New World Gems Guide – What are the best gems for weapons and armor?

We guide you through New World gems, featuring how to get them, their mechanics, and the best gems for weapons and armor.

New World Gems Best Gems for weapons and armor

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During your adventures in Aeternum, you have come across pieces of gear with gem slots in them. If you manage to get one of these and equip them, you can insert gems into your gear, which modify them to grant extra power. There are plenty of New World gems to choose from. This article guide aims to guide you through what the New World gems are all about,

New World Gems

New World Sapphire Gem Example
Here is an example of a late-game Sapphire gem on a craftable legendary recipe.

There is quite a variety of Gems in New World. Gems are basically free upgrades that add extra perks or stats to your character and are very important for your build. However, each gem provides slightly different benefits depending on whether you slot them into your armor or weapon. For example, an Amber gem in your armor can reduce the amount of nature damage taken at a percentage. Meanwhile, placing one in your weapon will grant damage converted to a nature bonus. 

There are also different benefits for the different tiers of gems. You can get better percentages that will buff the effect of a gem, depending on the gem’s tier. All damage scaling gems start at 2, rising to 2.5,3, and 3.8 depending on the tier of the gem. You can expect similar scalings and values for the threat and damage reduction gems.

Below you will find a table that contains all the gems in the game and what they do. You can find the details on their weapon and armor modifications.

GemArmorWeapon
AmberNature damage resist.Nature damage conversion and scales with Focus.
AmethystVoid damage resistance.Void damage conversion. Scales with INT
AquamarineIce damage reduction.Ice damage. Scaled with INT
CarnelianGenerate less threat.Adds taunt to certain weapon skills.
DiamondPhysical damage absorption and secondary elemental.Extra damage and healing while at full HP.
EmeraldThurst damage absorption.Bonus damage against targets with less than 30% HP.
JasperStrike damage absorption.Extra damage after receiving three hits.
MalachiteElemental damage absorption.Bonus damage against targets hit with CC.
MoonstoneSlash damage absorption.Extra damage while below 30% HP.
OnyxPhysical damage absorption.Bonus damage against targets with full HP.
OpalElemental damage absorption.Bonus damage while not at maximum stamina.
RubyFire damage absorbtion.Fire Damage that scales with INT.
SapphireArcane damage absorbtion.Arcane damage that scales with INT.
TopazLightning damage absorption.Lightning damage that Scales with INT.
This table details each effect a New World gem has.

New World Gems to use for countering NPCs

Later on in this article, we go into detail on the best gems for certain weapons and armor, and why certain gems are good for certain builds. However, that’s mainly to theorycraft your build. One of the realities, especially in the end game, is that you will need to swap your gems around quite often. The reason why is because the end game has plenty of 65 elite areas, such as Myrkgard.

In this instance, Myrkgard is filled with Corrupted elites. If you want to have an easier time you will need to slot in gems that make your damage more effective against their weakness. Below we will insert a table that demonstrates the weaknesses of New World mob types, so you can effectively beat what open-world or dungeon content you are going to farm. Moreso, if you use a weapon that the NPC are strong against, you can change gem to ensure you don’t deal ineffective damage.

NPC familyWeaknessesStrengths
AncientStrike, Void, LightningSlash. Fire
Angry EarthSlash, FireThrust, Lightning
BeastsThrust
The CorruptedThrust, Nature, ArcaneStrike, Ice
The LostStrike, IceThrust, Void

New World best gems for armor

The nest gems for armor in New World entirely depends on your playstyle. If you’re only interested in New World’s PvE content, then you’ll more than likely want to use the Carnelian gems. The Carnelian gems lower your threat, making it easier for the tank to keep aggro on adds or a boss. Of course, don’t use this if you’re a tank, as you want to keep threat.

If you’re a fan of PvP, and you are noticing a weakness in your playstyle, perhaps you can put gems in to make up for it. For example, if you find that War Hammer builds are a great counter to you? Perhaps you can socket Jasper gems to reduce the amount of damage that Strike damage deals. Are Bows and Muskets causing you an issue? You’ll want to use the Onyx gems to get a flat percentage reduction to incoming physical damage.

New World best gems for weapons

While socketing gems on your New World armor is not that interesting, your choice for weapons is much better.  There are quite a lot of uses, including healing increases, mixed damage, single element or taunt focused gems.

If you’re a tank, and you’re using something like the War Hammer or Great Axe, you’ll likely want a Cornelian gem. The reason why is because slotting a Corenlian gem into these two weapons offers you the opportunity to gain a taunt on one of the weapon skills. For the War  Hammer, Shockwave gains a taunt effect on enemies the skill hits. The same can be said for the Great Axe, Hatchet, Rapier and Hatchet for one of their skills resp[ectively.

Read More: New World tank builds.

The only thing we recommend is if you’re using one of the aforementioned weapons for tanking and DPSing, grab a second version to specifically tank. That way, you can avoid having to constantly re-farm your Cornelian gem, and whatever gem you want to add to your DPS build.

Before we go any further, you’re going to want to know that certain mob types take reduced and increased damage from different damage types. You can tell if you’re not doing a great amount of damage if your damage has a blue symbol next to it. So, if you’re fighting Corrupted, you’ll need to convert your damage to Thrust, Nature or Arcane to deal damage. On the other hand, you’ll want to avoid using Ice or Strike damage etc. This is great if you’re looking to take on the Myrkgard area as part of your end game farming.

