If you’re delving into the whimsical world of Stardew Valley, you’ll soon find that there’s more to mining than just striking your pickaxe on rocks. Among the many precious items you can discover are gems, each with its own unique set of attributes and uses. In this guide, we will walk you through the seven main types of gems—Emerald, Aquamarine, Ruby, Amethyst, Topaz, Jade, and Diamond—and how to make the most out of them.
Note: This guide does not cover Prismatic Shards as we’ve discussed them separately.
Types of Gems and Where to Find Them
You can mainly find gems in six different ways:
- Gem Nodes: Specific locations in the mine.
- Wooden Barrels: Scattered in the mine, especially by floor.
- Enemy Drops: Defeat certain enemies in the mine.
- Panning: Rarely found by panning in water.
- Trash Cans: Sometimes found in town.
- Fishing Chests: Caught occasionally while fishing.
- Crystalarium: A machine to duplicate gems.
Gem Nodes: The Main Source
Gem nodes are your primary source for gems and are especially abundant when using bombs in mining.
Wooden Barrels: Level Matters
Wooden barrels drop different gems depending on the floor you’re on.
- Floors 1–40: Amethyst and Topaz
- Floors 41–80: Aquamarine and Jade
- Floors 81 and beyond: Ruby and Emerald
Note: Wooden barrels do not drop diamonds.
Enemy Drops: Specific Foes for Specific Gems
- Green Slimes: Early on, they can drop Amethyst.
- Ice Slimes: Can drop Aquamarine.
- Digger and Lava Slimes: Likely to drop Diamonds.
After reaching the 120th floor of the mine, all enemies have a 0.05% chance of dropping a diamond. Wilderness Golems on the Wilderness Farm can also drop diamonds, as can late-game enemies like Shadow Brutes, Shadow Shamans, and Tiger Slimes.
Panning: A Rare Technique
Panning is seldom used but can yield gems as well. The types of gems you can find are influenced by your Luck stat for the day.
Trash Cans: Don’t Skip These!
Trash cans in town can yield gems after you’ve reached certain levels in the mines:
- Before Floor 40: Amethyst and Topaz
- Floor 40 and beyond: Aquamarine, Jade, and Diamond
- After Floor 80: Ruby and Emerald
Fishing Chests: Depth Counts
After reaching level 2 in Fishing, fishing chests can contain gems. The deeper the water, the higher the probability of finding a diamond.
Crystalarium: Duplicate Your Finds
Using a Crystalarium is a legitimate and commonly used method to duplicate gems. The time it takes to duplicate varies among the different types of gems:
- Topaz: Fastest at 18 hours and 40 minutes
- Amethyst: 22 hours and 40 minutes
- Aquamarine: 1 day, 13 hours and 20 minutes
- Jade: 1 day, 16 hours
- Emerald and Ruby: 2 days, 2 hours
- Diamond: 5 days
Value and Selling
- Topaz: 80 gold
- Amethyst: 100 gold
- Aquamarine: 180 gold
- Jade: 200 gold
- Ruby and Emerald: 250 gold
- Diamond: 750 gold
Note: With the Gemologist profession, the selling price increases by 30%.
Selling vs Keeping
Due to the relatively low selling prices, it’s often more beneficial to use gems for other purposes like gift-giving or trading, especially in the late game when Crystalariums can duplicate diamonds.
Special Trades with Desert Trader
The Desert Trader offers some of the best gem trades:
- Jade for Staircases: The easiest way to acquire staircases.
- Ruby for Spicy Eel: A great deal since Ruby sells for only 250 gold.
- Diamond for Triple Shot Espresso: More cost-effective than crafting it.
- Emerald for Cheese: Not as valuable but an option nonetheless.
Gifts to Boost Relationships
Gems are favorite gifts for many villagers, which can be a quick way to increase your relationship level with them:
- Amethyst: Abigail’s favorite.
- Emerald: Loved by Penny.
- Diamond: Favored by Evelyn, Gus, Jodi, Marnie, and Willy.
Tip: Always carry a few diamonds for unexpected encounters.
Community Center and Quests
- Boiler Room Bundle: The Geologist’s Bundle requires a Quartz, Earth Crystal, Frozen Tear, and Fire Quartz. Though none of these are gems per se, they are often found in the same mining contexts.
- Quests: Occasionally, you’ll receive quests from villagers asking for a specific gem.
Donating to the Museum: A Tiered Importance
One of the often overlooked aspects of gems is their role in donations to the Museum. The reason it’s not commonly prioritized is because the rewards from Museum donations are not uniform. Reaching the 60 donations mark to get the Rusty Key is crucial, but before that, it’s not highly important. Therefore, once you’ve secured the key, donating additional gems won’t feel as urgent.
Lesser-known Uses: Offerings, Fish Ponds, and Crafting
Bundle and Offerings
Gems play a very limited role in sacrifices. Only the Aquamarine is needed for the Dye Bundle. If you opt for the mixed offerings, you may end up needing a choice of any five gems excluding Jade, for the Treasure Hunter’s Bundle. However, these instances are rare, and for general sacrifices, gems aren’t typically required.
Discussing fish ponds briefly, the return on investment is quite low. Fish ponds don’t offer much excitement either. So it’s understandable why many players don’t consider gems for this particular aspect of the game.
Crafting and Home Decor
Crafting is another area where the use of gems can be considered. For example, Aquamarine can be used to create Marble Braziers, while Diamonds are essential for crafting the Iridium Band. However, these aren’t recipes that you’ll find yourself making repeatedly. The crafted items have their appeal but aren’t crucial game-changers.
When it comes to home decor, gems do offer some attractive options. They are great for colorful decoration and can liven up your Stardew Valley home.
Fashion from Gems: Crafting Clothing
The apparel crafted from gems has its unique flair. It generally resembles the color of the gem used and often features stripes. If you’re looking for matching outfits and aren’t sure what to use, gems can offer a viable solution.
The Gem Birds Puzzle
A particularly exciting aspect of gems is the Gem Birds puzzle. When you visit Ginger Island, it’s better to bring five types of gems with you. Waiting for rain to solve this puzzle can be a bit tedious. More details on how to solve this are available in other guides.
Enhancing Weapons with Gems
Each weapon in Stardew Valley can be enchanted up to three times, and different gems contribute different stats:
- Amethyst: +10 power, effectively adding +1 knockback.
- Topaz: +1 defense, useful if you’re keen on stacking up defense.
- Jade: +10% critical damage, not highly recommended.
- Aquamarine: +4.6% base critical chance, not a multiplier, but can be a solid choice for any weapon type.
- Emerald: Adds attack speed, beneficial especially for hammers.
- Ruby: +10% attack power, particularly useful for swords.
- Diamond: Random enhancements for the remaining upgrade slots. Not recommended as it can waste a Diamond and five Iridium Bars.
The most versatile of these is Ruby. If you’re unsure about which gem to use for enhancing, three Rubies are always a solid bet.
Whether you want to focus on mining, selling, trading, or gift-giving, gems offer a myriad of opportunities to enhance your Stardew Valley experience. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most out of your gem collecting endeavors.