Guide to finding gems on the auction house

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All crafted socketable gems are named in a particular two-part pattern:

<Stat_prefix> <Gem_name>

Where

<Stat_prefix>
A name that defines what stats the gem have. All gems with that name share those attributes, though the values will vary.
<Gem Name>
The base material used to make the (socketable) gem. The better the base material, the greater the resulting attributes.

Generally:

To find the gem you want, you can search for the <Stat_prefix> part of the name, depending on what socket and stats you are looking for, then use the quality selector on the Auction House UI to specify what amount of the desired stats you want (and how much gold you are willing to spend). Alternately, you can choose in the subset of gem the color you want and specify the quality, then it will produce a longer list of gems you can choose from.

Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 revised the gem system to be a little simpler. Several stats were removed along with existing stats being moved to a different color, causing the corresponding green, orange, or purple gem to either be removed, changed, or added. Biggest change was hit rating, intellect, and dodge rating moved to blue, red, and yellow (previously yellow, yellow, and red) respectively. Yellow stormjewels were removed and mastery rating will premiere on yellow gems for patch 4.0.3a.

Red Gems

Name Stat
Bold Strength
Brilliant Intellect
Delicate Agility
Flashing Parry Rating
Precise Expertise Rating

Blue Gems

Name Stat
Rigid Hit Rating
Solid Stamina
Sparkling Spirit
Stormy PvP Power

Yellow Gems

Name Stat
Fractured Mastery Rating
Mystic PvP Resilience
Quick Haste Rating
Smooth Critical Strike Rating
Subtle Dodge Rating

Purple Gems

"Matches a Red or Blue Socket."

Hit Rating Stamina Spirit PvP Power
Strength Etched Sovereign - -
Intellect Veiled Timeless Purified Mysterious
Agility Glinting Shifting - -
Parry Rating Retaliating Defender's - -
Expertise Rating Accurate Guardian's - -

Green Gems

"Matches a Blue or Yellow Socket."

Hit Rating Stamina Spirit PvP Power
Mastery Rating Sensei's Puissant Zen Infused
PvP Resilience Balanced Steady Turbid Vivid
Haste Rating Lightning Forceful Energized Shattered
Critical Strike Rating Piercing Jagged Misty Radiant
Dodge Rating Nimble Regal - -

Orange Gems

"Matches a Red or Yellow Socket."

Strength Intellect Agility Parry Rating Expertise Rating
Mastery Rating Skillful Artful Adept Fine Keen
PvP Resilience Resplendent Willful Lucent Splendid Tenuous
Haste Rating Fierce Reckless Deft - Wicked
Critical Strike Rating Inscribed Potent Deadly - Crafty
Dodge Rating Champion's - Polished Stalwart Resolute

Meta Gems

Main article: Meta gems

While meta gems also use the "<Stat_prefix> <Gem_name>" naming scheme, there are many effect combinations, making a table by attributes impractical. See Meta gems for a full listing.

Pearls

Both of these can be crafted into purple 'Purified' gems (Spell Power and Spirit)

Both of these can be crafted into prismatic Enchanted varieties that add a value to all stats.

Enchanting created Gems

These grant additional resistance to all realms of magic.