Gadolinium is the only stable element that is named after a person. Many transuranic elements derive their names from scientists, starting with Curium (element 96) after Marie Curie. However, all of these are radioactive and therefore decaying into lower elements.

Considering that Gadolin himself did not discover gadolinium, this is an exceptional honor. However, it is explained by Gadolin's pioneering work on rare-earth metals in general, which started with his discovery of yttrium. Hence one of these metals now carries the name of this Finnish chemist.