Best New World gems for melee DPS

New World Spear
Image via Amazon Games.

If you’re a melee DPS player, you’ll more than likely want to socket a gem that buffs your weapon’s damage type. For example, the best New World gem for a War Hammer is Malachite gems, as they increase your damage against opponents hit with CC. 

Alternatively, the Great Axe player might like the Emerald gem because it does bonus damage to targets on less than 30% HP, which enhances the Execute skill greatly. Meanwhile, Berskerker Hatchet players might like the Moonstone gem because of its extra damage while below 30% HP. It is entirely preferential to your playstyle and what skills, passives and spec focus on your weapon mastery.

Arguably, the best New World gem for the Spear is the Malachite gem. The reason why is because the Spear has quite a few light CC attacks, regardless of spec. The gem adds extra damage to the CC on these skills, so it generally scales with the weapon better. If not, you might like the Opal for doing damage while not at full stamina, or an Emerald for its execute range and consistent attacks.

The same can be said for anyone speccing in the Swordmaster Sword spec. The Sword has reliable CC, plus it does decent cleave damage and fast attacks to benefit from the Opal, Emerald and Malachite. You might even like the Jasper for tanking since you get bonus damage after getting hit three times, which you can mitigate the damage with your block on your shield. The Jasper gem is greater for PvP too, especially if you’re in heavy armor and are using a Life Staff or have a healer nearby.

Best New World gems for ranged weapons

The best gem for a Bow is the Opal gem. The Skirmisher tree has a passive called Evasive Tactics, which grants bonus damage whenever you perform a dodge move. Therefore, to keep that scaling up, you can take the Opal gem for the coefficiency. Opal gems grant bonus damage when not at maximum stamina. If you don’t use the Evasive Tactics passive, the next best New World gem for the Bow is the Diamond gem.

The best gem for a Musket is the Diamond gem because it increases your damage (and healing) while at full HP. While the healing part is irrelevant, your shooter stance with a weapon the reduced weapon fall of damage passive allows you outrange almost every skill in the game, meaning you can muster great efficiency from Diamond gems.

If you like the Fire Staff, then the best gem for a Fire Staff is the Onyx. One of the Fire Staff builds is doing huge burst and crit damage on full HP targets. Onyx gems grant extra scaling to the first damaging move on full HP targets. The reason why it is great is because of the increased burst damage with Pillar of Flame and the 300 Intelligence perk that do bonus damage if the target is on full HP. The Ony Gem really helps to enhance that build.

Read More: New World best DPS builds.

New World best gem for a Life Staff

New World Life Staff
Image via Amazon Games.

Since healing is slightly different, most gems are not relevant to a Life Staff. Therefore, there are only two viable healing gem options out there. One of the best New World gems for a Life Staff is the Amber gem because of the Nature damage conversion and it scales with Focus. It is good for players opting for the Protection spec, especially for those who use the Beacon skill.

Alternatively, the other great New World gem for a Life Staff build is the Diamond. While you are at full HP, you will grant extra healing from all sources. It is pretty good in PvE, especially if your dungeon group has great coordination and you can dodge unnecessary damage. However, it is not that great in PvP, as healers should be the focus target for range harassment or diving melee players. With all that said, the choice between both gems is entirely up to you, your skill, and your coordination.

How to put a gem on a New World weapon

How to put a gem on a New World weapon
Drag a gem onto a weapon if you see the Empty Gem Socket icon.

Sometimes you will come across weapons and armor in New World that have an empty circle on their icon. If that is the case, then it means that weapon has an empty gem slot on it. If you have a gem you want to apply to the weapon or item, simply drag it onto the piece of gear and it will socket itself, granting you a bonus.  Now you know how to socket gems in New World. Please see the above table for what the gems can possibly do your gear, depending on if you slot it into a weapon or armor slot.

New World gem not compatible

Sometimes, you will get an error message in-game letting you know that your gem is not compatible. It appears there is hidden code in the game that doesn’t let you mix and match damage types. If you opt-in for a Ruby gem to add Fire damage to your build, then you cannot use a Sapphire for the Arcane damage. Moreso, you cannot use a gem that matches the type of damage the weapon already uses. For example, the Fire Staff cannot use the Ruby because both deal fire damage.

Moreso, it appears that you cannot mix and match different elemental damage on peaks. If your weapon has Chain Void or Chain Lightning, then you will need to keep in line with that elemental damage. So, if you want to mix and match your weapon damage, you sadly can’t.

How to get Gems in New World

New World Starmetal
You can get gems from mining ore like Starmetal.

If you’re wondering how you get gems in New World, you can gather them by mining. Your mining skill level and luck both play a part in whether or not you get uncut gems from an ore vein. If you want some good mining routes, check out our Iron Ore, Starmetal, and Orichalcum routes by following their links. We recommend taking one of the food buffs that increase your luck while mining to increase your chances of looting uncut gems from ore veins and cutting them yourself at a stoneworks table. Alternatively, you can visit a Trading Post and buy gems that way.