How to use Gems in Diablo 4: From socketing to crafting

Inarius holding some gems you can find in Diablo 4
(Image credit: Windows Central)

Everyone seems to be playing Diablo 4 right now, and for good reason, check our full review if you want to know more about what we thought of this 5/5 game. Not long after you start playing and looting your way around Sanctuary, gear with sockets will start dropping for you. 

In sockets you can place gems for more power or defense. How do the gems work in Diablo 4? Is there a best way to use them? We're here to answer those questions, and also give you some top tips on not letting these pesky treasures take up space in your inventory.

What are gems in Diablo 4?

Gems are stones you can put into pieces of equipment to raise certain core stats or improv aspects of your character. There are seven different types of gems in Diablo 4:

  • Sapphire
  • Amethyst
  • Emerald
  • Ruby
  • Diamond
  • Topaz
  • Skull

Gems have five different tiers of quality, Crude, Chipped, Complete, Flawless and Royal, and they will start dropping from enemies and chests for you from level 10. 

What does each Gem type do? 

Each Gem has a different effect for your character or equipment, and the strength of the effect given will increase through each tier of quality. For example a Crude Amethyst will give you a 4% Damage Reduction over time when slotted into armor (something I'm using extensively for my squishy Rogue), but upgrading to a Royal Amethyst will increase that Damage over time reduction to 8%.

Let's look at the gems and benefits you get with each, for ease we've just put in brackets the range of stats you can expect depending on the quality of your gem.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
GemItem slotBuff
AmethystWeapons(+4%-8%) Damage Over Time
Row 1 - Cell 0 Armor(+4%-8%) Damage Taken Over Time Reduction
Row 2 - Cell 0 Jewelry(+11.5%-22.1%) Shadow Resistance
DiamondWeapons(+4%-15%) Ultimate Skill Damage
Row 4 - Cell 0 Armor(+3%-5%) Barrier Generation
Row 5 - Cell 0 Jewelry(+4%-8%) Resistance to All Elements
EmeraldWeapons(+6%-12%) Critical Strike Damage to Vulnerable Enemies
Row 7 - Cell 0 Armor(+12-250) Thorns
Row 8 - Cell 0 Jewelry(+11.5%-22.1%) Poison Resistance
RubyWeapons(+12%-24%) Overpower Damage
Row 10 - Cell 0 Armor(+2%-4%)Maximum Life
Row 11 - Cell 0 Jewelry(+11.5%-22.1%) Fire Resistance
SapphireWeapons(+6%-12%) Critical Strike Damage to Crowd Controlled Enemies
Row 13 - Cell 0 Armor(+1%-3%) Damage Reduction while Fortified
Row 14 - Cell 0 Jewelry(+11.5%-22.1%) Cold Resistance
TopazWeapons(+10%-20%) Basic Skill Damage
Row 16 - Cell 0 Armor(+6%-10%) Damage Reduction while Control Impaired
Row 17 - Cell 0 Jewelry(+11.5%-22.1%) Lightning Resistance
SkullWeapons(+2-14) Life on Kill
Row 19 - Cell 0 Armor (+3%-5%) Healing Receiving
Row 20 - Cell 0 Jewelry(+75-245) Armor

Gems are great way to make up for weaknesses in your build, so if you feel you need more damage mitigation, or if you're struggling against a boss that uses poison damage, there's a gem for that! The general rule of thumb though, is that adding to a weapon will give you a damage buff, to armor a defense buff, and to jewelry some form of resistance.

Most of the time through your initial playthrough of Diablo 4, you'll be using the lower quality gems, but there is a way to improve them and increase their power.

How can I increase the quality of my gems in Diablo 4?

The Jeweler can be found in Kyovashad and is marked on the map with a diamond icon. (Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

In Diablo 2, you put your gems in the Horadric Cube to improve them, in Diablo 3 we got a dedicated Gem vendor, and the theme has continued for Diablo 4. The 'Jeweler' can be found in the main hub cities, and is shown by a Diamond symbol on the map as you can see in the photo above for Kyovashad. The Jeweler will not appear for you until you hit level 20, at which point they appear on the map as a Priority Quest in Kyovashad. Simply talk to them to unlock.

The Jeweler will take your lower-quality gems, and combine them to make better quality gems with more potent effects. 

Visiting the Jeweler in Kyovashad (Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

You'll need 3 of the same lower-quality gem type, and some gold, to craft the next tier. You'll also need to hit certain levels to be able to use the higher-quality gems:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Gem type you want to craftMaterials requiredLevel required
Chipped3 x crude gem20
Complete3 x chipped gem40

So far these are the only levels of gem quality we have been able to craft, and it appears higher levels are locked at least after World Tier 3, so once we have access we will update this guide. From what we've seen so far, the higher quality drop from level 60 and World Tier 4 onwards.

The jeweler, on top of combining gems into higher quality, will also add sockets to your items if you are using something you wish to improve. You'll need gold and a Scattered Prism.

Where can I get Scattered Prism in Diablo 4?

The elusive Scattered Prism crafting material drops from Treasure Goblins or defeating a World Boss. You can also sometimes acquire it from reward chests when clearing cellars and dungeons, and dismantling legendary items. Either way, it's a rare material so use it wisely!

The jeweler will also remove gems from items so you can use them on other pieces, but we do not recommend this as it's costly. There is a better way.

Do I need to remove gems from my items before salvaging at the blacksmith in Diablo 4?

No, if you aren't going to use the armor piece again and simply want to salvage it, it's cheaper to just do so as it will return the gem to your inventory free of charge.

For example, I visited the Jeweler to unsocket an embedded emerald from this rare helm. The jeweler wanted to charge me 7485 gold for the privilege. Daylight robbery! However, I visited the Blacksmith, who salvaged the helm for free, returning the gem to my inventory.

Note that the group salvage options will not work, you'll need to salvage the item down individually. 

When salvaging a socketed item at the Blacksmith, the gem will return to your inventory for free. (Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

Gem's take up a lot of space in my inventory, will there be a gem pouch in Diablo 4?

At the moment, I think the amount of space gems take up in the inventory is such a strange design choice, that I personally think it's intentional, and Blizzard will add a separate gem tab to the inventory either in a later patch or as part of a season reward. In Diablo 3 on PC, extra stash tabs were a Season reward so they are already aware of how much players like a tidy inventory. 

In the meantime though, it's worth noting that you do not need to keep your gems in your bag at all times to be able to access them.

Put them in your stash, by going to the inn in the city, and when you go to the Jeweler they have the gift of being able to see into your stash. You can combine your gems easily from the menu without even needing to carry them. Praise Lilith!

What gems should I use for my build?

It's really down to preference and where you feel your build is lacking, however for each build there is always an 'optimum' recommendation for which gems to use. We have sections on recommended gems for each class in our build guides here:

>Best Barbarian leveling build and skills
>Best Rogue leveling build and skills
>Best Sorcerer builds and skills

Diablo IV

Diablo IV

Diablo 4 is a dark and gritty open-world adventure where you can explore the lands of Sanctuary, fight hordes of demons, loot epic gear, and team up with other players for one hell of a good time.

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Diablo 4 is out now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, and PlayStation consoles, and is shaping up to be one of the best Xbox games of the year. Stay tuned to Windows Central for all the latest news, guides, and more on Diablo 4.

Jennifer Young

Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.