Do gemstones such as emeralds, amethysts etc have any purpose in Skyrim other than being sold for gold?


4 Answers 4


Gems are useful for smithing, as they increase the skill by quite a bit. They can be smithed into jewelry which can then be enchanted with properties that buff certain attributes (fortify light armor, extra sneaking or lockpicking percentage, etc).

Also, some gems are used during quests. For example, there is an Argonian in Riften who will ask you to find three Flawless Amethysts so that he can make a wedding ring for his lover.

As you mentioned, they can also be sold for a fair amount of gold. Keep in mind though that gemmed jewelry is more costly than just gems alone. If it's money you're after crafting jewelry and selling that would be more advantageous than selling the gems alone.

  • 1
    Do you know if quality of jewellery effects enchantments? Would I be better selling the expensive jewellery and using cheap stuff for enchanting?
    – AnnanFay
    Nov 25, 2011 at 16:01
  • @Annan - I'd save the more expensive stuff for enchanting - it does seem to affect how strong the enchantment is. Coupled with a Greater or Black soul gem, you can really create some awesome enchantments on that higher level stuff. Though higher level pieces with an enchantment are worth some SERIOUS gold.
    – spugsley
    Nov 25, 2011 at 16:17
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    @Annan - apparently, there is no difference in enchantment strength depending on the quality of the gemmed item. That being said, the better the item, the more expensive it will be after the enchantment process.
    – spugsley
    Nov 25, 2011 at 17:25
  • @spugsley I'm confused - does anything about an item besides apparel type (head/neck/hands/etc) matter for enchanting?
    – Thomas
    Nov 26, 2011 at 4:28
  • @Thomas No. The gemstone in an amulet or ring doesn't affect the power of the enchantment on it. I'm not certain that a gemmed amulet actually sells for more than the amulet and gem sold separately. Crafting jewellery is a great way to launder stolen gems, though. Nov 26, 2011 at 20:38

I found another use for gemstones (could possibly be considered a spoiler):

The Atronach Forge in The Midden under Winterhold College can be used to conjure atronachs. You need to put "recipe" items in the offering box and then pull the lever. One of the recipe items is a gemstone.

The "Atronach Manual" lists the following recipes:

Flame Atronach: Fire Salts + Ruby
Frost Atronach: Frost Salts + Sapphire
Storm Atronach: Void Salts + Amethyst

Also, gemstones + soul gem + salt pile can make either frost salt, fire salt or void salts, depending on the gem.


Yes. With the smithing skill you can create gemmed jewelry like rings and necklaces that you can enchant that are useful for mages.

  • Useful for all characters! Rings and amulets of Fortify [your_weapon_preference_here] are awesome.
    – dpatchery
    Nov 25, 2011 at 15:07

You're actually better off selling your gems. Smithing gem incrusted jewelry isn't worth it, you're actually at loss in comparison to how much you would make by selling the gem separately and making naked rings with your precious (silver or gold) ingots.

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    On the other hand, now that smithing experience is affected by value, smithing gem-encrusted jewelery is very helpful for raising one's smithing skill, since gold is often not a limiting factor. Aug 12, 2012 at 1:06

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