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What difference do gems make in enchanting weapons?

I have a filled black soul gem and I am not sure what value it gives me over a petty soul. When enchanting, I see the same "Target takes 11 points of frost damage" message no matter which soul gem I choose to use. Why should I bother collecting larger gems and filling them?

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marked as duplicate by Raven Dreamer Feb 3 '12 at 5:32

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I think this is a duplicate of a question I posted awhile back. I'll look that up for you. –  Iszi Feb 3 '12 at 5:08
    
Found it: gaming.stackexchange.com/q/43515/6274 –  Iszi Feb 3 '12 at 5:10
    
Perfect; thanks. For some reason I couldn't find your question when searching. –  Jacob Krall Feb 5 '12 at 20:11
    
It's ok. Happens to me all the time. –  Iszi Feb 5 '12 at 20:47

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For armor, the quality of the soul gem affects its magnitude. For weapons, the quality affects how many charges it can hold.

A Petty Soul Gem filled with a petty soul with only give you 1/12 the effect as Black/Grand Soul Gem with a grand soul. The means a weapon dealing frost damage based on a Petty Soul Gem will need to be refilled 12 times as often and will require the expenditure of at least 12 souls to do so, whereas a weapon enchanted using a Grand Soul Gem may only need a single, powerful soul to recharge once during that time.

It's not as pronounced an effect as for armor, definitely, but it's still nice to not have to recharge as often.

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"How many charges it can hold" was the crucial bit. Thanks much! –  Jacob Krall Feb 5 '12 at 20:12

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