...because "Gemmass" just sounded lame.
Jewelcrafting has been one of my go-to professions since I started playing the AH in TBC, but this latest patch has been the biggest jump in profits I have seen outside the introduction of epic gems (in both prior expansions). This was my haul on Friday, for example:
Here is the local Undermine Journal graph for Inferno Rubies in the last week:
The new average in the above graph is ~90g. There are some obvious reasons for this surge, such as the shiny new epics from ZA/ZG and some additional sockets on the crafted gear. Then we had the near collapse of the Obsidium Shuffle when the botters seemingly abandoned mining ore on even the possibility that the vendor floor would drop, constraining the supply of gems - suddenly I am turning around and selling Obsidium Ore I was too bored to prospect for 150g a stack. The third factor? More people coming back, or at least having a nominal reason (e.g. new content) to log back on more often.
I generally try not to spend time on the "whys" of market upticks like we see with gems, because a player simply undercutting whatever gem cut is currently selling higher than the cost of the uncut gem will achieve 90% of the success with 0% of the effort. Indeed, that is exactly what I have been doing lately as Auctionator makes it particularly easy.
Props to Alto for being the one that pointed out the More tab in Auctionator last month that was staring me in the face for half a year without ever having clicked on it. Basically, click the More tab, press Check for Undercuts, wait a bit, and then spam-click Cancel Auction Track & Field-style. I used to get fancy with undercutting prices, but the gem market is sufficiently busy that you are liable to be undercut within a few hours no matter the price - it is faster to just let Auctionator undercut by the standard 10s anyway.
Like all upswings, the gem market will be correcting itself before too much longer. DPS queues went from the Wrath-like 8 minutes on patch day to the depressingly standard 35 minutes tonight, for example, which is a sign to me that all those people "coming back" are leaving out the same revolving door they came in on. Ore bots are also returning, correctly reasoning that guaranteed 30g sales is better than the hit-or-miss herb sales.
While the market is going to correct itself, one thing will remain different going forward: we are approaching the sweet-spot of sockets in gear. There are only 40 items (8 of which are relics) with sockets in the ilevel 318-339 range. In comparison, there are 51 items with sockets that drop out of ZA/ZG alone. Percentage-wise, the number of pre-raid items with sockets rose 18.4% (225 --> 276) in 4.1. If Blizzard sticks to the word circa September 2010, coming along in Patch 4.2 will be the ability of Blacksmiths, Tailors, and Leatherworkers to craft Bloodthirsty Gladiator gear, which is currently only bought with Honor points. So not only will ZA/ZG become more fashionable (and possible) to farm by solo-queueing in LFD and Valor gear hitting the Justice vendors, you can probably expect a second renaissance on the PvP side of things. And a lot of those PvP items have sockets that will need to be filled by somebody.
Bottom line: if you haven't been selling sackfuls of gems since the patch, you have been missing out. And if you don't start soon, it will only be worse for you/better for your competition.