Gems and You: A Guide

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to one of what will be many guides written by yours truly, Kurn. Today’s exciting topic, gems.

I’ve been a jewelcrafter on my paladin for almost a year, and to this day, it still astounds me how many people are missing the very basics of the jewelcrafting profession. This is not a guide about how to level up jewelcrafting (the three days I spent in Exodar, running from the AH to the JC trainer to get to 300, were not the most efficient or cheap days of my WoW career), but rather, to inform you about types of gems and cuts. Note that this guide will not be addressing any BOP gems and will only focus on green, rare and epic quality gems and cuts that are available from your friendly neighbourhood jewelcrafter. Further, it will really center on cuts for gems that are mined or come from prospected Fel Iron or Adamantite Ore or are epic-quality. (Pearls and meta gems will be addressed briefly.)

So, let’s get started.

Names and Colours

First up, there are only six types of each quality of gem, each with a different colour assigned to it. These colours persist through from uncommon (green) quality all the way through to epic (purple) quality gems. Oddly enough, so do the names of the cuts. The only thing that changes is the name of the gem. (Note that not all cuts are currently available at all gem levels.)

The gem colours are easy to remember. They are the primary and secondary colours on a colour wheel. That’s to say, red, yellow and blue and then orange, purple and green.

Uncommon Quality (green) Gems
Red: Blood Garnet
Yellow: Golden Draenite
Blue: Azure Moonstone
Orange: Flame Spessarite
Purple: Shadow Draenite
Green: Deep Peridot

Rare Quality (blue) Gems
Red: Living Ruby
Yellow: Dawnstone
Blue: Star of Elune
Orange: Noble Topaz
Purple: Nightseye
Green: Talasite

Epic Quality (purple) Gems
Red: Crimson Spinel
Yellow: Lionseye
Blue: Empyrean Sapphire
Orange: Pyrestone
Purple: Shadowsong Amethyst
Green: Seaspray Emerald

The Cuts

The vast majority of rare cuts are learned via BOE (bind-on-equip, not BOP/bind-on-pickup) patterns that are world drops and, therefore, unfarmable. (That said, Regal Nightseye is rep-based, and the recipes for Bright and Runed Living Ruby, Solid Star of Elune and Rigid Dawnstone have been added as in-game, BOP drops off of Kael’Thas in Magister’s Terrace, which means only Jewelcrafters who don’t already know these patterns can see and loot them.)

All epic cuts are learned via rep. Either through The Scale of the Sands (Hyjal rep) or Shattered Sun Offensive rep.

Please think of the insane amount of money your JC probably spent to get the pattern that allows him or her to do your specific cut. Please think of the insane rep grinds he or she has gone through to achieve the rep needed to buy the recipes. (It’s 6g per recipe through Scale of the Sands and 50g per recipe through Shattered Sun Offensive, without taking 5/10/15/20% rep discounts into account.) This is why we (typically) charge 5g for a blue, 10g for a meta and 15g for an epic gem cut. Doesn’t cost us anything to cut your gem, of course, but it cost us obscene amounts of time and money to get to the point that we can cut your gems for you.

Anyways, with that out of the way, now that you know the names and colours of the gems, let’s get to the cuts.

Across the board, red gems can be categorized as offensive (ie: agility, AP, spell damage), blue gems as defensive (stamina, mp5, spirit) and yellow gems as sort of a mix of the two. Thus, combining colours (ie: red and blue) will combine those types of stats (ie: agility and stam). This is why there are no pure damage blue gems and no pure defensive red gems. But put them together and you get the Glowing purple gems (+spell damage and +stamina) or the Shifting purple gems (+agility and +stamina). Yellow gems are all about stacking a single stat – this is the colour of gem you’re looking for if you want pure crit, hit, haste, defense, intellect or resilience. (Note that by crit, hit and haste, I also mean the spell equivalents.)

Here are the basic cuts per colour, which persist through all three levels of gem quality.

Red Cuts
Bold – strength
Bright – AP
Delicate – agility
Runed – spell damage
Teardrop – healing

Yellow Cuts
Brilliant – intellect
Gleaming – spell crit
Great – spell hit
Rigid – hit
Smooth – crit
Thick – defense

Blue Cuts
Lustrous – mp5
Solid – stamina
Sparkling – spirit
Stormy – spell penetration

Glinting – hit/agility
Inscribed – crit/strength
Luminous – healing/intellect
Potent – spell crit/spell damage
Veiled – spell hit/spell damage
Wicked – crit/AP

Balanced – AP/stamina
Glowing – spell damage/stamina
Infused – AP/mp5
Royal – healing/mp5
Shifting – agility/stamina
Sovereign – strength/stamina

Dazzling – mp5/intellect
Enduring – defense/stamina
Jagged – crit/stam
Radiant – spell crit/spell penetration

Those are the vast majority of the different kinds of cuts. All that differs is the numbers attached to those stats. Obviously, the better quality the gem, the better the stats. For instance, a Delicate Blood Garnet is only 6 agility, compared to the Delicate Living Ruby‘s 8 agility and the Delicate Crimson Spinel‘s 10 agility dwarfs them both. Generally, by the way, when speaking of pure stats along those lines, you’ll find 6 to be the common number for the green-quality gems, 8 for the blue-qualities and 10 for the purple-qualities. Exceptions are many, from stamina to spell damage, but that’s a pretty decent guideline.

