Dear WoW players, if you have several alts, especially high level ones, or plan to have several alts, my suggestion is to learn all the tradeskill professions in the game. I suggest you do that even if you won't immediately make a lot of gold from them. Once you reach a certain level of "wealth", meaning a few tens of thousands of gold, or even a few thousand gold, a very good investment for the future is to learn a profession.
Maybe a year ago I decided to learn Jewelcrafting on my young Warlock but then I gave up and got Herbalism instead. That wasn't such a big mistake because I am of the opinion that the best professions for a leveling character are gathering skills. That's because a leveling toon doesn't have access to the highest level of recipes and patterns anyway, while they can always gather mats through the areas they are questing, both for profit or for use in another profession.
My Warlock had Tailoring and Herbalism when he reached level 80 and then I parked him in Dalaran, un-learned Herbalism and taught him Jewelcrafting. When you're 80 it's almost trivial to power-level a profession, especially when gold is of no concern.
To level Jewelcrafting to 450 quickly, I used this guide. There are probably others out there but the guides I found on this site have always been helpful to me. Some of you might recall my Engineering 450 article. Engineering was a surprisingly cheap and quick profession to level, despite claims to the contrary. It cost me about 1500 gold. Jewelcrafting, in contrast, is at least double that. It requires a lot of costly mats but you can diminish some of the pain by planning accordingly.
Since I like to plan my moves ahead of time, I knew I would power-level Jewelcrafting once I hit 80, so I made a list of mats I needed and I watched them on the Auction House for at least a month, always buying the cheapest ones. I calculated the average price for leveling Jewelcrafting at about 4200 gold but I believe it cost me less than that, perhaps around 3000. At any rate, cost wasn't of great importance, though I realize that other players won't feel the same. If it is any consolation to you, consider that you can recuperate some of the cost by selling the crafted items on the AH.
I won't take you through every little detail of leveling Jewelcrafting. At various points you might find yourself running out of certain mats if you follow the guide. That's why it's a good idea to have a little bit more than the minimum required.
I would suggest you get all the required mats before starting to level, or at least 80-90% of them. Keep in mind that if you do that, you will require a lot of space. You could get special Jewelcrafter's bags or you could use your bank for storage. Since I have a full 6-tab guild bank and also all bag slots on my bank alt, I didn't have a problem here, though I still got close to capacity with all the stuff I had in there.
Once I had all the mats, I used my bank alt to mail them in stages to my Warlock. I found that easier to do than grabbing them from the guild bank, because I could mail the crafted mats back to my bank alt. For some reason I find it easier to grab items from the mailbox than from the bank. Your opinion might differ.
Getting to 450 is only a small part of being able to call yourself a true Master of Jewelcrafting. That's because the most powerful patterns will only be available after weeks and weeks of "studying", or rather doing the Jewelcrafting dailies in Dalaran.
Once you get to 440, the going will be slow, but it needn't be. There are 2 main options here to get you to 450:
- Cut your daily Icy Prism
- Cut metas
The 2 metas that I have learned to cut are Ember Skyflare Diamond and Relentless Earthsiege Diamond. Both of these recipes however require 5 Dalaran Jewelcrafter's Tokens each, meaning about 10 days of doing dailies before they can be acquired. You will be able to get a few extra tokens from one or two quests at the beginning but that's about it. Once you can craft these metas, you'll be making your first profits with Jewelcrafting.
To give you an example, on my server I can buy Skyflare Diamonds for 30 gold or less, cut them, and sell the meta for about 50 gold. I will buy Earthsiege Diamonds for the same price but they usually go for more, around 60 gold. These two metas seem to be some of the most popular ones, so I haven't bothered learning other patterns. It so happens that the Relentless Earthsiege Diamond is also the best meta for a DPS class, such as my Hunter.
