Friday, January 8, 2010

Profession How to Part 1: Jewel Crafting

Tomorrow's profession: Leather Working

With the release of WotLK we saw numerous people reroll jewel crafting as a profession due to the prismatic dragon eyes. Not too long ago they were nerfed to simply being very powerful gems. As such, it is still one of the top 3 raiding professions so not many people if any dropped it because of this nerf. However most people do not use their professions for making gold and rather farm or do dailys. This leads to a large amount of jewelers out there who primarilyprospect ore for friends or to occasionally sell the raw gems. That means a constant supply of cheap raw materials for us to profit from.

JC is my best money maker. I primarily sell pre cut rare gems (bought for 6-10g), but I do sell epics when I can get a decent price (buy for 150, sell cut for 180-250).As opposed to a full crafting list, I'll just post what I never sell and what I only post non epic cuts of for that type. Epic gems are always worth selling for me, because it is nigh impossible to stay stocked on them. In fact, in preparation for patch 3.3 I had a stack of every epic gem in addition to my normal stock pile of them. Within a week, I was totally sold out.

As an idea of my general profit margin for rare gems, they sell for as low as 13g and as high as 55g with scarlets selling from 52g to 95g. Epics always sell for 170 minimum at a high of 235.

Gems I never cut period, epic or rare:
blue - sparkling
red - flashing, subtle
purple - tenuous, infused
orange - wicked, pristine

Gems I only cut rare versions of:
Blue - lustrous
Skyflare diamonds - chaotic
Earthsiege diamonds - relentless, beaming, insightful, austere
Green - all except for enduring
Purple - defender's
Orange - deft, fierce, glimmering, champion's, lucent, resolute, resplendent, empowered, fierce, lucent, resolute, stalwart

And here's a full list of my best sellers of both epic and rare cuts.

.Popular Rare Cuts.
Meta - austere, relentless, chaotic
Green - enduring, vivid, steady
Blue - solid, stormy
Orange - glinting, glimmering, accurate, luminous, potent, reckless
Yellow - rigid, smooth, quick
Red - runed, precise, fractured
Purple - guardian, shifting, regal, royal, mysterious, puissant

.Popular Epic Cuts.
Red - fractured, bright, bold, delicate
Green - enduring
Orange - accurate, potent, reckless, etched, inscribed, stark
Yellow - thick, smooth, quick
Purple - purified, puissant, guardian's, mysterious
Blue - stormy, solid
Nightmare tear

And here's what I do:

I have 2 bankers dedicated to my JC business. One handles all the epics and rare orange gems, the other handles the rest of them.

1. log on and collect expired and sold gems for each banker
2. look for any cheap priced epics on AH and mail them to my JC
3. log onto my jeweler and take a stack of each color gem out of my personal bank.
4. go through the list of all the gems I keep stocked with
5. cut enough forest emeralds and monarch topaz to have a stock of 2 of each cut
that I sell.
6. Do the same with epics.
7. For the rest I cut enough to have a stock of 3
8. Cut enough metas to have a stock of 5 of each.

Due to the addon
the tooltip of every item includes how many of those I own on what characters. So if I have 2 bold scarlet rubys on my banker, I know that I need to make 1 more. If I own zero, I'll make 3. By always having a stock of 3 gems, it's easy for me to know which gems are selling and what I need more of by how many I have left.

9. Mail the gems out to my bankers, scan that particular type (scarlet ruby, king's amber, etc.) and post. There may be a better way, but the way I scan a single type of item with auctioneer is I'll type in the gem section "scar" then it'll show me a full list of all the rems with "scar" in the name (which are only scarlet rubys). Then I scroll to the last bage clicking on the 'next' arrow.

I do the same with all the gems and this takes about 2 minutes as opposed to hitting a full/fast scan of the entire AH taking 5-15 minutes. Also doing it this way it ensures that the AH data in the appraiser tab is 100% current. But auctioneer theory and how to is a whole monster on it's own for another day.

One other thing to keep in mind is your buying/selling thresholds. This is very important so pay attention! I buy all my gems for the following prices:

scarlet - 40g
sky sapphire - 6g
forest emerald - 6g
monarch topaz - 8g
twilight opal - 10g
autumn's glow - 8g

epics - 150g each

dragon eyes - 120g each

metas - ~30g in materials with an x-mute spec alchemist creating (on average) 20% more gems with procs. After crafting over 100 different metas, I have yet to see a 5 proc sadly.

