With the release of Mount Hyjal and Black Temple epic gems are added to TBC. This will have some important ramifications for jewelcrafters, so let’s take a look at this addition.
Epic gem sources
The new epic gems can only be obtained from the new raids. They drop from trash in BT, and can be mined in mount Hyjal. This means that gems will primarily be generated by guilds early on. I expect guilds to prioritize the gems for their raiders. We might see some trash farming in Black Temple if that is possible though, so I expect some of these to trickle out onto the AH fairly quickly. Either way the supply will be low and prices high, as most raiders will want to add these new gems to any BiS pieces they get from the new raids. I doubt players will bother with these gems for non-bis pieces, as the cost is just too high.
All of the recipes for cutting the new gems come from the Scale of The Sands reputation. This is the reputation related to the Mount Hyjal Raid. A full clear will give about 7800 rep, and the recipes come in at friendly and honored. You will need the equivalent of 2 full clears, or quite a bit of rep farming to get there. If you are not in a raiding guild, this might put these recipes out of your reach in the immediate future, but it is possible there will be rep farming groups, depending on how efficiently the rep can be farmed.
Short term the gems will not have a huge impact as the supply will take some time to get going. Eventually we should see demand for the current rare gems to go down, and prices go down as players prioritize more gold into the epic gems. This will also of course depend heavily on how effectively these gems can be farmed if at all, as well as if and when guilds decide to sell the gems they generate. There will always be pugs doing the raid where the gems are likely to make it to market, but we can’t know what will happen.
I expect profit
As usual with BiS gems I expect these recipes to be profitable. The barrier to entry for the cuts is not insignificant as you need to be max level, and ready to raid hyjal to get the recipes. This will at least rule out certain crafter alts, and should help keep profits higher for those with the recipe.
Below is my TSM setup for the epic gems. This time around we will rely on the crafting cost as the uncut gems can not be prospected. That means the market value of the raw gems is the best estimate of their value and cost. As usual with gems we prefer to post stacks of 1 for a short duration to limit the deposit costs as much as possible. Good luck and happy hunting!