I'm working on a "fast secondary character level up" item set, and one thing I want is a low-level socketed helmet that I can stick a ruby in.

I don't remember seeing gems or socketed items until Act 2, however. Does anyone know the minimum "required character level" on an item that has sockets? Although I'm primarily concerned with helmets, having sockets in some of my other low-level power-leveling gear would be useful, so I'd like a general answer if possible.

  • Tristan aka Fluttershy crafted a level 17 socketed helm tonight. Commented May 20, 2012 at 5:45
  • As for fast levelling of your second character, what you really want as soon as possible is a socketed weapon. Put a high level red gem in it and you plow through groups of mobs like a hot knife through butter. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 18:18

3 Answers 3


After several days worth of research, using the items offered at the Auction House as a guideline, I was able to determine that socketed items are generally available as low as level 15. It does not seem to matter what item is in question (armor, rings, weapons, etc) - you must be level 15 to equip something that contains a socket.

  • 1
    Lv15 weapon socketed with Marquis Ruby, cheat mode unlocked! ;P
    – Neon1024
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 7:45

While the answer that level 15 is the lowest level is generally correct, you can in fact find legendary items that are of lower level.

For instance, the legendary item "See No Evil" is a Monk head gear, with socket, and can be commonly found at level 10.


Act II.

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.

  • This doesn't answer the question - the question asks the minimum required character level on a socketed item, not at what point they start dropping.
    – agent86
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 3:21

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