From Diablo Wiki
This article has two archived sections.
Gem Archive Pre-Game
The original Gem Archive was created in May 2012 when the game launched. The early information covered all knowledge about gems during development and up to Diablo 3's launch, and became obsolete due to many changes to gems at the game's launch. Those early infos included additional gem types (sapphires and diamonds), different gem properties, different gem ranks/names, and different graphics. See that full archive below.
The more recent Gem Archive was stored in March 2014 when D3v2 brought Loot 2.0 and all new gem upgrade recipes, a change to when/how gems drop, the end of easy gem acquisition due to the shutdown of the Auction House, and the addition of the Diamond gem type. Reaper of Souls built on that with four higher ranks of gems, and thus much of the Diablo 3 vanilla gem information became obsolete. It is archived on this page as well.
- 1 Diablo 3 Vanilla Gem Archive
- 2 Pre-Game Gem Archive
Diablo 3 Vanilla Gem Archive
Gems are small objects that grant bonuses when socketed into items. There are four types of gems in Diablo III; Amethysts, Emeralds, Rubies and Topazes, which are found in 15 levels of quality. (The 15th, Marquise, was added in Patch 1.0.7.) Only the first eight levels can be found from monsters or chests, with Flawless Squares the highest quality (and the only type that drops in Inferno). Higher levels of gems can only be crafted (for a price) by the Jeweler, and the costs grow and accumulate impressively.
Creating a level 14 gem is quite a chore. The total costs, assuming a starting point in Inferno where Flawless Squares drop, is 729 Flawless Squares, 15,400,000 gold and 1631 Tomes of Secret, for each Radiant Star gem. Making a Marquise Gem triples that, plus another 20m for the upgrade cost.
Gems can only be used in sockets, and there is no way in Diablo 3 to add a socket to an item unless it spawns there in the original roll. (The Jeweler could add sockets pre-game, but that ability was removed before launch.)
Diablo III Gems
Gems in Diablo 3 have evolved during the game's development. Though the concept of 14 levels of quality has remained constant, the types of gems, their names and graphics, and the materials and costs to upgrade them have evolved repeatedly.
- See the Gems archive info for full details on their development.
A socket in a weapon is considered almost essential, at the end game. Rubies were always popular at low or mid levels, and they became much more useful in Patch 1.0.7 when their values in weapons were considerably upgraded. That said, Emeralds are the weapon socket of choice for most high levels character, especially those with a healthy Critical hit Chance value. Amethysts are a not unheard of for Hardcore players or for Follower weapons, to grant life on hit.
Sockets in helms are nearly as popular as sockets in weapons.
- Rubies are the most popular for the +%experience per kill. This bonus was irrelevant in the end game until the debut of the Paragon system, at which point it became much sought after.
- Amethysts are popular, especially for Hardcore characters, since the +%life bonus is a huge source of hit points, leveraging already high vitality bonuses.
- Topaz are also sought for the Magic Find bonus, while gold farmers may enjoy Emeralds for that bonus.
- The Topaz vs. Ruby debate is an interesting one, since high level players mostly seek paragon levels for the 3% bonus to Magic Find and Gold Find per level. Yet an affordable Star topaz grants 25% Magic Find, which is equivalent to the MF gain of more than 8 Paragon levels.
- Diamonds will come with Reaper of Souls and will reduce cooldown.
All other items are given the "other" designation. Sockets are found in rare and magical pants, chest armor, off-hand items (such as quivers, mojos, orbs, shields, etc) amulets, and rings, but not in shoulders, bracers, belts, or boots. (A few legendary and set items add sockets to other pieces of armor, such as the socket in Ice Climbers boots or Tasker and Theo gloves.)
Softcore players almost always go for +damage via a boost to their mainstat.
- Emeralds for dexterity for Demon Hunters and Monks.
- Rubies for strength for Barbarians.
- Topaz for intelligence for Wizards and Witch Doctors.
Hardcore characters often use Amethysts to boost their vitality, though many go for +main stat as well.
