Gemstone

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Clockwise from top: a sapphire, ruby, emerald, amethyst, and diamond.

A gemstone (also called a gem, jewel, precious stone, or semiprecious stone) is a piece of naturally occurring mineral or organic crystal which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments. A gem maker is called a lapidary or gemcutter; a diamond cutter is called a diamantaire.12 A jeweler practices crafting decorative wearable items, into which they often set cut gemstones.3

Most gemstones are relatively small and weigh less than a coin, but can be extremely valuable. However, the value of unworked raw gemstones increases significantly once finished.2

Classification by value

Mavaro exhibits a variety of jewelry embedded with valuable gemstones.

Gemstone values are classified by their rarity, or preciousness. Semiprecious stones are common, while precious stones are considerably rarer and more difficult to finish.2

Lesser semiprecious

Most gemstones of this type are worth up to 20 silver pieces.2

Moderate semiprecious

Most gemstones of this type are worth from 25 silver pieces to 10 gold pieces.2

Greater semiprecious

Most gemstones of this type are worth from five gold pieces to two platinum pieces.2

Lesser precious

Most gemstones of this type are worth from five to 20 platinum pieces.2

Moderate precious

Most gemstones of this type are worth from 10 to 40 platinum pieces.2

Greater precious

Most gemstones of this type are worth from 50 to 200 platinum pieces.2

On Golarion

Gemstones are widely pursued for their beauty and value, and are often extracted from mineral veins running through Golarion via mines. Parts of the Inner Sea region known to be rich with gemstones include the Bandu Hills in Eleder,56 the Gembasket in the Barrier Wall mountains of Katapesh,7 the Kortos Mounts of the Isle of Kortos,89 the volcanic Mudpot region of Nirmathas,10 and Rahadoum.11 Elsewhere on Golarion, gemstones are plentiful in the Tian Xia nation of Quain.12

The Sunstone Cliffs, located in the northeastern Thanelands of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings,13 are famous for their Thrain sunstones, unique gems that glow with a warm yellow light and whose flaws allow knowledgeable users to determine which way is north. Jewelry made from sunstones fetches huge prices across the Inner Sea region.14

Fire whales also produce gemstones by digesting rocks and minerals.15[citation needed]

In religion

The holy symbol of Nivi Rhombodazzle, a six-sided gemstone die.

Several deities are associated with gemstones, or have associated items that prominently feature gemstones. For example, each golden ring of Torag contains a large red gemstone that seems to sparkle with an inner fire and exhibits the expert craftsmanship of Torag's clerics.16

Abadaran worshipers demonstrate their obedience by weighing valuable objects, including gemstones, on a scale until all are balanced.17

The Desnan Ritual of Stardust holiday includes a ceremony where sand is mixed with gemstones and thrown into the embers of dying fires.1819

Priests of Findeladlara often craft their own quarterstaves and decorate them with precious gems.20

Followers of the Angry Hag Gyronna favor small shrines of simple piled stones, some of which have cat's-eye gemstones on top or a painted representation of one, from which Gyronna is said to peer and curse defilers of the shrine.21

Sairazul, elemental lord of gemstones, is imprisoned in a gem called the Moaning Diamond.2223

Other divine connections to gemstones include Nivi Rhombodazzle, the gnome deity known for trading gemstones to Torag for her divinity and whose holy symbol is a six-sided gemstone die; Baalzebul, for whom one of his symbols is a haloed gemstone above a split crown;24 Mammon, archdevil of wealth and former empyreal lord of gems;25 Thremyr, whose symbol is a frozen blue gemstone;26 and Bohga, an asura rana made of gold and gemstones.27

As lifeforms

Some creatures are themselves animate gemstones or fundamentally incorporate them into their being, such as gemstone gargoyles, whose flesh has some of the properties of certain gemstones,28 and crysmals, which are scorpion-like creatures comprised of gemstones.2930

Earth elementals are made of solid stone, crystal, or dirt save for their eyes, which are always at least semiprecious gemstones.31[citation needed]

A carbuncle bears a gemstone horn used as a focus for its magical powers, though if harvested, the gemstone tends to disintegrate.32

In Darkmoon Wood, the regurgitated gizzard stones of mereswans are considered to be semiprecious gemstones among dwarves.33