Cuts Restricted to Rare and Epic Gems

Of course, there are some rare-quality cuts that are not available for uncommon-quality gems.

Red Cuts – Living Ruby/Crimson Spinel
Flashing – parry rating
Subtle – dodge rating

Yellow Cuts – Dawnstone/Lionseye
Mystic – resilience
Quick – spell haste

Blue Cuts – Star of Elune/Empyrean Sapphire
All blue cuts currently available on a rare or epic gem are available on an uncommon gem.

Orange – Noble Topaz/Pyrestone
Reckless – spell haste/spell damage

Purple – Nightseye/Shadowsong Amethyst
Regal – dodge rating/stamina (Nightseye only!)
Purified – healing/spirit (2.4.2 – Shadowsong Amethyst, Jaggal Pearls and Shadow Pearls only!)

Green – Talasite/Seaspray Emerald
Forceful – spell haste/stamina
Steady – resilience/stamina

Bear in mind that the Regal Nightseye is the only new 2.4 cut that is only available on a rare-quality gem (requiring Revered with the Shattered Sun Offensive, no less!). As of yet, there is no Regal Shadowsong Amethyst. Further, the Forceful, Steady, Quick and Reckless cuts for rare-quality gems, such as Talasites, Dawnstones and Noble Topazes, are available as of 2.4.2 on the JC vendor and require a Revered reputation with the Shattered Sun Offensive.

Other Gems (Pearls/Metas)

“But Kurn,” you say, “what about pearls and meta gems?”

Oh, right, right. I did mean to mention them briefly.

A Jaggal Pearl can be cut (with a Purified Draenic Water) into a Purified Jaggal Pearl, which adds to healing and spirit. Knowing it takes from red stats and blue stats, we already know without looking at the tooltip that this is categorized as a Purple gem and can fit in a red or blue socket. Similarly, a Shadow Pearl can be cut and purified into a Purified Shadow Pearl. As of 2.4.2, there is such a cut in epic-quality; Purified Shadowsong Amethyst, the pattern is available from the JC vendor with a Shattered Sun Offensive rep of Exalted. (No water needed!)

Meta gems (complete list here) are special gems that only fit into meta sockets which, thus far, only appears on some pieces of head armor. The two raw meta gems are Skyfire Diamond and Earthstorm Diamond and these are created by an alchemist transmuting 4 primals (2 fire/2 air for Skyfire, 2 earth/2 water for Earthstorm) and 9 uncommon-quality (3 each of azure moonstone, blood garnet and flame spessaire for Skyfire and 3 each of deep peridot, golden draenite and shadow draenite for Earthstorm) gems together. This is a 23-hour cooldown.

A note about activating meta gems! All meta gems have some sort of gem requirement to “be activated”. The Insightful Earthstorm Diamond, for instance, requires at least 2 of each colour gem. But that does not necessarily mean six separate gems!

The mixed colour gems count for both colours at the same time. Thus, if I’m trying to activate my Insightful Earthstorm Diamond and I only have four sockets on my gear, I can still work it so that I have two of each colour. (This may screw with socket bonuses, but ultimately, I always sacrifice socket bonuses for a meta gem.)

So I’m a holy paladin. Say I have Justicar Diadem and Justicar Chestpiece. That’s one red socket, one yellow socket, two blue sockets and one meta socket.

In order to hit two of each colour, while using healing gems and only having four sockets to work with, I would choose the following rare-quality gems:

2x Luminous Noble Topaz
2x Royal Nightseye

One Topaz in the helm, both Nightseyes in the blue sockets on the chest and other Topaz in the yellow socket on the chest. The Topazes count as 2x red and 2x yellow, whereas the Nightseyes count as 2x red and 2x blue. Thus, I have satisfied the 2x each gem colour requirement for my meta gem and the socket bonuses on both my helm and chest. (The helm one is, IMHO, worthwhile, but the chest one isn’t thrilling.)

Let’s see, I covered colours, names, cuts, source of patterns, pearls, metas and sockets. I think that sums it up for about now. :)

Thanks for reading,

Kurn :)
(Edited: 05/18/08 with 2.4/2.4.2 updates.)