Dungeon Master Assistance

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D&D – Gems

Here is some information regarding D&D gems. I started with the official D&D information and expanded on it. I use this information in my games.


Standard gems carried by adventurers are 1/4″ in diameter. They are carried in small leather or cloth bags tied securely with a string or leather strap. Unless your character is carrying an extremely large number of gems, their weight is insignificant and you do not have to keep track of it. The information listed here is provided for those rare occasions when your character may need to  carry an exceptionally large gem or a very large number of gems.

In the real world, gem sizes do not determine weight. The density of gems varies from very light stones like opal to especially heavy stones like sphalerite or zircon. To keep it simple for D&D I am keeping the weight of all gems the same and only vary the value depending on gemstone type and size. The price per carat does not increase smoothly with increasing size. (One 4 carat gem is more valuable than four 1 carat gems.) To allow for larger stones in my game they don’t increase quite as fast as they do in the real world. I justify this by saying that larger stones are not as rare in my world.

Note regarding uncut gems.
When a piece is uncut it is called “rough”. The process of cutting and polishing it results in size and weight loss. In order to overcome the weight loss in addition to the cost of cutting, a cut gemstone is more valuable than rough. The yield from even well-shaped rough material is typically only about 25%.
To make it easy, figure a rough gem is the same value as shown below but it is at least 4 times as heavy and its size is at least 1.25 larger than indicated. It is also irregular in shape and not as “pretty”.

All gems listed here are round faceted and have the same depth as their diameter making them roughly spherical (think 20 sided dice).

Size Weight Value Number of gems this size that will fit in one cubic foot of space
6″ Dia. (size of small human skull) 31,000 carats 14 lbs. Base value x 50,000 8
3″ Dia.(large fist size) 4,856 carats 2 lbs. Base value x 5,000 64
2″ Dia. (que ball size) 1,133 carats 1/2 lb. Base value x 1,000 216
1″ Dia. (Very Large – fits snugly into an empty eye-socket) 145 carats 0.064 lbs. (16 = 1 lb.) Base value x 100 1,728
1/2″ Dia. (Large – marble size) 18 carats 0.008 lbs (125 = 1 lb.) Base value x 10 13,824
1/4″ Dia. (Medium – standard size) 2 carats 0.001 lbs.(1,000 = 1 lb.) base value 110,592
1/8″ Dia. (Small) 0.3 carats 0.000125 lbs. (8,000 = 1 lb.) base value / 10 884,736

All gems weigh 110 lbs. per cubic foot (should you be so fortunate as to need to know this).

Gem Base Value
agateagate (banded, eye, or moss ) 10 gp
quartz - bluequartz (blue)
lapis lazulilapis lazuli
tiger eyetiger eye
pearl freshwaterfreshwater (irregular) pearl
bloodstonebloodstone 50 gp
rock crystalrock crystal (clear quartz)
quartz rosequartz (rose, smoky, or star rose)
amberamber 100 gp
garnet redgarnet (red or brown-green )
pearlpearl (white, golden, pink, or silver )
spinel redspinel (red, red-brown or deep green)
alexandritealexandrite 500 gp
garnet violetgarnet (violet )
pearl blackpearl (black)
spinel deep bluespinel (deep blue)
topaz golden yellowtopaz (golden yellow )
emeraldemerald 1,000 gp
opalopal (white, black, or fire )
sapphire bluesapphire (blue)
corundumcorundum (fiery yellow or rich purple)
sapphire black starsapphire (blue or black star )
ruby starruby (star)
emerald bright greenemerald (clearest bright green) 5,000 gp
diamond blue-whitediamond (blue-white, canary, pink, brown, or blue)
diamond blue-whiteruby (clear red)

Here is very nice Gemstone Generator that gives you a random selection of gems based on the starting GP value selected. This is good for those times that the characters find a bag of gems:


38 responses to “D&D – Gems

  1. north face clearance November 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Zach Orzech February 4, 2015 at 9:38 am

    This is fantastic! thanks for your hard work to put this together.


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  4. Dean April 28, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for this very useful resource , I am a player and its great to visualize the gems I get from treasure and to change up my coins.

    I shared it with my group and DM Thankyou for taking the time to put this together


  5. bog97th September 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Reblogged this on Fantasy of the mind and commented:


  6. bog97th September 24, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    The second link for the http://www.crgurps.comuv.com/content/gemstone-generator is broken. I just found your blog. I’m liking it! Thanks!


