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Jewel and Gemstone Baby Names

Jewel and Gemstone Baby Names
Jewel names were popular a century ago and they're back in style now as baby names. Long considered the exclusive province of girls, there are some precious stones and minerals that lend themselves to boys, such as Jasper and Onyx.

Along with Jasper and Onyx, other jewel baby names in the US Top 1000 include Amber, Esmeralda, Gemma, Ivory, Jade, Opal, Pearl, and Ruby. More unique possibilities with great potential include Emerald, Garnet, Goldie, and Peridot.

There are many gemstone baby names out there, beyond the Ambers, Crystals, and Diamonds you may remember from growing up. Among the jewel names you might want to consider for your little gem are:

EsmeHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "beloved"
  • Description:

    Esmé comes from the past participle of the Old French verb esmer, meaing "to esteem" or "to love." It can also be considered a derivative of the Spanish name Esmeralda, which means "emerald".

JasperHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "bringer of treasure"
  • Description:

    Jasper originated as a variation of the Latin Gaspar, which ultimately derived from the Persian word ganzabara, meaning "bringer of treasure." As a given name, Jasper’s etymology is unrelated to that of the gemstone, which comes from a Semitic word meaning "speckled stone." Jasper is the usual English form for one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition and appears in the Bible as a reference to the stone itself in Revelations 4:3.

MaisieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
  • Meaning:

    "pearl or bitter"
  • Description:

    Maisie, a hundred-year-old favorite, is in perfect tune with today, rising in tandem with cousin Daisy. Spelled Maisy, it's a popular children's book series.

RubyHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "deep red precious stone"
  • Description:

    Ruby, vibrant red, sassy and sultry, has definitely outshone the other revived vintage gem names, with its sparkling resume of cultural references.

MargotHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Margot originated as a French pet form of Marguerite, a name that ultimately derived from the Greek margarites, meaning "pearl." Other spellings include Margo and Margaux. Margaux Hemingway was originally Margot but changed the spelling to honor the wine from the French village of Margaux that was drunk by her parents on the night she was conceived.

MargaretHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning "pearl."

GemmaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "precious stone"
  • Description:

    Gemma is a jewel of a name, an Italian classic that was very popular in 1980s England, but has only recently been started to be used here; it entered the list in 2008.

OnyxHeart

  • Origin:

    Gem name
  • Description:

    Unlike Pearl and Ruby, this is one gem name suited for boys, the final x making it sound strong and virile. Musician Iggy Azalea chose the name Onyx for her son.

JadeHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "stone of the side"
  • Description:

    As cool as the precious green stone said to transmit wisdom, clarity, justice, courage, and modesty, Jade has been rising in popularity since Mick and Bianca Jagger chose it for their daughter in 1971. Jade is one of the top names in France. Superchef Giada de Laurentiis chose it as the English translation of her own first name. Jade manages to strike the golden mean as one of the familiar-yet-unusual girl names starting with J.

PearlHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin gem name
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .

MeganHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Megan originally evolved from Meg, which itself derived as a nickname for Margaret. Margaret ultimately comes from the Greek word margarites, meaning "pearl." Megan is no longer a common nickname for Margaret—it is most often used as a full name. Other spellings include Meghan, Meagan, Megyn, and Meaghan.

MaggieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Maggie is a cute, earthy short form that has been in style for several decades now, still sometimes used as an independent name by such parents as Jon Stewart. First used in Scotland, it got a large bump in popularity via the 1971 Rod Stewart hit song "Maggie May." Today's Maggie might just as well be short for a more adventurous name such as Magdalena or Magnolia as for the classic Margaret.

    Maggie Gyllenhaal was born Margaret.

AmberHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name, English
  • Description:

    Though perhaps not as currently stylish as Ruby, Jade, or Pearl, Amber has a colorful history (remember the notorious Forever Amber heroine?). Unfortunately, it does come with the "Amber Alert" connotation for modern parents (and their children).

EsmeraldaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Portuguese
  • Meaning:

    "emerald"
  • Description:

    Esmeralda came into use as an applied use of the Spanish word for emerald, esmeralda. In the 1831 Victor Hugo novel Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the heroine was born Agnes, but called La Esmeralda in reference to the jewel she wears around her neck. The name Esmeralda got increased visibility via the Disney version of the story.

GretaHeart

  • Origin:

    German, diminutive of Margarethe
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Greta is an Old World name long tied to the iconic Garbo. Along with other Old Hollywood glamour names, Greta seems to be showing slight signs of a comeback; it was chosen by David Caruso and by Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline for their daughters.

OpalHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "gem"
  • Description:

    Opal is on the verge of a repolishing, following other jewel names like Ruby and Pearl. A Top 100 name during the first two decades of the twentieth century, the opalescent Opal has a good chance of coming back as another O-initial option.

AmethystHeart

  • Origin:

    Gem and Color name
  • Description:

    As flower names become more unique, so can gem names move beyond Ruby and Pearl to names like Topaz, Sapphire, and Peridot. Amethyst, the purple birthstone for February, has never been in the Top 1000, but could have some appeal, joining similarly-hued Violet and Lilac, all of which make great names for Aquarius babies or names for February babies.

RumiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "beauty, flow, lapis lazuli"
  • Description:

    Rumi is a Japanese girls' name that sounds like a couple of other choices more familiar in the West -- Rumer and Remi -- that is achieving notice because of its choice by two celebrities, including Beyonce and Jay-Z.

SapphireHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Greek, and Latin jewel name
  • Meaning:

    "blue"
  • Description:

    Sapphire goes waaaaay beyond Ruby and Pearl. This September birthstone, occasionally used a century ago, might be worth a reappraisal, perhaps as a Sophie/Sophia alternative. Sapphire is the pseudonym of Romona Lofton, who wrote the book Push, which was turned into the movie Precious.

GoldieHeart

  • Origin:

    Anglicized form of Yiddish Golde or Golda
  • Description:

    More Sadie than Sadie, this old canasta player--somewhat modernized and energized by Goldie Hawn--looks like it could be making a comeback. It was recently chosen for her daughter by Ione Skye and Ben Lee, as well as by shoemeister Steve Madden.

EmeraldHeart

  • Origin:

    Gem name; Persian
  • Meaning:

    "green"
  • Description:

    Emerald is the intriguing color and jewel name of the deep green stone treasured as far back as ancient Egypt — it's supposed to open one's heart to wisdom and to love and be good for strengthening relationships — which could make for an interesting, unusual name, particularly with the popularity of so many Em-starting names.

FlintHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "born near outcrop of flint"
  • Description:

    Flint is one of the new macho names on the rise today, part old-school tough guy, part rebel. You won't find a tougher, steelier-sounding name; it's part of a genre on the rise along with cousins Slate, Stone and Steel.

StoneHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Though some may find such names rather harsh and severe, increasing numbers of parents are gravitating toward this kind of flinty, steely, stony single-syllable name.

CrystalHeart

  • Origin:

    Gem name
  • Description:

    Peaking at #9 in 1982, Crystal's popularity in the 70s and 80s stems from its sparkling natural namesake and several notable bearers, like country music singer Crystal Gayle and Dynasty character Krystle Carrington. But it has since lost some of its luster for American parents, now ranking in the mid-600s. Ruby, Gemma and Pearl are fashionable alternatives, but nowadays Crystal could actually be a more unexpected choice for your little gem.

SorayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "jewel"
  • Description:

    Soraya is a Persian name made famous in the Western world by the one-time empress of Iran, who settled in Europe, primarily in France. Soraya is a relative of Sarah and sisters Sarai, Zahara, Zara, and so on.

CoralieHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "coral"
  • Description:

    Coralie is a French name not often heard here, though she's gaining some recognition via Neil Gaiman's similar sounding spooky and lovely children's book, Coraline. Other literary appearances: Coralie is the stage name of an actress in Balzac's Lost Illusions, and a French girl in an 1850 Thackeray novel.

    Coralie is currently very popular in French-speaking Quebec, and there is a contemporary French singer named Coralie Clement.

EbonyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "deeply black wood"
  • Description:

    Word name favored by African-American parents because of its connotations of blackness and beauty, trending down since the eighties.

MercuryHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "Roman messenger god"
  • Description:

    Adventurous parents are starting to look back to names of ancient gods like Mercury, Zeus, and Apollo. This one is also a planet and a metallic element, and has a friendly nickname, Merc. The Roman god Mercury, which derives from the Latin words for trade or wages, is the patron of tradesmen and travelers and the fastest-moving planet in the solar system. Mercury is the planet associated with the sign of Virgo, so this is one of the prime names for Virgo babies.

CelestineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "heavenly"
  • Description:

    Celestine is a pretty, crystalline extension (actually a diminutive) of Celeste that would make a choice that is both delicate and strong. It is also a popular name in France.

