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A gem is generally an item that can be used as an ingredient primarily for Jewelcrafting recipes or placed into a socket of another item to give that item additional bonuses, powers and/or procs. Jewelcrafters can turn raw gems into socket gems or various jewelry items like rings and necklaces. The term "gem" can be used for raw or cut stones, but is often only used to describe cut gems. A gem cannot be removed once it is placed into a socket, however it can be overwritten by another, destroying it in the process.
There are three colored socket types: red, yellow, and blue. Any gem can be placed into any socket, and you will receive the bonus for that gem.
If all the gems' colors match all the sockets' colors on an item, you will receive an additional socket bonus.
Each color is roughly associated with a concept: Red is generally raw power/offense, Yellow for modifiers, and Blue for recovery. More specifically:
|Red gems||Yellow gems||Blue gems|
|Expertise||Critical Strike Rating||Hit Rating|
|Agility||Haste Rating||Spell Penetration|
|Parry Rating||Resilience Rating|
There are three secondary colors:
- Orange - matching Red and Yellow
- Green - matching Yellow and Blue
- Purple - matching Blue and Red
These gems provide bonuses that are approximately half those provided by primary gems, but provide two bonuses, one from each of their color sets.
Lastly, there are meta gems. These only match (and can only be put into) meta sockets.
Gems may be placed by anyone into a item that has a socket via a drag-and-drop interface. Invoke this by shift-right-clicking (hold down the shift key and right click) the weapon or piece of armor you want socketed.
These pages concern the gems specific to the Burning Crusade era.
These pages concern the gems specific to Wrath of the Lich King.
Northrend epic gems can also be purchased:
- Purchased with 165 from Jewelcrafting honor vendors in Stormwind and Orgrimmar:
- Purchased with Justice Points (220 for primary colored gems, 110 for secondary) from vendors in Dalaran:
These pages concern the gems new to Cataclysm.
- Multi-colored gems will match either of their colors when socketed. For example, an orange gem can be used to activate an item bonus with a red or yellow socket.
- Multi-colored gems will count toward both of their colors when activating a meta gem. For example, a meta gem that requires 5 red and 5 yellow gems can be activated with 5 orange gems.
- You can replace a gem already socketed in an item with another one, destroying only the gems you are replacing.
- A gem does not have to match its socket color to count toward a meta gem's bonus.