I’ve covered prospecting in the past, but that is not the only thing jewelcrafting is good for. Meta gems are a great way to generate gold, so let’s take a look.
Meta gem sourcing
There are two meta gem types in TBC, Earthstorm Diamonds and Skyfire Diamonds. Both can only be obtained from daily alchemy cooldowns. Since the only source is from another profession, and is limited by a daily cooldown, it is usually profitable to buy the uncut gems and cut them yourself!
Now there are going to be players with large alt armies, particularly for Earthstorm diamonds, as it is very easy to get the recipe at level 60. Skyfire diamond requires you to get to 70 however, making it a lot harder to mass produce.
Unlike the rare normal gems, meta gem recipes come from a wider variety of sources. There are some tradeable world drop recipes, but most of them come from reputations or specific drops. Obviously the most important ones are the highest sale rate ones, below is the list for both diamond types based on EU data. As we can see, there is one source that really stands out. The Consortium gets you access to all of the 3 best Earthstorm Diamond recipes and the second best Skyfire recipe.
In addition the Sha’tar, as well as grinding the Coilskar Sirens in the Shadowmoon Valley will round out the rest of the strong sellers. Getting all of those will get you 95% of the value you can get from meta gems! One note is that the Powerful and Relentless earthstorm diamond recipes is sold by the consortium vendor inside Karazhan, so you will have to get a group there, after obtaining the necessary reputation.
Grinding consortium rep
Since Consortium has so many valuable recipes I thought I would add some quick tips for getting reputation. The best way by far is to farm at the heap, south of Area 52 in Netherstorm. The mobs here can drop prison keys as well as the Zaxxis insignias. Obviously you also want to do every consortium quest you can. The keys give you 250 rep each by freeing a prisoner and killing it, as well as the rep from insignias. It takes a couple of hours, but it’s not too onerous, even a lazy guy like me could be bothered doing it.
Stocking and selling
Generally the main tips is to look for uncut gems regularly and pick them up when they are cheap. Then you can just craft more as you run out. I like to keep all the ones I have in stock, as the profit margin is great, even on the low sale rate ones. I’ll typically craft 2 at a time for the higher sale rate ones, and one each for the other and keep them ready. My TSM groups contains crafting operations and auctioning operations so you can keep your meta gems in stock and on the AH!