Gems can be upgraded by the Jeweler, for a price. First of all, the Jeweler needs to be trained to his maximum level in order to craft the highest level gems. Even then, he can only upgrade gems to the 11th quality level, and just be taught the 4 highest tiers in each gem type by Designs that drop from monsters or objects. Jeweler Designs and Blacksmith Plans dropped very rarely until Patch 1.0.7 buffed their drop rates 4x.
All plans and designs can also be purchased from the Auction House, where their prices have steadily dropped over time. (When new recipes are introduced in patches, such as the level 63 items and Marquise gems in Patch v1.0.7, their values were very high for a day or two, before falling rapidly.)
All gem upgrades cost gold, and most require some materials as well. Lower level recipes are quite cheap in terms of gold and materials, and only require 2 gems to upgrade to the next level. Higher level gems require a lot of gold and materials, and it takes 3 gems to make 1 of the next rank. At the 2 > 1 upgrade ratio introduced in v1.03 (prior to that all upgrades were 3 > 1, plus much higher gold prices), it would require 256 chipped gems and 570 gold to create 1 Flawless Square (which is the highest gem that drops), though no one actually collects that many chipped gems since higher quality gems can easily be found.
When considering upgrade prices, bear in mind the cumulative costs, which are listed in the last column of the table below. For example, the price to make the 14th level gem, a Radiant Star, is 400k gold + 20 Tomes of Secret + 3 Flawless Stars. That doesn't sound so bad, until you realize that each of those Flawless Stars had to be made from requires 3 Perfect Stars, and 9 Flawless Stars, and 27 Stars, and so on, down to the Flawless Squares that form the base of the gem economy.
Furthermore, the Auction House price for gems and Tomes of Secret may be quite high, depending on supply and demand, and can run much more in total than the Jeweler's fees.
It requires a total of 729 Flawless Squares, 1631 Tomes of Secret, and 15,400,000 gold to make a single Radiant Star, not counting the gold required to upgrade the Jeweler in the first place, or to obtain the three highest level plans for each gem. Even assuming you had all the Flawless Squares, Tomes of Secret, and over 15 million gold in your stash, creating a Radiant Star would still take you 243 clicks on the Jeweler's upgrade bar. At 3 seconds per click, that's 729 seconds, or close to 12 minutes doing nothing but clicking the "Upgrade" bar in the Jeweler's interface. (An automated queue system was added to allow multi-crafting with a single in patch 1.0.7.)
|Gem Result||Gold Cost||Gems Required||Materials||Cumulative Cost |
|1 Flawed||10 gold||2 Chipped||None||Find them.|
|1 Regular||25 gold||2 Flawed||None||Find them.|
|1 Flawless||40 gold||2 Regular||None||Find them.|
|1 Perfect||55 gold||2 Flawless||1 page of Jewelcrafting||Find them.|
|1 Radiant||70 gold||2 Perfects||1 Page of Jewelcrafting||Find them.|
|1 Square||85 gold||2 Radiant||1 Tome of Jewelcrafting||Find them.|
|1 Flawless Square||100 gold||2 Squares||1 Tome of Jewelcrafting||Find them.|
|1 Perfect Square||30,000 gold||3 Flawless Squares||3 Tomes of Secret|| 30k gold & 3 ToS|
(3 Flawless Squares)
|1 Radiant Square||50,000 gold||3 Perfect Squares||6 Tomes of Secret|| + 30k gold & 3 ToS|
+ 30k gold & 3 ToS
+ 30k gold & 3 ToS
+ 50k gold & 6 ToS
= 140k gold & 15 ToS
(9 Flawless Squares)
|1 Star||80,000 gold||3 Radiant Squares||9 Tomes of Secret|| 140k gold & 15 ToS|
+ 140k gold & 15 ToS
+ 140k gold & 15 ToS
+ 80k gold & 9 ToS
