Gems are valuable gemstones that are used to create jewelry. They can be found randomly when mining ore veins, or in random loot. A separate page details soul gems, which are special types of gems used for soul trapping.
All of the items on this page are traded by jewelry merchants, and can also be sold to general goods merchants.
Most gems that you find are randomly generated, meaning that most of the possible locations are the same for all twelve types of gem. The gems that appear in randomly-generated loot depends on the player's level. The "Level (Loot)" column in the following table applies to most locations where gems are found; the "Level (Merchant)" column only applies to merchant inventories. Merchants do not stock diamonds, emeralds, or any flawless gems.
The leveled list is weighted so that the chances of high-level gems continue to increase as your level improves (e.g., flawless garnets are two times more likely to appear at level 6 than level 4), but there is always a chance of receiving even the lowest level gems.
The following table illustrates the possible outcomes of a single gem 'loot roll' at different character levels.
Possible locations for random gems (all using the loot leveled list) are:
- Grelka's strongbox is guaranteed to contain three gems (more with Prowler's Profit; see below)
- All Dwarven centurions are guaranteed to drop 1-3 gems.
- Boss chests and jewelry boxes in Dwarven ruins are guaranteed to drop one gem.
- Asgeir Snow-Shod, Bashnag, Bolli, Gulum-Ei, Mercer Frey, and Vex always carry multiple gems
- Each time you mine an ore vein, there is a 10% chance of receiving one gem in addition to the ore(s) that you normally receive.
- Most boss chests have a 10-25% chance of containing a gem.
- Most other sources of random loot (chests, enemy NPCs, etc.) have a small chance (typically 1% or less) of containing a gem.
Having the Prowler's Profit ability (from completing the quest No Stone Unturned) causes many more gems to appear. Specifically, 1-4 additional gems are guaranteed to appear in each of the following locations:
- Dropped by giants
- Dropped by dragons
- Carried by rich citizens
- All dead draugr (i.e., the ones that never come to life)
- Most treasure-type chests, including urns, burial urns, Thief Caches, and almost all boss chests
- An assortment of rare or unique containers such as the Confiscated Goods chests outside Riften, Aringoth's Safe, etc.
Possible outcomes for the extra gem roll:
|1 gem||2 gems||3 gems||4 gems|
This means that most of the time you will get 2-3 additional (leveled) gems.
Statistically, urns and burial urns are by far the most common source of Prowler's Profit gems; it is entirely possible, assuming you loot every urn and burial urn you come across, to collect gems at a much faster rate than you will be capable of selling them.
Gem Sources and UsesEdit
General goods merchants generally have a 25% chance of stocking two gems, but only standard amethysts, garnets, rubies, and sapphires.
Note that although many of the gems listed below are guaranteed to occur, they can be difficult or even impossible to find, as gems are particularly prone to being scattered, especially during combat, and may end up coming to rest in a location where they cannot normally be accessed.
Flawless amethysts were omitted from the
These items are classified internally as gems, but have other special uses.
|0.2||5000||Quest: Paid in Full|
|Mark of Dibella
|0.5||0||Quest: Caught Red Handed|
|0.5||0||Quest: The Break of Dawn|
|Right Eye of the Falmer
|Soul Gem Fragment
|Warped Soul Gem
|0.5||0||Quest: Arniel's Endeavor|
- Jewelry items may also contain onyx, jade, and moonstone;
- Onyx and jade are not present as separate items;
- Real-life gems amber, corundum, malachite and moonstone appear as smithing materials (ingots and ores) but not as separate gems.
- Pearls appear as alchemy ingredients, but not as jewelry components.