has appeal outside of Portugal and Spain, of course. It’s in the top 500 names for girls in the US.
At the turn of the 20th century, Goldie was a top 100 baby name for girls. Goldie is the anglicized version of the Yiddish Golda or Golde. The name means “gold,” just in case you were wondering. Goldie Hawn helped bring this name out of obscurity for many.
The Latin form of the English name Saphire is a bit softer and we prefer it. The name Saffira means “beautiful” or “precious.” The name sounds like a whisper and we love it.
The boy’s name Copper comes from the Greek word Cuprum which means a “miner from the Island of Cyprus.” In antiquity, Cyprus was the main site where copper was mined. This playful name is an alternative to Cooper that we prefer.
Similar to the name Takara, Tamako and Tamaki are two delicate Japenese names for girls. The name means “jewel child” or “jewel tree.” If you want to set your kid up for a life of treasure, this name would be the perfect fit.
Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason. Jewel has been in the top 1000 names for girls for a century. It’s not been in the top 100 often and that only happened in the early 20th century. Jewel is such a pretty, simple, and precious name. And, we have to say, we’ve met some amazing women with the name over the years. If Jewel isn’t exciting enough for you, consider the French form, Bijou.
Jewels, gems, diamonds, metals, minerals, and fossils are all precious to us, just like our children. Many of these names have been making a comeback after having earned praise in the 1910s and 1920s. It’s about time! Other jewel names like Kito, Tamako, Peridot, and Beryl might be new to you. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You could be a trendsetter! We hope you love these jewel-inspired names!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 35. Amethyst
- 2 34. Ivory
- 3 33. Gemma
- 4 32. Amber
- 5 31. Slate
- 6 30. Turquoise
- 7 29. Silver
- 8 28. Pearl
- 9 27. Takara
- 10 26. Alabaster
- 11 25. Giada
- 12 24. Diamante
- 13 23. Atara
- 14 22. Jasper
- 15 21. Coralie
- 16 20. Ruri
- 17 19. Opal
- 18 18. Beryl
- 19 17. Jet
- 20 16. Sterling
- 21 15. Garnet
- 22 14. Pierce
- 23 13. Onyx
- 24 12. Peridot
- 25 11. Kito
- 26 10. Ruby
- 27 9. Citrine
- 28 8. Jem
- 29 7. Lin
- 30 6. Esmeralda
- 31 5. Goldie
- 32 4. Saffira
- 33 3. Copper
- 34 2. Tamako
- 35 1. Jewel
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