There has been lots of Jewelcrafting news from the beta this past week. Most notably, we heard about not 1, but 5 new mounts that Jewelcrafters can make: Dawnstone Panther, Emerald Panther, Ruby Panther, and the Sapphire Panther, plus you can combine them into the Jeweled Onyx Panther. All signs point to this being the major gold sink that Mists of Pandaria needs to help bring the economy back into balance for the majority of players.
But there's a much more significant development for Jewelcrafters hidden in the beta files: we might be moving away from red gems as the flagship gem. For comparison, here are the "Purified" hybrid gems since Burning Crusade:
Rare: Purified Nightseye (+4 Intellect, +4 Spirit)
Epic: Purified Shadowsong Amethyst (+5 Intellect, +5 Spirit)
Wrath of the Lich King
Common: Purified Shadow Crystal (+6 Intellect, +6 Spirit)
Common: Perfect Purified Shadow Crystal (+7 Intellect, +7 Spirit)
Rare: Purified Twilight Opal (+8 Intellect, +8 Spirit)
Epic: Purified Dreadstone (+10 Intellect, +10 Spirit)
Common: Perfect Purified Nightstone (+18 Intellect, +17 Spirit)
Rare: Purified Demonseye (+20 Intellect, +20 Spirit)
Epic: Purified Shadow Spinel (+25 Intellect, +25 Spirit)
And here are the datamined "Purified" gems in Mists of Pandaria:
Common: Purified Roguestone (+60 Intellect, +120 Spirit)
Rare: Perfect Purified Roguestone (+80 Intellect, +160 Spirit)
Notice the difference? For the first three expansions, there was essentially a 1:1 relationship between primary stats (Intellect in this case) and secondary ones (Spirit). This meant that unless there was a great socket bonus on gear, people would ignore the bonus and just gem primary stats, all of which are red gems. But now the relationship seems to be moving to 1:2. For every point of a primary stat on a hybrid gem, there are two points of secondary stats.
At first, people will happily gem red because that's what they are used to doing. But eventually, knowledge will trickle down that hybrid gems are actually worth more point-for-point than red gems. This fits perfectly with Blizzard design goal of more interesting choices. Talents were revamped to make everything more interesting.
Why wouldn't gems get that treatment? I suspect Blizzard has data that shows a large percentage of people simply gem red in most sockets and they don't like it. They want players to have to think about their choices and weigh all the options. Making gems less of a no-brainer is a good thing in their mind.
For Jewelcrafters, this means that you'll be selling other colors (at least, orange/purple hybrids that contain a primary stat) with more frequency. This diversification will help raise the profitability of the profession and normalize prices a bit more across colors. I can see the new ranking for gem values to be:
Lowest: Blue/Yellow (Single stats, none of which are primaries)
Lower Middle: Green (Hybrid stats, none of which are primaries)
Upper Middle: Orange/Yellow (Hybrid stats, some of which are primaries)
Highest: Red (Single stats, most of which are primaries)
The groupings aren't that different from current, but instead of a large gap between Red and all others, the gap between Red and Orange/Yellow will be much smaller, with a larger gap between Orange/Yellow and Green.
So what do you think? Will this change make it live? Will we see more profitable options for Jewelcrafters?