JetHeart

  • Origin:

    Mineral and word name
  • Description:

    This super-charged variation of Jett is on the rise -- along with the unlikely newcomer Jetson.

IvoryHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name meaning the hard, white material from the tusks and teeth of animals; can also mean "pale, white"
  • Meaning:

    "pale, white"
  • Description:

    Ivory was last popular a hundred years ago. In 2013, it finally began to regain some momentum in the female rankings, reentering the Top 1000.

PeggyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Margaret, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Just when we had written off Peggy as the eternal perky, pug-nosed prom-queen she projected from the 1920s into the fifties, along came Mad Men, with intriguing mid-century characters with names like Joan and Betty--and Peggy, causing a bit of a re-think. MM's proto-feminist Peggy Olson was followed by Amy Adams's strong Oscar-nominated Peggy Dodd character in The Master.

BijouHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "jewel"
  • Description:

    Bijou is a name that lives up to its definition -- a real jewel. Warning: not unheard of on poodles' dog collars. Actress Bijou Phillips is its best known bearer. It can also be spelled Bijoux.

GretchenHeart

  • Origin:

    German, diminutive of Margarethe
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Like Greta, Gretchen is a German Margaret diminutive that has become an American quasi-classic, though not much used today, having dropped off the list in 2009. She was at her high point in the 1970s, making it into the top 200.

JemHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of James or Jeremiah
  • Description:

    This name of the ten-year-old boy in the much loved and acclaimed modern classic To Kill a Mockingbird could find favor along with that of the character's sister, Scout.

CoralHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    First used during the Victorian craze for jewel names; it could rise again, along with Ruby and Pearl, though it doesn't have as much luster.

GiadaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "jade"
  • Description:

    Giada is a fresh spin on Jade, which has been quietly and stylishly used in English-speaking countries for several years now. Popular cook Giada De Laurentiis made this a possibility, then semi-subtly self-referenced when she named her daughter Jade.

SilverHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    This shimmery Age of Aquarius unisex flower child name is making a comeback, along with metal and gem names like Steel, Jade, and Ruby.

BerylHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sea-green jewel"
  • Description:

    Dated British favorite that never caught on in this country, where Jade remains the green gem of choice. Interesting namesakes: British writer Beryl Bainbridge and British aviatrix Beryl Markham.

TopazHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek gem name
  • Description:

    As a name, Topaz is sophisticated and sultry; as a golden gem, it's said to have healing and energizing properties and also to bring good luck-- and being the birthstone for November it's one of the perfect names for November babies, with that final 'z' giving it some extra sizzle.

SlateHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    One of the more unusual of the current crop of strong, single-syllable boys' names, evoking the images of both old-fashioned blackboards and modern stepping-stones and countertops.

ObsidianHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    This rarely used boys name is one of the few gem names for a boy. Obsidian is actually a type of volcanic glass, formed when lava cools very quickly. This ultra-cool name might spark a love of volcanoes and geology in a little boy.

JewelHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Just like Flora is for botanicals, Jewel is the generic gemstone name, not used much since the early twentieth century, when it was seen as a symbol of how precious a daughter could be. The French version, Bijou, feels more modern, as do Pearl and Ruby.

ArianellHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "silver"
  • Description:

    This early Welsh saint's name is unusual and lovely, waiting to be discovered. Saint Arianell was a member of the Welsh royal family who was possessed by a spirit which was exorcised by Saint Dyfrig, who became Arianell's spiritual teacher.

RuriHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "lapis lazuli"
  • Description:

    Naming babies after precious gems as a protection against evil spirits is an ancient Japanese tradition.

PeridotHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "a green gemstone"
  • Description:

    Peridot is the gem of the month of August, a vibrant green mineral, said to be good for helping people put the past behind them, and an interesting, undiscovered jewel name. It was regarded in ancient times as the symbol of the sun.

EirianHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "silver"
  • Description:

    A modern Welsh name that will be misunderstood as Irene.

UlaHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "gem of the sea"
  • Description:

    Ula is among the unusual U names that may have a range of origins and meanings, from the Celtic one given here to its possibilities as a short form of Eulalia or Ursula. Ulla is a Scandinavian name usually an abbreviation of Ursula or Ulrika.

KitoHeart

  • Origin:

    Swahili
  • Meaning:

    "precious jewel"
  • Description:

    An energetic African name with a stylish o ending.

PerlaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Pearl
  • Description:

    Consistently popular Latina gem name; good choice for those who can't shake Pearl's grandmotherly vibe.
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