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Gems are a type of socketable item found in Diablo II, its expansion, and Diablo III. These precious stones embody innate magical abilities. When set into a socketed item, these gems can add powerful magic effects. Higher grades of gems have stronger effects.

Diablo IIEdit

Gem effects are stackable. If you place 3 Gems of the same type in a sword you will receive the bonus of all three. The first Gem that is placed will determine the color of the weapon.

They can only be obtained by killing monsters, opening chests or using a Gem Shrine with no other gem in your inventory. Vendors do not normally sell Gems. If another player in a multiplayer game sells a Gem to a Vendor you may be able to buy it. Vendors also will not typically pay you full price for socketed items.

Once inserted, gems cannot be removed from a socket, although they can be destroyed via a Horadric Cube recipe. The skulls of some demonic creatures, inscribed with eldritch symbols, are said to work much like gems. They were introduced to showcase the socketing system, which was expanded in the Lord of Destruction with the introduction of Runes and Jewels.

There are six types of gems, plus skulls, which are considered by the game to be gems for all purposes:

They come in five levels of increasing quality:

  • Chipped
  • Flawed
  • Normal
  • Flawless
  • Perfect

You can upgrade gems by using a Gem Shrine, with a gem in your inventory, or by using the Horadric Cube. You can use the Horadric Cube to convert gems into higher quality gems. Place 3 Gems of one type into the Horadric Cube and hit the Transmute button.

Diablo IIIEdit

In Diablo III, there are five different types of gems:

They come in nineteen levels of increasing quality. The costs to unsocket a particular quality is also listed below:

  • Chipped
  • Flawed
  • Regular
  • Flawless
  • Perfect
  • Radiant
  • Square
  • Flawless Square
  • Perfect Square
  • Radiant Square
  • Star
  • Flawless Star
  • Perfect Star
  • Radiant Star - 50k gold to unsocket
  • Marquise - 75k gold to unsocket
  • Imperial - 100k gold to unsocket
  • Flawless Imperial - 150k gold to unsocket
  • Royal - 250k gold to unsocket
  • Flawless Royal - 500k gold to unsocket

In Diablo III, the player upgrades gems through interaction with Covetous Shen, a jeweler. He will combine gems (2 gems for Flawed-Flawless Square, 3 for higher ranks, Death's Breath also required for Royal and above) for an increasingly higher price, depending on the quality. Shen also offers to remove socketed gems from items, without destroying either one, also for a price.

Players with access only to the storyline provided by the original Diablo III can freely obtain gems of Chipped-Marquise tier, but require Reaper of Souls if they wish to go further; the Imperial gems and their better counterparts require a lv. 11+ Jeweler and a hero at level 61+, both of which are legitimately impossible to obtain without the expansion pack.

There is also an interesting workaround for those who wish to save their gold on unsocketing. If the items containing the gems desired are not planned to be of use anymore, the player can salvage those items at the blacksmith. The gems are safely returned, free of charge, in addition to receiving the salvaging material appropriate for the item salvaged.

Note that all gems of Marquise quality and above are account-bound, regardless of if they were dropped or crafted.

Upgrade costEdit

Here are 2 tables to represent the cumulative resources required for upgrading Gems from the highest dropped tier to each of higher quality. One pertains to the original Diablo III, while the other is there for players with access to Reaper of Souls (For the purposes of this table, Gems refers to Flawless Square quality.)
Flawless Square -> Perfect Square :   5k                       (   3 Gems )
Perfect Square  -> Radiant Square :   5k  * 3 +  10k =  25k    (   9 Gems )
Radiant Square  -> Star           :   25k * 3 +  20k =  95k    (  27 Gems )
Star            -> Flawless Star  :   95k * 3 +  30k =  315k   (  81 Gems )
Flawless Star   -> Perfect Star   :  315k * 3 +  50k =  995k   ( 243 Gems )
Perfect Star    -> Radiant Star   :  995k * 3 +  75k =  3060k  ( 729 Gems )
Radiant Star    -> Marquise       : 3060k * 3 + 100k =  9280k  (2187 Gems )
(For the purposes of this table, Gems will refer to Marquise quality gems. DB will represent Death's Breath needed)
Marquise -> Imperial: 200k                              (   3 Gems   )
Imperial -> Flawless Imperial: 200k * 3 + 300k = 900k   (   9 Gems   )
Flawless Imperial -> Royal: 900k * 3 + 400k = 3100k     (   27 Gems, 1 DB   )
Royal -> Flawless Royal: 3100k * 3 + 500k = 9800k       (   81 Gems, 4 DB   )

A special note to be taken into consideration is that the table covering Reaper of Souls gem costs assumes that the player does not venture into Master or Torment difficulty. These difficulties offer a chance at Imperial quality gems dropping in addition to Marquise quality gems.

Gems
Diablo IIFlawlessamethyst AmethystFlawlessdiamond DiamondFlawlessemerald EmeraldFlawlessruby RubyFlawlesssaphire SapphireFlawlesstopaz TopazFlawlessskull Skull

Diablo IIIRadiant Star Amethyst AmethystRadiant Star Diamond DiamondRadiant Star Emerald EmeraldRadiant Star Ruby RubyRadiant Star Topaz Topaz

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