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Gems are a type of socketable item found in Diablo II, Diablo Immortal, Diablo III, and Diablo IV. 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 II[]

Gem effects are stackable, e.g. 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, though 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, which also determines their sell price to vendors:

  • Chipped (250)
  • Flawed (750)
  • Normal (2,500)
  • Flawless (5,000)
  • Perfect (15,000)

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 click the Transmute button.

Diablo III[]

In Diablo III, there are five standard types of gems, and ten levels of gem quality with increasing power. Gems only grant their benefits when they are socketed into equipped items, which can be done in the Inventory Screen at any time. Each type of gem grants specific bonuses when socketed into a Helm / Weapon / other gear ("Armor"), as follows:

Helm Weapon Other
Diamond Reduces cooldown of all skills
(by 3.5% to 12.5%)
Increases damage against elites
(by 3% to 20%)
Resistance to All Elements
(+10 to +78)
Ruby Increases Bonus Experience
(by 10% to 41%)*
(+9 to +270)
(+10 to +280)
*At level 70, +% Bonus Experience is reduced to 10% effectiveness.
Topaz Reduced Resource Costs of Skills
(3.5% to 12.5%)
Thorns damage
(+30 to +38k)
(+10 to +280)
Emerald Extra Gold from Monsters
(10% to 41%)
Critical Hit Damage Increased
(by 20% to 130%)
(+10 to +280)
Amethyst Life
(+10% to +23%)
Life per Hit
(+35 to +28k)
(+10 to +280)

Of the seven gem types from the previous game, only Sapphires and Skulls did not return, although Diamonds were only added for the expansion. Diablo III did not introduce any new standard gem types/colors, although the expansion added Legendary Gems as well.

Covetous Shen the Jeweler can remove gems from sockets for free. If the socketed item is no longer needed, salvaging it also removes all gems and returns them to the inventory. Gems can be upgraded at the Jeweler by combining two or three lower quality gems to form the next higher quality, for a fee.

Aside from being socketed into items, non-Legendary gems have two other uses:

  • Enchanting magic properties of jewelry requires gems instead of gold. One Imperial gem of random type per attempt is required at level 70.
  • The Kanai's Cube "Caldesann's Despair" recipe requires three Flawless Royal gems to augment Ancient Items with additional stats.

Leoric's Crown doubles the effectiveness of the non-Legendary gem socketed in it - or in the player's current Helm, if the power is selected in Kanai's Cube.

Obtaining gems[]

Gems can be found randomly from most monsters and containers, but especially from Gem Hoarder Treasure Goblins who drop gems instead of gold, in Diabolic Hoards from boss bounties, and in The Vault and Whimsydale special zones. Picking up a gem also picks up all other gems of any type within 20 yards.

The quality of gems dropped as loot is based on character level and sometimes game difficulty. At level 61+ in Master difficulty and above, Imperial gems have a chance to drop and the rest are Marquise quality. Levels above Imperial do not drop and must be achieved through upgrading at the Jeweler. Crafting Imperial gems requires Shen to be level 11+, thus Marquise gems are the highest quality available without Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, since the higher level requirements of both the character and the Jeweler are beyond the limits of the base game.

All gems of Marquise quality and above are account-bound, regardless of if they were dropped or crafted. All gems are account-bound for Seasonal characters.

These mechanisms can also help attain desired gems:

  • Kanai's Cube's "Darkness of Radament" recipe can convert 9 identical gems to 9 gems of a different type and the same quality.
  • The Broken Crown legendary power (which can emanate from Followers) causes an extra gem to drop with any normal gem drop, of a type based on the one currently in the player's helm.
  • In seasons with Soul Shards, salvaging them yields various high-quality gems.


Covetous Shen charges a gold fee to craft any gem, in addition to two (up to Square) or three (above Square) gems of the next lower quality tier. Shen must also be leveled up sufficiently for each tier. The final two tiers (Royal gems) also require one Death's Breath, and require a recipe to be found for each gem to train Shen how to craft it - two qualities of each of the five gem types, ten recipes total.

The following table shows the required materials to upgrade to each gem quality level. It also shows the cumulative cost to upgrade up to each level, assuming starting with Regular (Reg), Marquise (Mrq) or Imperial (Imp) gems - the lowest or highest qualities that can drop as loot, respectively.

