I'm about halfway through Act 1, but I haven't found a single gem yet. This seems strange to me since in diablo 2 gems could drop from the very first monster you killed.

At what point do I start getting gems?

Bonus points if you can include why it was changed so monsters don't drop gems from the start :)

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    The why part of the question probably can't be answered; it falls into "Why did the devs design it this way?" category. – Frank May 16 '12 at 15:02
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    @fbueckert Perfectly understandable if the "why" doesn't get answered :) Someone explained why blizzard made a specific design decision in my other question, so figured I'd ask for any insight to this decision too in case anyone knew the answer :) – Rachel May 16 '12 at 16:47

I found both my first socketed item and my first gem in Act II after I

killed Magdha.

However, both @Sterno and @OrigamiRobot found gems before the activity above - so far, it seems Act II is the only real concrete limitation so far.

However, both OrigamiRobot and @Resorath confirm a similar experience (a gem dropping off the activity above). It seems that a gem will always drop from said mob. It does not seem a socketed item drop is guaranteed, though.

It's a few more quests until you find the Jewelry Artisan, Covetous Shen, but it is shortly thereafter in the same Act. You can find gems before him, and before the activity above.

  • I believe that mob always drops a gem on the first time you kill it. – Resorath May 16 '12 at 15:51
  • Good point - I also suspect that's the case, as an introduction to gems. I'll add to answer - thanks. – Ian Pugsley May 16 '12 at 16:00
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    @IanPugsley I found my first in Act II as well, but before the point that you mention (I'm still on my way to find her). My first gem popped out of a chest in a (random?) timed dungeon which I unfortunately forget the name of. I almost missed it since I've grown accustomed to ignoring white items. – Sterno May 16 '12 at 16:29
  • I also found a gem before that event. I was cleaning the town of snakes right before that location when one of the snakes dropped a chipped ruby :) – Rachel May 22 '12 at 15:22

You start getting gems in Act 2, around the time you meet up with the Jewelry Artisan. I got my first gems shortly before I met him.

It is likely that this is intentional, as a way of introducing you to the concept in a cohesive fashion (giving you both the gems, and the means of improving and reusing them at roughly the same time).

  • One can assume having sockets and gems before introducing him could be very baffling for new-comers. – Emerica. May 16 '12 at 15:09
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    @Emerica. It is actually possible, though - I found my first socketed and gem before he was introduced. – Ian Pugsley May 16 '12 at 15:10
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    @IanPugsley They must have smelled the blood of Baal and Mephisto on your hands from D2. – Emerica. May 16 '12 at 15:10

I found a gear item with a socket late in act 1 I do believe if not it was right at the start of act 2... still no gems yet and I just made it to iron wolves camp whete theyre locked up.. idk of this helps as its my first time ever playing diablo series.

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