= 500k gold & 54 ToS
(27 Flawless Squares)
| 1 Flawless Star
||100,000 gold||3 Stars||12 Tomes of Secret|| 500k gold & 54 ToS|
+ 500k gold & 54 ToS
+ 500k gold & 54 ToS
+ 100k gold & 12 ToS
= 1600k gold & 174 ToS
(81 Flawless Squares)
|1 Perfect Star||200,000 gold||3 Flawless Stars||15 Tomes of Secret|| 1600k gold & 174 ToS|
+ 1600k gold & 174 ToS
+ 1600k gold & 174 ToS
+ 200k gold & 15 ToS
= 5000k gold & 537 ToS
(243 Flawless Squares)
|1 Radiant Star||400,000 gold||3 perfect stars,||20 Tomes of Secret|| 5000k gold & 537 ToS|
+ 5000k gold & 537 ToS
+ 5000k gold & 537 ToS
+ 400k gold & 20 ToS
= 15400k gold & 1631 ToS
(729 Flawless Squares)
|1 Marquise Gem||20,000,000 gold||3 Radiant Star Gems||10 Demonic Essence|| 66.2 million gold|
+ 4893 Tomes of Secret
+ 2187 Flawless Square Gems
+ 10 Demonic Essence
Full List of Gem Properties
|Icon||Name||Item Level||Required Level||Description||Flavor||Other||Type||Slot|
Marquise Gems were added in Patch 1.0.7 as the new, highest level gem. They are meant to serve as something of a gold sink, with a considerably higher creation cost than earlier levels of gems, despite adding only marginally to the function.
Marquise require 3 Radiant Stars + 20m gold + 10 Demonic Essences to create. They cost 5m per gem to remove from a socket. (Prices greatly reduced in D3v2.
- Weapon: Increased Critical Hit Damage by 110%
- Helm: +33% Extra Gold from Monsters
- Armor: +62 Dexterity
- Weapon: Melee attackers take 2500 per hit
- Helm: 33% Better chance of finding magical items
- Armor: +62 Intelligence
- Weapon: Each Hit adds +700 Life
- Helm: +19% Life
- Armor: +62 Vitality
- Weapon: +160 Minimum and +160 Maximum Damage
- Helm: Increases Bonus Experience by 33%
- Armor: +62 Strength
Patch 1.0.7 introduced Marquise Gems and also reworked Rubies, greatly increasing their damage when socketed in weapons. This was intended to make them a viable alternative to Emeralds, and did for some characters. (Rubies are better for characters with low Critical hit Chance, and some characters with very fast attacks.
From the official patch notes:
All ruby gems have had their weapon bonuses increased (these changes will apply to both existing rubies, as well as new rubies):
- Chipped Ruby: +3 minimum damage/+3 maximum damage (up from +2/+2)
- Flawed Ruby: +6 minimum damage/+6 maximum damage (up from +4/+4)
- Ruby: +9 minimum damage/+9 maximum damage (up from +8/+8)
- Flawless Ruby: +12 minimum damage/+12 maximum damage (up from +10/+10)
- Perfect Ruby: +15 minimum damage/+15 maximum damage (up from +11/+11)
- Radiant Ruby: +18 minimum damage/+18 maximum damage (up from +12/+12)
- Square Ruby: +21 minimum damage/+21 maximum damage (up from +13/+13)
- Flawless Square Ruby: +25 minimum damage/+25 maximum damage (up from +14/+14)
- Perfect Square Ruby: +30 minimum damage/+30 maximum damage (up from +15/+15)
- Radiant Square Ruby: +40 minimum damage/+40 maximum damage (up from +16/+16)
- Star Ruby: +60 minimum damage/+60 maximum damage (up from +17/+17)
- Flawless Star Ruby: +80 minimum damage/+80 maximum damage (up from +18/+18)
- Perfect Star Ruby: +100 minimum damage/+100 maximum damage (up from +19/+19)
- Radiant Star Ruby: +130 minimum damage/+130 maximum damage (up from +20/+20)
- Marquise Ruby: +160 minimum damage/+160 maximum damage.
These rubies have also had their bonus damage calculations changed, and will now add damage flatly to both the minimum and maximum values on weapons:
- For example, if you have a weapon that does 150-200 damage and you socket a Perfect Square Ruby (which adds +30 minimum damage/+30 maximum damage), your weapon will do 180-230 damage.
