Diablo 3 Jewelcrafting costs for perfect square gems and above
*update aug 2012* Since this article was published, a lot has changed in the gem market. You can no longer reliably make money combining gems, but you might be able to make more money combining gems, than selling the flawless square ones on their own. Read my updated article for a more recent look at the diablo 3 gem market*update*
I did some number crunching this morning and the results I came up with were pretty interesting. At first I thought people were selling at a loss, but once again economic theory came through. Turns out you CAN actually make money by selling gems….you just need to be smart about it!
This is further strengthened by the fact that there is going to be some serious inflation over these next few weeks. So you are much better off being invested in and flipping goods and merchandise, instead of just being all in gold and being in the market. The goods will appreciate in price (a radiant square gem will go up in price in time), while the buying power of gold will drop (1000 gold will buy much less in time).
The costs of crafting gems in D3
This is how much it will cost you to craft the different grades of gems. I have only included the gems that don’t drop as loot. Tome of secrets sell for around 700 gold on the AH:
- Perfect square gem (rank 9): 30,000 gold, 3 tomes of secrets
- Radiant square gem (rank 10): 50,000 gold, 6 tomes of secrets
- Star gem (rank 11): 80,000 gold, 9 tomes of secrets
- Flawless Star gem (rank 12): 100,000 gold, 12 tomes of secrets
- Perfect star gem (rank 13): 200,000 gold, 15 tomes of secrets
- Radiant star gem (rank 14): 400,000 gold, 20 tomes of secrets
I had a look at the EU gem market this morning and noted down some prices on perfect square, radiant square and star gems for all 4 colours.
Price of perfect square gems in D3
- Amethyst: 63,000 gold
- Emerald: 66,000 gold
- Ruby: 69,000 gold
- Topaz: 63,000 gold
Price of radiant square gems in D3
- Amethyst: 243,000 gold
- Emerald: 256,000 gold
- Ruby: 274,000 gold
- Topaz: 242,000 gold
Price of star gems in D3
- Amethyst: 866,000 gold
- Emerald: 978,000 gold
- Ruby: 916,000 gold
- Topaz: 948,000 gold
That all looks pretty good: There isn’t any clear winner between the gems. People seem to prefer Rubies, but not so much that the prices have dropped on the others. Gems upgrade in multiples of threes, so the increase in value as we go up in grades is what is expected. The star emerald gem is probably an outlier in terms of price, since the market is very shallow. So the prices are also pretty similar on the star gem market.
If you buy three gems, combine them and sell the new gem, you need to have your costs of raw materials (the 3 gems + tomes of secrets) covered, you need to cover the crafting fee and you need to cover the 15% commodity fee! For example, going with the prices and costs above:
- We buy 3 flawless square amethyst. They cost 4,000 gold each this morning. That’s 12,000 gold.
- You combine them to a perfect square gem. This costs 30,000 gold and 3 tomes of secrets. So a cost of 32,000 gold all in all.
- Total cost so far is 44,000 gold. In order to cover the 15% commodities fee, we need to sell at: 44,000 / 0.85 = 51,764 gold.
- Perfect square amethysts sell for 63,000 gold. If we sell at this price, we get a profit of: (63,000 * 0,85) – 44,000 = 9,550 gold. This is pretty good and could net you a couple of hundred thousand gold a day, if you set a competitive price.
The example for amethyst also applies to emerald, ruby, and topaz. So you can make a profit, but it ranges between 3,000-7,000 gold.
The problem is that this doesn’t scale up just like that. If you start buying and combining perfect square amethysts to form radiant square gems you end up selling at a loss. To continue the example:
- We buy 3 perfect square amethyst at 63,000 gold. That’s 189,000 gold.
- We combine them at a cost of 54,500 gold. Total cost so far 243,500 gold.
- We need to sell them for 243,500 / 0,85 = 286,471 gold to cover the commodities fee. They sell for 243,000 and you will lose money on selling them.
However, all is not lost!
This is how you make money on gems in D3
First and foremost, you can’t buy gems, combine them to the next level and flip them. What you need to do is buy flawless square gems and combine these to form perfect square gems and then you use those to form star gems and so on. You can’t take shortcuts here, you need to start at the bottom and work your way up! If you do that you can actually make money on gems and jewelcrafting!
If we continue the example above and intend to make star gems from “scratch”:
- We buy 27 flawless square amethyst gem. If we are smart and patient about buying these, we can get all of them for 4,000 each. Total cost 108,000 gold.
- We use these to make 9 perfect square amethyst gems. That costs 9 * 32,500 = 292,500 gold.
- We use these to make 3 radiant square amethyst gems. That costs 3 * 55,000 gold = 165,000 gold.
- We use these to make a star amethyst gem. That costs us 87,000 gold.
- Total cost is 652,500 gold. To cover the commodities fee you need to sell it for 652,500 / 0,85 = 767,647 gold. They sell for 866,000 gold. A profit of 98,353 gold.
That is pretty decent, but they won’t sell fast at this point in time. However, it does lend credibility to my earlier suggestions, of using your jeweler to make money on the D3 AH.
As the economy matures and people start being smart about the AH, the margins of profit for doing this will slowly erode. So be smart and fast about it and use it while you can!
The TLDR guide to making money on the Diablo 3 AH using jewelcrafting
Buy flawless square gems slowly over time and combine them to form the highest possible gem you can craft. Then sell it for profit. Just don’t forget to cover your 15% commodities fee!
For a straight up Diablo 3 goldfarming guide, check out the Diablo3farming guide to NM gold farming.
For the latest AH money making opportunity, be sure to read the Diablo 3 AH strategy guide.