    • Ronny September 25, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Thank you for all of your rebloggs. It makes me happy that you like my stuff well enough to want to share it. Because of you, I received more likes on this blog yesterday than any other day.
      Thanks for letting me know about the broken link. That was a link to another site. I guess that the site has been taken down. I will remove the link.
      Thanks again, and may all of your dice come up 20’s.


  7. Ferguse March 24, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Fantastic page, the table at the top is especially helpful.
    Only issue is 5e DMG lists peridot as a 500gp gem rather than a 50gp gem.


    • Ronny March 25, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Thank you.
      If you notice, this was posted in 2012, before 5e came out. But, thank you for pointing this out. I do need to update it for the latest version.


  8. Anonymous May 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    this is great for gm’s to make treasure hoards, thanks


  9. Talos Frostsilver August 10, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    First, I would like to thank you for putting together an amazing DM/Player resource. As someone who has a passion for mineralogy, I am also greatly impressed with the accuracy of your photos and your explanation for the D&D simplification of the information. Historically, as a DM and as a player, I have relied on my knowledge of minerals and gemstones for game sessions. However, I also know how helpful it is to have a printed resource to provide players. With that said, I will be figuring out the best method of printing this page to hand out to all of my players present and future and you can be sure I will be giving credit where credit is due and directing them to your site as a resource for other content as well. The one bit of information that I would have liked to have seen included in this post is a valuation equation/conversion/model for raw natural versions vs. cut polished versions of gemstones. I only say this because this is the bit of information I was searching for when I found your post. Although, overall, this is one incredible piece of work.


    • Ronny August 13, 2018 at 9:25 am

      What a wonderful idea! Like you, I do not know of any resource that would provide a “valuation equation/conversion/model for raw natural versions vs. cut polished versions” but I would love to add that to this page if you can point me to one. Or, perhaps , if you come up with something that you can use in your game, you could share it. I will be glad to include it here if you do.


  10. dragonblogger August 21, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Anyone who wants a free awesome Gem Generator that works in Excel and Google Sheets just let me know.


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  12. Sean July 14, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    For the small gems (1/8″), 1/100 base value would make more sense. At 1/10BV, roughly twice as much per carat as 6″ gems. dropping it to 1/100 makes it worth about 1/5th per carat. This would maintain the progression of smaller stones being worth less.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ronny July 15, 2020 at 8:01 am

      Feel free to change this in your game – it is a very reasonable change.
      I see your point and I agree with your reasoning. However I think that this will make the very small gems to cheep. That would make a small lowest value gem only 1 silver piece. For game play I would rather keep them at 1 gp. I suppose a clever gem cutter could make a living by cutting larger gems into small size. In play, I have never found this a problem.


  13. RobertaME August 14, 2020 at 5:22 am

    One of the things that always bothered me about D&D gemstones is the placement of Jacinth in the top tier stones category. Jacinth (or yellow/orange zircon as it is properly termed) is a cheap gemstone. A typical 6-7 carat stone, (which +90% of all Jacinth sold are that size or smaller) with perfect cut, typically sells for less than $125. This puts it in the same category as other zircons as far as value is concerned.
    I’m thinking that back in the day some TSR writer bought his wife a yellow zircon (Jacinth) and told her it was as valuable as a diamond… then had to put it in print or else spend the rest of forever sleeping on the couch. :^Þ
    I made a table of gemstones for D&D based on real-world relative value. Image link: https://imgur.com/iTZMmYm.jpg
    Hope that helps someone!


    • Ronny August 14, 2020 at 8:42 am

      Thank you VERY much!
      I’ll keep my list as-is for consistency sake, but I highly recommend that anyone who wants a more “realistic” gem value system in their game follow the link you have provided.
      I bow to your knowledge of gemstones.


    • EV August 17, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      The Forgotten Realms Wiki, based on various sources, claimst that Jacinth is not a type of zircon, but a type of corundum, which explains why it is in the same value category as rubies and sapphires: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Jacinth
      Even if in the real world it’s an orange zircon, in the Forgotten Realms it’s basically an orange ruby.


