Jewel Names for Your Little Gem

Jewel Names for Your Little Gem

Back in the Gay Nineties–the 1890s, that is–there was a major craze for flower names, with Rose, Daisy and Lillie high on the popularity lists. Concurrent with that, there was a mini-fad for jewel names, as in Ruby, Pearl and Opal. Today, history does seem to be repeating itself. Not only are we seeing a name garden blooming with Roses, Lilys and Daisys, but also more exotic blossom names like Jasmine, Violet, Lilac, Poppy, Azalea, Lotus, Aster, and Zinnia. And there are signs of a jewel name revival as well, more colorful than the dated Crystal and Diamond: Ruby is a hot hipster name, Pearl was picked by SNLer Maya Rudolph, and Opal is the name of kid characters in several recent movies.

In the jewelry case, there’s a wide variety of both common (Coral, Amber) and unusual names. First, there are the modern birthstone names (others were used in the past), which could be tied to the baby’s birth month:

GARNET for January
AMETHYST for FebruaryAQUAMARINE for March
DIAMOND for April
PEARL for June
RUBY for July
PERIDOT for August
SAPPHIRE for September
OPAL for October
TOPAZ (yellow) or CITRINE for November
TOPAZ (blue) or TURQUOISE for December

And here are some others that might be up for consideration:

BERYLCARNELIANCORALGEUDA (pronounced gay-oo-la)HYACINTH ( a flower AND a gem name)IRIDOT (an old name for opal)JACINTH

And then there are some interesting foreign variations. Bear in mind that since Margaret means “pearl,” any one of its many offshoots could be considered a gem name–I’ve just included a couple..

AMBRA (Italian for amber)BIJOU (French for jewel)BIYU (Chinese for jasper)EMERAUDE (French for emerald)ESME (Persian for emerald)ESMERALDA (Spanish for emerald)FAIRUZ/FAIRUZA (Arabic for turquoise)GEMMA (Italian for gem)GIADA (Italian for jade)GRETEL (German for pearl)GRIET (Dutch for pearl)JUMANA (Arabic for pearl)MARIT (Scandinavian for pearl)PENINA (Henrew for pearl)PERLA (Spanish and Italian for pearl)PERLE (French for pearl)PHAILIN (Thai for sapphire)RURI (Japanese for emeraldSAPPHIRA (Greek for sapphire–in Hebrew it’s spelled with one ‘p’)SHINJI (Japanese for pearl)ULA (Celtic for gem of the sea)

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.