Jewelcrafting in Diablo 3. You can actually make money!

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:

  1. We buy 3 flawless square amethyst. They cost 4,000 gold each this morning. That’s 12,000 gold.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. We buy 3 perfect square amethyst at 63,000 gold. That’s 189,000 gold.
  2. We combine them at a cost of 54,500 gold. Total cost so far 243,500 gold.
  3. 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

diablo 3 jeweler - Covetous Shen
Use Covetous Shen – The Diablo 3 jeweler – to make tons of gold

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”:

  1. 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.
  2. We use these to make 9 perfect square amethyst gems. That costs 9 * 32,500 = 292,500 gold.
  3. We use these to make 3 radiant square amethyst gems. That costs 3 * 55,000 gold = 165,000 gold.
  4. We use these to make a star amethyst gem. That costs us 87,000 gold.
  5. 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.

Diablo 3 gold
Be smart about and fast about it and this will be yours!

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.

And be sure to swing by the Diablo3farming Facebook group and the Youtube channel to get previews of content, exclusive videos and tips and tricks.

20 thoughts on “Jewelcrafting in Diablo 3. You can actually make money!”

  1. I’ve been using a similar method. For me it was profitable to buy the tier below and craft the gems but it was even more profitable to buy gems 2 tiers below. Unfortunately, on the US side, commodity trading has been disabled for the past 4-5 days and it pisses me off to no end. I know I can make lots of gold, if only that aspect of the AH worked properly.

  2. Nobody seems to factor in the cost of getting your jeweller to the required level. Add those costs to your business plan and it might tell a different story all together. Besides, even without accounting for the investment in the training of the jeweller, your entry cost for the last option is 655.000 gold. That’s a LOT of gold!

    1. This is very true. The cumulative cost of training the jeweler is 140k gold. Tomes aren’t an issue, but do cost a few thousand for him to level up. Then you need designs…and this is where you will pay a lot.

      In order to make a level 14 gem you will need to buy 243 flawless square gems and combine them to on rank 14 gem. If you can get all flawless square gems at 4k / piece the rank 14 gem will end up costing you 20 mill gold all inclusive. This means you need to sell it at 23,6 mill to break even. People don’t have that kind of money….yet.

      It will come, since you can’t really spend your gold on anything but gear to be able to farm more gold and gear.

  3. I wanted to throw it in there that on the Diablo III page there was an article/update released today. Up to a certain point (I think flawless squares) the gem combiner only will need 2 gems instead of 3. This will be helpful, but I really would have liked to have them reduce combining gold cost down 10-15% as well.

    But then again, I’d love to use the commodity AH, and look how far that wish has gotten these days.

    1. Yeah, I saw that article. It won’t change a thing unless they remove the cost of combining gems or seriously reduces it. Why would you bother combining gems, when you can get a flawless square gem for 4k? 4k is nothing, even for a level 1

      1. He’s point out that if you can buy rock bottom gems for very very cheap, you can make an even greater profit. Where it only takes two to upgrade, you could start at the bottom, and make those flawless square for less than 4k

        1. IF Blizzard removes the crafting fee, then that is a very valid strategy. As it is now, and with the changes they are proposing, the crafting fees look to be the same size as currently. And that won’t enable you to make flawless square gems any cheaper than the ones dropped in inferno and being sold in the AH. There are a ton of gems dropping, so gems will probably be a lot cheaper than they are now.

  4. Well in my mind they need to remove Eternal Gems anyway. Just think of how the market on D3 LOD would have tanked if you could pull your rune words apart and reuse your runes.

    I think gems should have a chance to be removed by paying for it, but not 100% chance, maybe 5% per level of the crafter so that yes those that have put in the training cost have a better shot at getting their stones back. Maybe 7.5% but nothing more.

  5. This market is dry. Sure you can make a bit more for your tomes and gems if you convert them before selling. But I just checked and if you add up the prices to buy the crap to make higher level gems – 15% cut, you are left with pretty much exactly what they are selling at. It is that way all the way to the top at this point even with the dirt cheap flawless squares.

  6. Everything looks awesome except your calculations of percentages are wrong. The part : 44,000 / 0.85 = 51,764 gold. Should be 44,000 * 0.15 = 6,600 + 44,000 = 50,600 gold. But on the plus side at least you made 1164 extra gold in these sales lol.

    1. If you make a sale of 50600, you pay 15% of the final sale value: 15% of 50600 = 7590. 50600 – 7590 = 43010, thus losing you money.

      If you make a sale of 51764, you pay 15% of 51764 = 7764,6. 51764 – 7764,6 = 43999,4.

      You pay the 15% of whatever the sale is, so the calculations are correct. Thanks for reading and commenting, though! Never trust anything online, so I appreciate the input :)

  7. Your website comes up right at the top of a search for this topic and your logic is correct but your prices are WAY off. Maybe something has changed but then you should try to update because these days you’re as likely to lose money as make it if you buy any one of the three items required to craft a high level gem.

    Buying Gems, or Tomes, or even a few books if you start low enough cant ake you quickly out of the magin of profit here.

    Also your post notes that a Star Amethyst sells for 800+ thousand but yesterday mine sold at auction for a net of 509,000K (as in after taxes) so I appreciate your work here but an update is SORELY needed. It would be great if you could make some adjustments because I really am interested and I suspect others are as well.

    1. Yeah, the gem market changes a lot, especially with the massive decrease in people playing. I will look in to the high end gem market in the near future, but I think that not much has changed from what you say: you are likely to lose money.

    2. It was bound to happen.

      This article was published a week or so after the games release, and if you have played since then you’d know just how much overpriced certain items were back then. It has changed too much in regards to equipment but crafting related items have dropped quite significantly due to the increase of supply.

      It’s just not viable to flip gems anymore, unfortunately.

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