Future Gem Changes
Further gem changes and modifications are expected in future patches and expansions.
For instance, the developers have discussed entirely reworking the reflects damage / thorns system, which would involve greatly buffing or reworking the bonuses granted by Topaz gems in weapons.
Pre-Game Gem Archive
A graphic was shown at the Crafting Sanctuary panel at Blizzcon 2010 that displayed six types of gems: Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Topazes, Amethysts and Diamonds. Skull gems were not shown. Diamonds and Sapphires were removed before the beta, and the planned item bonuses reapportioned to the four remaining gems.
Creating and Spending Gems
According to the official Caravan FAQ it sounds as if the Jeweler will have a way to create gems.
- The Jeweler crafts gems, amulets, and rings. The jeweler can also remove gems from socketed items and can combine gems to improve their quality.
But in the official Blizzard Jeweler page  his three services do not include crafting anything.
- Combine Gems
- Add Sockets
- Remove Gems
That does not rule the use of gems in other things. Bashiok alluded to other gem purposes, in a forum post in August 2010.
One key fact to consider is that in Diablo III, gems (and other socketables) can be removed from sockets, by the Jeweler, without losing the gem or the item. (Though this may grow quite expensive  with higher level gems.) This was not the case in Diablo II, where runes, gems, and jewels were in an item forever, or were destroyed by the unsocket recipe. This change fundamentally alters the upgrading project, since instead of gems sitting useless in your stash until they are all the way to the top level (as they did in Diablo 2), characters in Diablo III will be using their highest level gems all the time, and gaining considerable benefits from the gem before unsocketing it and combining it to create the next higher level gem, which then goes back into the item.
Little is yet known of the bonuses gems will provide. It's widely-assumed that the higher level gems will grant very high bonuses, and that the bonuses won't simply increase at say, +3 per level. That doesn't seem like enough of an improvement to make the months and months of collecting and upgrading required to create a L14 gem worth it.
As for what the gems will provide bonuses to, that's also unknown. Jay Wilson commented on this from Gamescom 2010:
- in.Diablo.d3: Can you tell us about gem stats?
- Jay Wilson: They work much as they did in D2. They have fixed stats depending on which type of item you put them into. We largely copied what D2 did, but not exactly since our itemization is different and stating is different. For example, most of our classes don’t have mana, so that wouldn’t work. But things like casting speed and strength and such are there.
The naming convention for gems in Diablo III is similar to how it worked in Diablo II. The first four levels are the same, with "radiant" replacing "perfect" for the fifth level. After the first five there are square, round, and star gems that repeat the top three quality levels.
- Level 1 - Chipped
- Level 2 - Flawed
- Level 3 - Regular
- Level 4 - Flawless
- Level 5 - Perfect
- Level 6 - Radiant
- Level 7 - Square
- Level 8 - Flawless Square
- Level 9 - Perfect Square
- Level 10 - Radiant Square
- Level 11 - Star
- Level 12 - Flawless Star
- Level 13 - Perfect Star
- Level 14 - Radiant Star
With the GamesCom 2011 announcements came a new visual for Gem level progression, which shows different graphics for each individual gem.
Gems were set to upgrade all along, but initially the developers planned on a 3 > 1 ratio for all levels. (This was eventually lowered to 2 > 1 for the first seven tiers, which also had their gold costs cut dramatically in Patch 1.03.)
Gems are upgraded by the Jeweler, rather than players doing it themselves with a Horadric Cube, as in Diablo 2.
Gems stack up in Diablo III, making them take up less stash space. Initially they were set to stack to 10 high in a single inventory space. This was later raised to 30 for launch, and increased again to 100 in a later patch.
Initially, gems were only going to be found at level 1-5, which would have made upgrading them all the way to level 14 quite a task. At the 3 > 1 ratio, that would have required 1,594,323 level 1 gems to make a single level 14 gem (3^(14 - 1)). The length of that becomes absurd when you consider it would have taken 664 hours of nonstop clicking simply to upgrade that many times, at one upgrade per second.
