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Unique Jewels

I don’t know what edition where the the random jewel and art object table in the 5e DMG (p 134) first appeared, but it’s become my second most used page (after “lingering injuries”).

Gems especially.

Have you ever had the problem where the characters find some gems and they don’t have a way to appraise ‘em so they just throw them into a pouch and then three months later when they are in a town and remember those gems and they wanna sell them and they’re like… “we have some gems, what are they worth?” and you have no idea? Especially if you’re like me and you run several different modules mashed together.

I mean, these days, my players have learned that they’d better write down a room number if they pick up weird stuff, but for gems especially, there’s a different solution.

On page 134 in the 5e DMG, every gem has a name and a description like “Pearl (opaque lustrous white, yellow, or pink)” and a value, in the case of a pearl it’s 100 gp . The names aren’t repeated and neither are the descriptions. So if they have “opaque lustrous white gems”, you can look that up and know that those are pearls and in 5e they are 100 gp.

Well, the descriptions are almost never repeated.

Across 85 different possible gem descriptions (if we parse out all the “or” and “,” variations), there are four repeated gems.

Jasper has a configuration that’s easy to confuse with obsidian (opaque black), both garnets and spinels can be transparent red, and both blue quartz and tourmaline can be transparent pale blue, aquamarine and zircons both only have one appearance option (transparent pale blue-green).

I’ve removed these duplicates in my treasure generator, and I’m thinking of taking a sharpie to my DMG and do the same there. Scratch “black” as an option for jasper, “red” as an option for spinels, “blue” as an option for tourmaline, and remove zircons entirely, changing the harp with inlaid zircons to use moonstones instead.

Do these values add up with the values listed in spell components? Pearls do match up, which is great, but the “diamonds” for revivify and raise dead don’t at all (they don’t even match each other), nor does the ruby for continual flame. That’s too bad, that would’ve been great.

(Also it would’ve been great if this page had been in the OGL’d SRD. An open standard for gems & gem values would’ve been baller!)