Output Gem Input Gems Fee Cumulative cost
Flawless 2x Regular 2.5k gold
Square 2x Flawless 5k gold 4x Reg + 10k
Flawless Square 2x Square 10k gold 8x Reg + 30k
Star 3x Flawless Square 20k gold 24x Reg + 110k
Marquise 3x Star 25k gold 72x Reg + 355k
Imperial 3x Marquise 200k gold 216x Reg + 1265k
Flawless Imperial 3x Imperial 300k gold 648x Reg + 3795k 9x Mrq + 900k
Royal 3x Flawless Imperial 400k gold +
1x Death's Breath
1944x Reg + 11.785M 27x Mrq + 3.1M + 1 DB or
9x Imp + 1.3M + 1 DB
Flawless Royal 3x Royal 500k gold +
1x Death's Breath
5832x Reg + 35.855M 81x Mrq + 9.8M + 4 DB or
27x Imp + 4.4M + 4 DB

Legendary Gems[]

Main article: Legendary Gems

Legendary Gems are pre-designed socketable Legendary Items, each of which has two unique Legendary powers and does not fit any of the standard gem types. Compared to the previous game, they have the multi-faceted and complex nature of Jewels, and the non-randomness and variety of Runes. They are only socketable in amulets and rings, with a couple niche-use exceptions, and like other Legendaries are unique-equipped (two of the same cannot be used together). They drop at the end of Greater Rifts (with a couple exceptions), where they can also be upgraded to improve the first power and unlock the second. They are powerful enough that any end-game build will always want to use the maximum of three Legendary Gems in jewelry sockets.

Patch changes[]

  • Patch 1.0.7: Marquise quality gems added, as the top tier of gem only attainable through crafting.
  • Patch 2.0.1 (pre-expansion patch): Diamonds added. Imperial quality and above added, accessible only with Reaper of Souls expansion.
  • Patch 2.1.0: Legendary Gems added.
  • Patch 2.2.0: Picking up a gem now picks up all gems within 20 yards.
  • Patch 2.3.0: Condensed "gems that drop below level 61" (below Marquise quality) into five tiers, down from fourteen. Redistributed the stat bonuses of the remaining gems to "feel more powerful". Added Kanai's Cube including its recipe to convert between gem types.[1]
Before this patch, there were there were nineteen tiers of gems, not ten. The sub-Marquise gems formed three sequences (removed tiers italicized):
  • Chipped, Flawed, Regular, Flawless, Perfect, Radiant
  • Square, Flawless Square, Perfect Square, Radiant Square
  • Star, Flawless Star, Perfect Star, Radiant Star
Thus, the patch removed "low quality", Perfect and Radiant terms entirely, leaving each "shape" of gem with two tiers, "baseline" and Flawless, except for Star and Marquise which stand alone. Graphically, the Flawless and Radiant tiers (other than the lowest Flawless tier) looked similar to their respective preceding tiers, but with a more "etched" design. The patch replaced the Flawless Square graphic with the one for Perfect Squares, leaving the etched designs exclusive to the highest tiers.
  • Patch 2.5.0: Removing ("unsocketing") gems from an item without destroying it is now free. (Retrieving gems through Salvaging was already free.) Costs for unsocketing gems prior to the patch:
Quality Regular Flawless Square Flawless
Star Marquise Imperial Flawless
Royal Flawless
Gold cost 4k 5k 10k 15k 35k 75k 100k 125k 150k 175k 50k

Diablo Immortal[]

Main articles: Normal Gems and Legendary Gems

Gems in Diablo Immortal are divided into Normal and Legendary gems. Normal Gems are categorized quite differently from those of the other Diablo games, being divided into three colors with two gem types each:

As gems in the other games are meant to be distinct from each other by color, the latter gem in each pair appears only in Immortal. Emeralds, Diamonds, Amethysts and Skulls do not return from previous games, although some Vessels of the Legacy of the Horadrim system are reminiscent of them.

Also unique to Immortal is that each socket has one of the three colors, and gems can only go into matching sockets.

Diablo IV[]

Gems return in Diablo IV. As of Season of Blood, they no longer take up inventory space.

Normal Gems are available at Level 51, Flawless at 71, and Royal at 91.


  1. Turrit (25 Aug 2015). "Patch 2.3.0 Now Live". Blizzard Entertainment.