The maths isn't quite as daunting going from level 5 gems. In that case it only requires 19,683 level 5 gems to make one level 14 gem. Happily, Jay Wilson said that they're were open to tweaking the formulae, and in fact the developers did, though in reverse of the Diablo II system of rune upgrading. In that game high level runes became cheaper, and only required 2 to combine to the next level. Diablo III took the opposite approach with gems and lowered the upgrade costs in gold and just 2 > 1 for the lower 6 levels, while the top 7 still require 3 > 1.
It’s possible it may feel crappy or we need to add something to help jump gaps, or, who knows. It’s all very unproven at the moment, but we think provides a nice long term goal anyone can work toward just by killing monsters and picking up gems.
Also the trading game and millions of people playing for months is going to make them a lot more attainable than they may seem when throwing out numbers like 19,000.
Gems do not have a Clvl requirement to use, and they are intended to be very useful as twinked items. 
There may be some interesting complications with this though.
Changing Gem Bonuses
Until the beta, little was known of the bonuses gems will provide. It was assumed that the higher level gems would grant very high bonuses, to make the huge costs of upgrading worthwhile. This turned out not to be the case, with higher level gems generally just adding another few points to various stats, but players value them anyway as every stat point helps.
What particular bonuses gems would provide varied during development, as Jay Wilson detailed during an interview at Gamescom 2010:
Early Known Gem Bonuses
The first sighting of gem stats came from the Artisan Video from Gamescom 2010 . That gem was socketed into a shield (shields do not have sockets in the final game) and the hover text showed its potential bonuses:
- Weapon: +4% Casting Speed. (This bonus was changed to Critical Hit damage before release.)
- Helms: Attackers take 7 damage.
- Other: +7 dexterity
In the Diablo 2 expansion, a level 3 emerald grants:
- Weapons: 17 poison damage over 1 second
- Armor & Helms: +6 dexterity.
- Shields: +22% Poison Resistance
- Clvl 12 required for all
The numerical bonuses (but not the type of bonus) from gems changed from D2C to D2X, but clearly there are major differences in more than the numbers. Diablo 3 grants entirely different types of bonuses, and categorizes the socketable items differently as well; helms/armor no longer share the same bonuses.
These changes are largely due to the game's different combat mechanics and character requirements, but were also somewhat required by the different itemization issues. For instance, Sapphires in helms/armor grant +mana in Diablo 2, but +mana isn't a viable bonus in Diablo 3, since only the Witch Doctor has mana for a resource. Even considering that, the changes to the Emerald are quite large. In Diablo 2, most gems provided resistance in shields and elemental damage in weapons. Emeralds in D3 do neither of those things.
More Gem Stats
More gem stats were seen in ninja photos from the Blizzcon 2010 demo. At that point the current version of the game had a whole new (and short-lived) system of attributes, so the stats were out of date, and then later came back in-date.
Chipped (level 1) Ruby granted:
- Weapon: Spells deal 10% more damage
- Helm: +2% Chance to Block
- Other: +2 Strength
Flawed (level 2) Amethyst granted:
- Weapon: +0,03 Attacks Per Second
- Helms: +3% Movement Speed
- Other: +2 to all Attributes
It is possible that it is always the bonus granted from the gem a level below it + the level of the current gem that decides how much bonus a given gem gives to an attribute. So a Emerald would give 4 (the bonus to an attribute granted from a Flawed Emerald) + 3 (the level, 3 out of 14, of the Emerald) = 7.
Another example would be a Flawed Ruby would give 2 (the attribute bonus from the Chipped Ruby) + 2 (the level of the Flawed Ruby) = 4.
A more complete formula to discover any attribute bonus simply from the level of the gem is (n * (n + 1) / 2) + 1, where n is the level of the gem (from 1 to 14).
If this theory holds true, then a maxed out Radiant Star (level 14) Ruby (or any gem that increases an attribute would give +106 Strength if it was socketed into something other than a weapon or a helm, which is a upgrade from the Flawless Star (level 13) Ruby that would give 92 Strength. (This estimation proved incorrect, with highest level gems only granting 58 attribute bonus.)