Holmium, element 67, isn’t named for Ytterby, Sweden, but it comes close, geographically at least. The metal was discovered independently in 1878 by Swiss chemists Marc Delafontaine and Jacques-Louis Soret and by Swedish chemist and geologist Per Teodor Cleve. The latter describes how he came up with the name in the 12 September 1879 issue of Chemical News and Journal of Physical Science:
I propose for this metal the name of Holmium, Ho, derived from the latinized name of Stockholm, in the neighbourhood of which so many minerals rich in yttria are to be found.1
Holmium has the chemical symbol Ho.
Copyright 1997-2014, by David Wilton