Noncrafter's Guide to Jewelcrafting (WoW)  

The exciting new profession with the Burning Crusade expansion has a lot of people confused still. What does it do? How does it work?

There are plenty of guides for jewelcrafting...for would-be jewelcrafters. This guide is for anyone who does *NOT* cut gems, so they can understand the ins and outs of the trade to get what they need. This is not a guide for how to be a jewelcrafter.

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What is jewelcrafting for?

In the expansion - and only in the expansion - are items with "sockets". These sockets can have gems inserted into them that add various bonuses. If you have a socketable item, you can shift-right click it to enter a special screen that lets you add gems you might have.

Jewelcrafting additionally allows you to create select rings, necklaces, and trinkets. This is a secondary aspect to the trade, although the gems for socket items do not start until a skill of 300. Up until then, the jewelry is all jewelcrafting makes.

Are there different gems?

Every socket has a color associated with it: red, yellow, blue, or sometimes the special meta socket. The only gems that can be found anywhere in Outland are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and a few rare special gems that are meant to go in specific sockets. You do not have to match the socket colors. More on that later.

Each gem has a few different ways that you can cut it, which give different bonuses.

For example:

Each of those bonuses are separate, but any one of them can be created from the same basic gem.

If there are only red, yellow and blue sockets, what are the orange, green and purple gems for?

The three secondary colors are combinations of two primary colors. In your sockets, they count as both colors, and they have a bonus identical (but half as strong) as one of the attributes available on their two parent colors.

For example, the basic orange gem, Flame Spessarite, can have a combination of one red bonus and one yellow bonus. This could be a combined strength and crit rating bonus, or spell damage and spell crit, or healing and intellect. Most meaningful combinations are available.

The hybrid gems are very helpful for when you actually want to match the socket colors, but you have preference for a difference color's gems. Most non-tanks like red gems, so if you have a blue socket, you might use a purple (blue+red) gem to fill that slot.

So where do I get a gem?

If you mine, you can potentially get uncut gems the old-fashioned way. Otherwise, you're going to need to get lucky looting chests or buy them out of the auction house. Obviously, if you have an uncut gem, you're going to need to seek the help of a Jewelcrafter, so if you're going to buy from the AH, you might just as easily get a cut gem rather than the raw version.

There are also some "cut" gems sold at select vendors. You'll find Gem Vendors in a couple places in Outland that have low-quality versions of a few of the gems a Jewelcrafter could make. Also, some of the quartermasters offer gems as a reward for arena points or spirit shards or the like.

If you want to know where jewelcrafters get gems, since they would be in such short supply, JC'ers have a skill called Prospecting that lets them destroy 5 pieces of ore to look through it for gems. They typically get one gem for a prospect, but can sometimes get up to three.

Are there different levels of gems?

Yes. In addition to the low-quality gems from the Gem Vendors, there are two levels of gem cuts that jewelcrafters can fashion. Each color has one gem that is green text, and one that is blue. I will refer to these as Tier 1 and Tier 2. Both have the same exact patterns with the same exact bonuses (except there are a few that are Tier 2 only,) with the only difference being how big a bonus they give.

The Tier 1 gems are much easier to come by, and should be fairly inexpensive. Nearly all of the patterns are either vendor-bought or reputation rewards, with only a couple of dropped recipes. The tier 2 gems are much rarer, require a much higher skill (350), and almost every single one of the 30+ patterns is a drop. As a result, if you are not getting a very permanent piece of equipment socketed, it is probably best to stick to the T1 gems. They will be easier to find and much more economical.

T2 gems have about an additional 33% of the bonus that the T1 gems have.

There is also a third level of gems introduced from high-end raiding content. We'll call that Tier 3, but you should not expect to ever see these gems unless you are in a high-end raiding guild.

What are the gems called?

The gems, by color, are:

Color Tier 1 Tier 2
Red Blood Garnet Living Ruby
Orange Flame Spessarite Noble Topaz
Yellow Golden Draenite Dawnstone
Green Deep Peridot Talasite
Blue Azure Moonstone Star of Elune
Purple Shadow Draenite Nightseye
If you want any of these gems at the auction house, you will need to search them by these names. Remember, orange counts as red and yellow, green counts as yellow and blue, and purple is blue and red.

But you don't actually have to match the socket colors?

Correct. Only if you want the socket bonus.

What's a socket bonus?