So with those prices in mind I cannot sell for less or I lose money. Now you need to ask the question I asked you before, "How much is your time worth?" This will decide what your minimum threshold price is. Or more accurately, how much pure profit do you need to make this worth your time. For me, it's 30% on rares and 20% on epics. Meaning I will never post a scarlet ruby for less than 52g or a twilight opal for under 13 or an epic gem below 180.

Another thing to keep in mind is how long you post auctions for and how many you list. I post all my gems for 12 hours at a time and only 2 per cut. This is because the deposit cost for a gem is over 1 gold. If I post 20 Mystic autumn's glow and only sell 30g worth, I just lost 17g in deposit costs making my income only 13g. If that happens to be 3g profit per gem (for arguments sake) I only made 4g from that. Not exactly worth it if you ask me. Then you also have to take into account the 5% cut the AH takes from you. However when an auction sells, you do get your deposit back. For more information on the specifics of how this works, check out this link.

This deposit cost is the primary reason why I craft so few gems to post at a time and post twice a day. Were the deposit half of what it was, I'm sure my pure net profits would sky rocket due to the amount of inventory I could safely move.

Now because I post all my gems at the same time, they will obviously all expire at the same time, thus keeping me organized. This way when I see I have only 1 enduring forest emerald, I know that I don't have any in my mail box or up on auction, thus leading me to craft an extra one.

And lastly, here are a few closing thoughts on my JC business.-Always keep a hefty stock of raw gems on your jeweler at all times. You never want to be caught without a gem when they're selling for high prices. I try to keep no less than 60 of each color.

-Never budge on your minimum post thresholds unless you get something for INSANELY cheaper that it's normal price, such as a cardinal ruby for 100g. I'd happily sell that in trade for 150g if need be.

-Rare gems are easy to buy cheap in trade chat. Every time I post "buying [gem] 180g a stack, buying all you have." I'll get a seller in less than a minute with a ton for sale every time.

-Learn what gems are popular on your server and some commonly used ones for specific classes/specs. One example is Stark ametrines which are the prefered yellow gems for mutilate spec rogues as of the last patch. Before, I would never craft these, now I can't craft enough of them!

-Be very wary of buying under cost gems for resale. I did this once with monarchs and it took me ages to sell off my stock for a small profit margin. However, I do this regularly with scarlet rubys. When i see 32 AP gems for 30g each I'll buy them all up and wait for the price to go back up to 40-50 three days later. If you're new to working the AH, I highly recommend against buying low and selling high as you likely don't know the market well enough to have decent success.

-Don't camp the AH! Your profit may inscrease greatly, but your gold/hour will plummet. Besides, unless you work from home this likely isn't an option. Even so please, spare yourself. Besides, you may end up having somebody like me as your competition. If I come across an AH camper, I won't complain, QQ and nerd rage in /2 about it, but oh man I will screw with you!

AH giggle of the day
Of the month? Year? This is quite possibly the best deal I have ever made in my life if nothing else due to the sheer luck in timing and complete lack of effort. I purchased a stack of eternal fires from somebody in trade for 25g/ea with the average price hanging around 30ish. I right click them all into crystallzied fires and throw them up on AH in varying stack sizes for 7.4g per crystal.

Morning comes around and with a steaming cup of cofee and a single bloodshot eye I look at my mail box. All of those crystallized fires have sold for 7 gold and 40 silver a piece. Every. Last. One. Let me save you a moment and do that math for you.

20 eternals x 25g each = 500 gold OUT

20 eternals = 200 crystallzied (purchased for 2.5g per crystallzied)

200 crystallized x 7.4g each = 1,480 gold INCOME

Profit: 980g

Time spent: how long does it take to right click 20 times?

Lesson learned: making money does not require hours of baby sitting your auctions while spamming trade to flip a battered hilt once a month. Be attentive, be clever, have at least 4 brain cells flickering somewhere, and you'll get by just fine.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Do you find Icy Prisms to be profitable to craft?

  2. Thank you for this info. Leveling my JC up and hope to get up and running soon.