Gelatinous cubes commonly contain gems among valuables suspended within the ooze.34

A hegessik is a protean with gemstones in place of tail plumage that change type with its mood.35

Harbinger archons resemble orrerys with a sun and moon made of gemstones.36[citation needed]

An aeon wyrd is a construct built from gemstones to serve as familiars and aeon stone conduits.37

A vouivre reproduces asexually by laying a ruby egg from its head upon its death.38

An ambergrim is a forest-based ooze creature formed from resin that looks like amber and can solidify parts of its body to make an amber prison for its victims.39

The Starstone

The Starstone is a unique gemstone meteorite that was part of a massive meteoroid which shattered and struck Golarion in -5293 AR. This event, known as Earthfall, caused the destruction of many ancient empires including Azlant, Thassilon, Koloran, and Ninshabur; it created the Inner Sea; and it ushered in the Age of Darkness.404142

In the Darklands

Drathnelars43 sometimes risk the dangerous depths of Aumentral, Ilvarandin, to recover gemstones of great quality.44

In Druma

Due to the focus on ostentatious wealth in the Prophecies of Kalistrade, gemstones are common status-signaling accessories among its people. Flecks of gemstones even glitter from the bricks used to build Kerse.45

In draconic culture

Dragons and other draconic beings often include gemstones in their hordes of wealth and rarities. Green dragons, for example, collect green gemstones such as emeralds,46 while peludas believe eating gemstones empowers their combative strength.47

In dwarven culture

A dwarven loremaster wields a gemstone-tipped wand.

Gemstones have cultural importance among dwarves. For example, each dwarven clan is associated with a particular gemstone cut in a specific shape; the stone is usually one common in the clan's lands but rare enough to be valuable. These stones are often set in clan members' armor or the hilts of weapons. Due to the dwarves' extensive record-keeping, it is rare for any two clans to have the same stone and cut. When dwarves marry, they often create sheaths for their partner's dagger bearing their own clan gem.48

On distant worlds

Unique gemstones line the mantle of Varos, a moon of Bretheda.49

In the Great Beyond

The Elemental Plane of Earth is veined with massive deposits of gemstones unlike any possible on Golarion.50

Denizens of Leng often carry Leng rubies, alluring stones mined in quarries on their home plane, and offer them to the unsuspecting. These gems create a mile-long link that allows the denizen to read the mind of the carrier, or assault them with painful curses.51

Nahyndri, demon lord of gems, was the first demon lord to die at the hands of Nocticula after his attempts to enslave her.5253 Nahyndrian crystals, formed from the blood of murdered demon lords, are named for his fate.54

Salikotals, a species of devils, demand specific types of gemstones from their summoners as payment for different types of assassinations.55

In magic

Mesmalatu, a demilich, has a gemstone-encrusted skull reflecting her lust for magical power.

Gems are sometimes consumed as spell components in the practice of casting magic spells, and also often feature in the crafting of magic items.[citation needed]

Clockwork spies each embed a gemstone to record audio.56[citation needed]

The Azlanti Diamond, a clear jewel-bladed sword intended to be the weapon of the next Azlanti emperor, was one of Aroden's most famous creations as a mortal. Many believe his decision to keep the sword rather than name a new emperor provoked the veiled masters to call down Earthfall to destroy Azlant.5758

Elemental gems are magic gems that summon a large elemental being of a specific type when crushed, broken, or otherwise destroyed.5960

Aeon stones, also known as ioun stones, are magically charged gemstones that, when activated by an intelligent creature, levitate in a spinning manner around the head of its user. They have various effects, depending on the shape and colour of the stone.61

Night hags drain victims until they are weak enough to trap into a soul gem,62 as can cacodaemons with the souls of mortals who die near it. Such gems are often traded or sold in illegal markets.63

Gemstones commonly serve as phylacteries for liches.64 Demiliches are liches transformed by decay into gemstone-encrusted skulls.6566

The runelord Krune used a gemstone to store his soul while hibernating through Earthfall.676869

Gemstones often top magical staves.70[citation needed]

Certain wards rely on the presence of gemstones to function, and fail when removed,71 including wards associated with the kami of water sources known as suijins.72

Other items that deploy gemstones in magical manners include:

References

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

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