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Jewelcrafting focuses on taking raw gems out of ore and cutting them into items that can be socketed into armor and weapons that give major statistical increases. Different classes favor different gem types. Each gem has a color which correlates with what the gem itself does. Red gems tend to increase strength, agility or attack power, for example. The colors also affect whether or not the user gets a special socket bonus for the item. Depending on what the item is, if you match up the color of your gem with the color of the socket, you get a special stat bonus.
Jewelcrafting is one of the most actively lucrative crafts in the game, at least when you pair it with mining. Miners can prospect uncut gems from raw ore, which they can then cut to provide whichever benefit that they want. Jewelers can also create idols, rings, necklaces and some trinkets, although the bulk of the work that most of them do involves gems for sockets.
They can also create many bind on pickup gems that are more powerful than the ones that they can trade with other players, adding significantly to the benefit of mastering your jewelcraft profession for any character. This potentially makes it a great choice to drop a gathering profession in favor of jewelcrafting to go along with another crafting profession, so long as you have an alt to mine for you. They also get access to some jewelcrafter-only jewelery, which can be very good depending on the pattern and your class.
Apart from a few popular gem cuts, you can often make more money by selling rare gems without cutting them on the auction house. This is because there are more people out there demanding raw gems than they are the cut ones, because once they are cut, they are only good for one particular function, and often only a small subset of classes. This makes it so that prospecting is the primary money-maker in jewelcrafting, contrary to what you might expect. This makes it an excellent entry level profession for players who don't have the time to run around running instances over and over again to try to get a rare recipe drop. Often times, you can turn a profit just by buying ore from the auction house and then selling the rare gems that you prospect. Uncommon quality gems will likely sell well once the new expansion comes out, but after a while people stop really demanding them in significant numbers. The bread and butter of the jewelcrafter are rares, so you should focus on acquiring those.