  14. Anonymous August 16, 2020 at 5:22 am

    Thanks for this list! I’m playing a jewel-crafting dwarf in an adventure, and I used this list as a basis for the jewel-crafting house rules.
    The issue I run into with it, though, is that there are several magic spells (e.g. Chromatic Orb, Revivify), that require relatively cheap diamonds (50-300 gp). By these rules, even a 0.3 carat diamond, which is very tiny, is worth 500 gp. So I wonder, how would a spellcaster even find a 50 gp piece of diamond?


    • Ronny August 16, 2020 at 8:39 am

      These values are only guidelines. You should consider these as the “typical” or average values. You can always find a gem of any type that is of superior quality and higher value at any size – or – that is of poor quality and therefore lower value.

      As a DM I would rule that whenever a spell description listed a spell component that has a cost, you could substitute the same type item with a higher cost.

      But to answer your question directly, I would think that a jewel-crafting dwarf would have access to many different gems of various sizes and qualities, both cut and uncut.

      If I were you and I needed a 50 gp diamond, I would say that I had a small uncut diamond of such poor quality that it wouldn’t be worth my time to cut it, but it should work just fine for a magical spell that requires a 50 gp diamond. As demand for these increased as more spellcasters required such stones, they would be set aside and saved for them.

      P.S. I found this visual guide to diamond sizes based on carat weight:
      The smallest one shown is a little smaller that the “small” size on my list.


      • EV August 17, 2020 at 3:32 am

        Thank you very much for the answer!
        Yes, it makes sense that spells can use poor quality / uncut gems – a tiny morsel of poor-quality uncut diamond should be enough to cast a Chromatic Orb or Revivify, and the better-quality diamonds should be sold as jewels instead of using them up as spell components.
        Related to this: we also made an agreement with my GM that the common wonderous item “Ruby of the War Mage”, despite its name, is actually not made of ruby, but red spinel – explaining how the item can be much cheaper than an average ruby.
        Thank you for the size chart! I looked up a similar one before, and was surprised how small real-life gems are compared to the massive gems you see in fantasy stories.
        One note to the otherwise excellent chart: clear red rubies are missing from the gem list (only star rubies are included). According to D&D Beyond, they are in the 5000 gp category, together with diamonds and jacinth.


      • Ronny August 17, 2020 at 8:48 am

        I am glad I was able to help.
        Thanks for the information regarding clear red rubies. If you will look now, you will see that, thanks to you, I have added them to my list.


    • Ronny August 17, 2020 at 9:03 am

      Another option regarding your original comment would be to follow Sean’s advice (see his comment from July 14, 2020 above).
      He suggests that “For the small gems (1/8″), 1/100 base value would make more sense.” This would not only be more realistic (according to Sean) but would make finding lower value gems much easier.


  15. Myra Binnicker September 4, 2020 at 11:15 am

    I know this is older, but it is exactly the type of thing I was looking for. Thank you!


  16. Jake McTigue February 12, 2021 at 1:30 am

    Not to step on your toes, I’ve found a HUGE amount of value on this site, but this list has some factual errors.

    Jacinth is a type of zircon and of little value; whereas padparascha (pink-orange) sapphires and many fancy (non-blue) natural sapphires are as much as 30x the price of diamond or more. Also Alexandrite is ~ 4-10x more valuable than diamond depending on color and clarity, a good Aquamarine is 1-2 times the cost of an equivalent diamond, and varietals such as demantoid garnets are as much as 100x more valuable than their common red or orange counterparts. Finally both black and white pearls are absurdly valuable and the same holds true for many colored faceted forms of spinel. The price of an individual stone can vary wildly depending on color quality, lack of flaws and cut; all beyond the scope of this document, still I would be happy to rework this list if you like for the sake of accuracy!


    • Ronny February 12, 2021 at 10:01 am

      I got this list from an earlier version of D&D. I can’t remember now if it was v3.5 or earlier. The 5th edition list (on D&D Beyond) is much different than this and they don’t list any 100gp gems.
      I must confess my lack or knowledge regarding actual gemstone values. I can see that my list could use an update. So yes, I would much appreciate an updated list. I only ask that you stick to the base values of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, and 5,000 GP. And if there is some way of assessing what the gems relative values would have been in the early middle ages, that would be great!
      Rather than posting it as a reply here, I would rather you email it to me. You can find my email address under the “Legal” tab at the top of page.


  17. Aaron L Richardson March 21, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    This is fantastic, thanks!


  18. Shane W May 6, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Loving this list, and definitely going to save it before the update to use for my Pathfinder games! Thanks for all the hard work involved!


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