I like doing the Jewelcrafting dailies. Each daily will give you 1 Dalaran Jewelcrafter's Token that you can use to purchase some of the most powerful patterns. You can also buy other powerful patterns from the various Northrend factions but I won't be doing that with my Warlock since I just parked him in Dalaran until the next expansion. If you can become exalted with a few factions, more power to you.
The dailies will take you to a few areas: Icecrown, Dragonblight or Storm Peaks. In another article I will show you exact locations where I go to find the required item for the quest. In essence, each of these quests will require you to go to a certain zone and get a certain item that drops on certain mobs. Then combine that item with a couple of green gems and you get your quest item which you then turn in. I love these dailies because they are quick and Tokens are at a premium since most patterns require 4, 5 or 6 Tokens.
Once you have your first tokens, the question is what to buy with them first of all. I would suggest to spend them on one of the two metas that I presented above, or both. It also depends what your Jewelcrafting goals are. If you just want to make gold, research which cut gems sell for the most amount and learn those. On the other hand, you might want to cut gems for your own characters, in which case your profession will take a slightly different direction. In this case, try to figure out which gems are the most important for you, which give you the best stats. Cut those.
Don't make the same mistake I did. As a noobish Jewelcrafter I jumped at the chance to buy a profession specific epic gem, blinded by the fact that it only cost 2 tokens. I then realized that the gem was BoP and only my Warlock could equip it. Unfortunately I had grabbed an Attack Power gem, which is totally useless for a spellcaster. Oh well, live and learn.
Since I had accumulated a whole bunch of raw blue gems prior to my Jewelcrafting career, the first patterns I purchased with my tokens were for gems that I could sell at a profit. I only learned one of each color, except purple. Here's what I have been selling since then, at a profit:
- Blue - Lustrous Sky Sapphire
- Red - Delicate Scarlet Ruby
- Yellow - Rigid Autum's Glow
- Orange - Luminous Monarch Topaz
- Green - Vivid Forest Emerald
- Purple - I don't craft anything from these seeing that they're pretty much worthless. Instead, I send them to my Engineer Hunter to be used for Heartseeker Scopes.
Later in my Jewelcrafting career I started to need epic cuts for my Hunter who had acquired some shiny new epics from running random heroics. Thus, I bought some epic patterns so I could cut all the gems I needed for this character. Luckily, I could fill almost all my needs with a few cuts. Here they are:
- Prismatic (red/blue/yellow) - Nightmare Tear. I suggest you learn this recipe as quickly as possible. It is the best option for filling a blue socket and it also meets all the requirements for a Relentless Earthsiege Diamond meta gem. I also made a lot of gold by selling it, for two reasons. First, I bought Dragon's Eyes cheaply. Second, listing the Nightmare Tear on the AH is free, so I can put it up for 48 hours and forget about it.
- Red - Bright Cardinal Ruby. Cardinal Rubies can go for 180 but not much lower than that. The cut gem sell for over 200G.
- Yellow - Rigid King's Amber. Buy King's Amber for 180, sell cut gem for around 200G.
- Orange - Pristine Ametrine and Wicked Ametrine. I can buy an Ametrine for around 150G and sell the cut gems for 180-190.
Jewelcrafting is not a huge gold-maker for me. It is highly stressful to me due to the huge AH deposit costs. Very often, gems will return unsold. What I sell the most are the two metas and Nightmare Tears, although people tend to bring prices to the ground. For veteran Jewelcrafters, this profession has been a gold mine. It is said that it is second best at making gold after Inscription. It might well be, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm taking it easy. I find it useful because I can cut my own gems and I can sell the surplus for a small profit. I can also prospect ore that I get from my Hunter who's a Miner. My Hunter also supplies various green and blue gems that he mines from nodes.
Most of all, I have learned this profession to complement all the others. I believe that as someone who has several alts, including 4 level 80s, it is a very good business practice to have all the professions at max level. There are synergies between all professions and it pays off in the end to have them all maxed out.
Coming up in the next article: locations where you can find the required items for the Dalaran Jewelcrafting dailies.