11 Precious Gem Names
Popular during the late Victorian era, precious gem names are now back in vogue. Admire our selection of cherished comebacks, as well as some new up-and-comers, and find the perfect fit for your little jewel.
A steadily popular name for several decades—Amber was everywhere in the 1980s and ’90s—the name now, surprisingly, makes for a subtle, alternative choice to Ruby or Pearl. Both a color and a gem name, Amber sounds pretty, without being flashy.
French for “jewel,” Bijou can also be spelled in its plural form, Bijoux. Also popular, perhaps, among small, privileged pets, this feminine name has a sophisticated sound that merits consideration as a creative choice for a baby girl. Model/actress Bijou Philips is its best-known pop culture namesake.
This unisex name’s meaning refers to the rare stone’s color: “pomegranate.” Used occasionally during the first wave of gem name popularity, in the late Victorian era, January’s birthstone is back as an appealing, unusual option, especially for boys.
Jade is a popular girl’s name in both the United States and France. Originally a boy’s name, it’s set to make a unisex comeback as a short form of the now-ubiquitous Jaden. The birthstone for the month of March, the green gem is reputed to bring forth wisdom, protection, and courage.
Of Persian origin, meaning “bringer of treasure” or “speckled stone.” Jasper also describes a type of quartz. Rising fast on the charts, it’s a definite hip-parent pick, and is bound to continue climbing since its appearances in the crowd-pleasing Twilight series. With its appealingly rugged, masculine feel; this is a solid choice for a jewel-inspired boy’s name.
As a technical note, Jett‘s a mineral, rather than a gem; it’s also another good option for a boy’s name (hip girls, too). Meaning “black gemstone,” as per the expression “jet-black,” this unisex color and jewel name feels current, and seriously cool.
This Hebrew variation of Michael also describes the metallic, mineral sheen found in rocks. Just about to crack the top 100 when spelled with an H on the end, this unisex name also makes appearances as Mycah.
Opal derives from Sanskrit, and means “gem,” but it’s also a type of iridescent, precious stone. Used as a boy’s name in its initial heyday during the late Victorian era, this lovely name now lends its full-bodied sound to girls, more often than not. Bewitching and mysterious, Opal is not yet one of the big comeback gem names; it’s a nice choice for parents looking for something current but hoping to skirt around the big trends.
A beautiful gem that comes from the sea—mollusks make the silvery-white beads around pieces of sand that slip into their shells—the pearl is also associated with the moon, and has long been a symbol of purity. Alternate spellings include Perle and Pearle; however you spell it, its sound—like the jewel—is perfectly pretty.
A hugely popular name in the UK, Ruby is making a comeback in the US, as well; July’s deep red birthstone is a recent celeb-parent favorite name for baby girls, and is climbing steadily nationwide. (It rose to a mere nine spaces from the top 100 in 2011.) It’s no wonder: Ruby sounds classic, confident, and cool.
The “fire” sound contained in this beautiful name gives it a bright, bold sound. Of Hebrew origin, Sapphire hasn’t, historically, caught on as a popular moniker, though; the Biblical Sapphira offended God by lying, and met with death as a result. Now that gem names are back on the map, however, September’s beguiling birthstone is poised to claim its rightly fame as a vibrant, gorgeous girl’s name.
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