Some quick thoughts for you, Dear Reader, as we head into what will hopefully be a happy holiday weekend for everyone, both here in the US and abroad.
Chimera’s Eye gems are the new Jewelcrafter gems; they are the Cataclysm equivalent of Dragon’s Eye gems from WotLK. You get them at a price of one Illustrious Jewelcrafter’s Token (the reward for the JC daily), or by getting very lucky with a Fire Prism.
Right now, Chimera’s Eye gems are exceptionally valuable. They’re selling, consistently, for about 625g on my home server. The JC daily usually takes less than a minute to do, and it’s accessible at a skill level of 475. (If the quest that day is Elemental Goo, it can take a few minutes.) The high price will probably remain for the next few weeks, at least, for multiple reasons:
(1) Demand is high for a bunch of reasons, starting with the large amount of Jewelcrafters. Because JC was the end-game profession (along with Blacksmithing or Enchanting) for much of WotLK, there are, simply, a lot of JCs out there. In this case, more JCs= more potential customers.
(2) Remember how successful Blizzard was at making raiding much more accessible? Well, that has left a whole lot of people trying to gear up to start raiding in Cataclysm. And really, that’s the target audience: people who are trying to raid in this first wave of Cataclysm raiding.
Please, Dear Reader, allow me to rant a little bit about something that I don’t think most people realize: unless you’re in a cutting edge raiding/pvp guild or group, there isn’t a compelling mathematical reason to use the best gems in any slot right now. The extra 81 strength that you’ll get from using three Bold Chimera’s Eyes instead of three Bold Inferno Rubies isn’t going to be what makes the difference, no matter what raid you’re in or how close you are. In fact, one of the best tanks I know is using, as of time of the time of publication, an Austere Earthsiege Diamond and a Sovereign Dreadstone in his Grinning Fang Helm. Those gems are from last expansion. Why? Well, I can’t be sure, but I’ll bet my two copper it’s because (a) he had them laying around, (b) he knows that this piece of gear will be replaced shortly, and (c) it’s unnecessary to put expensive gems in those slots right now.
+80 strength isn't going to get him down
With all that said, there are still people who will buy the best gems for pieces of gear that don’t need it. And those people are worth supplying right now, even if (like me) you think it’s an unwise use of resources. (Gevlon wrote a great post about this early in WotLK, comparing the TBC Aldor shoulder enchants with the WotLK Sons of Hodir shoulder enchants. I was going to link to it, but I can’t find it. Anyone? A little help please?)
(3) Why don’t all these Jewelcrafting, would-be-raiders just use their own tokens? Well… I dunno, exactly. I imagine that a lot of them are collectors that just want all the cuts. Others might not want to deal with doing the (very easy and lucrative) daily. Maybe some people are responsible for getting cuts for their guild. And maybe some people have enough gold to just buy what they need and don’t care how much is costs. (There’s a term for this kind of wealth; it’s vulgar, but descriptive.)
No matter what the reason, very few people are selling Chimera’s Eye gems now, meaning that they’ll never be more valuable. From a gold-making perspective, deciding whether to buy cuts with JC tokens vs. selling Chimera’s Eyes is going to come down to your individual situation. If you’re mining a lot and have tons of ore to prospect, then the cuts will probably be worth investing in. However, if you, like me, don’t have a miner in Cataclysm content, then it might make sense to sell some tokens now, while the price is still very high. Each of the standard cuts you buy costs three tokens. That’s about a 1900g opportunity cost… so think twice about that before you buy the next cut on the page, just because it’s there.
Finally, all this JC stuff has me thinking about inflation. Before Cataclysm, everyone seemed to be speculating that gold would be much more readily available (which was true), but no one was sure how much. I submit that this is one good indicator of exactly how much inflation has occurred between expansions. The price of Dragon’s Eyes in Wrath settled at around 100g (and started between 200g and 300g, I think). When the price of Chimera’s Eyes stabilizes, we’ll have a good idea of how much more money everyone has, and exactly how much less each gold piece is worth now.
That’s all I’ve got today, Dear Reader. Enjoy the holidays! Have fun, be nice to your family, and be careful with the eggnog. The recipe around Casa Bigjimm has a little something extra, so less is more with that stuff.