ReVo contains:

  • jewel - juvelo
  • jewelry box - juvelujo
  • jewelry shop - juvelejo

There are no hits for "jewelry" alone, and since the two last words are built from the root for jewel, I still have no idea what to say.

3 Answers 3


In English, jewel usually means a precious stone. It is sometimes used for the item of clothing incorporating it, but it is more common to say a piece of jewellery or an item of jewellery, etc.

The Universala Vortaro defines juvel' as the stone, which would make juvelaĵo the piece. However, in his translation of the Old Testament, Zamenhof has (Dan. 11:38):

per oro, arĝento, multekostaj ŝtonoj, kaj juveloj — with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures

which seems to make a fairly clear distinction.

The word gemo (gemstone) was made official in 1919 (though the Dua Oficiala Aldono was drawn up in 1914), and PIV defines juvelo as a piece of jewellery, so that, for example, a person who only works with precious metals can still be called a juvelisto.

Therefore, I would say that nowadays juvelo means "piece of jewellery", juvelaĵo means "(some) jewellery", and juvel(aĵ)aro means "jewellery collection."

  • Ŝi decidis surmeti juvelojn. She decided to put on some jewellery.

  • En la skatolo kuŝis ormoneroj kaj juvelaĵo. In the box lay gold coins and jewellery.


JC Wells' Esperanto Dictionary gives juveloj and juvelaĵaro


There are a few important things to consider before trying to translate the meaning of "jewelry".Firstly, the idea of "jewelry" in English isn't, at least anymore, tied to jewels. Secondly, the meanings of words in Esperanto don't always neatly line up with their etymological anticedants, which often causes confusion (like here and here).

Juvelo doesn't necessarily mean "jewel" like in English anymore, even if it may have at an earlier time; that designation goes more to gemo. If by juvelo, you mean something made out of jewels to wear, that is appropriate, but that is only because, according to the PIV, it's defined as:

Ornamaĵo, ordinare malgranda, tre multekosta pro la materio (oro, arĝento, gemoj) aŭ la prilaboriteco.

An ornamentation, ordinarily small, very costly because of the material (gold, silver, gems) or the fashioning.

Which brings on the fact that not everything we call "jewelry" meets all or most of those qualifiers, being very cheap or made of cheap materials like plastic or wood or shells. One could still call them juvelo, but a better fit may simply be ornamaĵo or persona ornamaĵo to be more precise. This isn't to say that juvelo can't be used for that purpose or that new terminology should be phased in, simply that persona onamaĵo remains an option for precision.

This would make a paradigm something like:

gemo: gem, jewel

juvelo: a piece of jewelry (especially of jewels or gems)

(persona) ornamaĵo: (personal) ornament, a piece of jewellery of any material.

  • 1
    Good point about the materials! Mar 15, 2018 at 20:56

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