Every socketed item has a "Socket Bonus" that is a reward for filling the sockets in correctly. If you are a warlock that cares about damage over time spells, and the 3 spell crit bonus for filling in a yellow and blue gem isn't important to you, you might just put two red gems in that add pure +spell damage since it means more to you. The only reason you need to match colors is for the socket bonus. The exception to this is meta sockets.

What are meta sockets?

Some select items, especially head gear and high-end set gear, have sockets called "Meta Sockets". These are for special gems, and you can NOT put other gems in those. Meta gems are very rare -- in fact, they can't be mined or found in chests, and most have to be transmuted. As a result meta gems can be very expensive. But the bonuses they give are generally stronger than a standard gem. For example, a Bracing Earthstorm Diamond adds +26 healing and -2% threat generation. Compare this to a Teardrop Living Ruby that just adds +18 healing.

There's one slight catch: meta gems have additional requirements, and items with meta sockets have a meta bonus that also has requirements. Most of them are along the lines of "Must have 2 yellow gems and 1 red gem" or "Must have more Blue gems than Red gems." If you see one of these requirements, it means across ALL of your gear and not just that item.

OK, enough already. What bonuses can I get from all these gems?

How to read this chart: All gems consist of the gem name with a prefix. For example, Flashing Living Ruby is a Living Ruby (red gem) that has been cut with the "Flashing" pattern that gives it a parry rating bonus. All stats given are for tier 2 quality gems.

Purpose RedOrangeYellowGreenBluePurple
TankFlashing: 8 parry
(Tier 2 only)

Subtle: 8 dodge rating (Tier 2 only)
-Thick: 8 defenseEnduring: 4 defense, 6 staminaSolid: 12 stamina-
Physical DamageBold: 8 strength

Delicate: 8 agility

Bright: 16 attack power
Inscribed: 4 strength, 4 crit rating

Glinting: 4 agility, 4 hit rating

Wicked: 8 attack power, 4 crit rating
Smooth: 8 crit rating

Rigid: 8 hit rating
Jagged: 4 crit rating, 6 stamina-Sovereign: 6 stamina, 4 strength

Shifting: 6 stamina, 4 agility

Balanced: 6 stamina, 8 attack power

Infused: 2 MP5, 8 attack power
HealerTeardrop: 18 healingLuminous: 9 healing, 4 intellectBrilliant: 8 intellectDazzling: 4 intellect, 2 MP5Lustrous: 3 MP5

Sparkling: 6 spirit
Royal: 2 MP5, 9 healing
Spell OffensiveRuned: 9 spell damagePotent: 5 spell damage, 4 spell crit

Veiled: 5 spell damage, 4 spell hit
Gleaming: 8 spell crit

Great: 8 spell hit
Radiant: 4 spell crit, 6 spell penetrationStormy: 12 spell penetrationGlowing: 6 stamina, 5 spell damage

Printable version of this table

Meta gems:

Gem Primary Benefit Secondary Benefit Requirement
Tenacious Earthstorm Diamond 12 Defense Chance on hit to restore health 5 blue
Powerful Earthstorm Diamond 18 stamina 5% stun resist 5 blue
Relentless Earthstorm Diamond 12 agility +3% crit damage 2 of each color
Brutal Earthstorm Diamond 3 melee damage Chance to stun target 5 of each color
Enigmatic Skyfire Diamond 12 crit 5% snare and root resist More red than yellow
Swift Skyfire Diamond 24 attack power Minor run speed increase 2 yellow, 1 red
Thundering Skyfire Diamond - Chance to increase Melee/Ranged attack 2 of each color
Bracing Earthstorm Diamond 26 healing 2% reduced threat Less blue than red or yellow
Insightful Earthstorm Diamond 12 intellect Chance to restore mana on spellcast 5 of each color
Destructive Skyfire Diamond 14 spell crit 1% spell reflect 5 red
Mystical Skyfire Diamond - 2% chance after casting for next spell instant More blue than yellow

What else do I need to know?

  1. The list above just contains the jewelcrafter-made gems. Some PvP rewards are a little different, and enchanters can make a few "orbs" that fit in any color (besides meta) and give a few points to all resistances.
  2. To make an Earthstorm or Skyfire Diamond takes a transmute from an alchemist that uses a bunch of Tier 1 gems and primals. Alchemists also make Mercurial Stones for the jewelcrafter, which lets them make use of some of the slag they get from prospecting adamantite ore.
  3. When you actually want a gem made, all you need is the actual gem. There are no other materials involved in the combine.

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This page last modified 2008-07-30 16:08:13.