Which Elements Are Named for Places?

Copper
The element copper is named for Cyprus. Jon Zander

This is an alphabetical list of element toponyms or elements named for places or regions. Ytterby in Sweden has given its name to four elements: Erbium, Terbium, Ytterbium, and Yttrium.

  • Americium – America, the Americas
  • Berkelium – University of California at Berkeley
  • Californium – State of California and University of California at Berkeley
  • Copper - probably named for Cyprus
  • Darmstadtium – Darmstadt, Germany
  • Dubnium – Dubna, Russia
  • Erbium – Ytterby, a town in Sweden
  • Europium – Europe
  • Francium – France
  • Gallium – Gallia, Latin for France. Also named for Lecoq de Boisbaudran, the element's discoverer (Lecoq in Latin is gallus)
  • Germanium – Germany
  • Hafnium – Hafnia, Latin for Copenhagen
  • Hassium – Hesse, Germany
  • Holmium – Holmia, Latin for Stockholm
  • Lutetium – Lutecia, ancient name for Paris
  • Magnesium – Magnesia prefecture in Thessaly, Greece
  • Polonium – Poland
  • Rhenium – Rhenus, Latin for Rhine, a German province
  • Ruthenium – Ruthenia, Latin for Russia
  • Scandium – Scandia, Latin for Scandinavia
  • Strontium – Strontian, a town in Scotland
  • Terbium – Ytterby, Sweden
  • Thulium – Thule, a mythical island in the far north (Scandinavia?)
  • Ytterbium – Ytterby, Sweden
  • Yttrium – Ytterby, Sweden