There are a lot of goldguides out there saying you should prospect ore to make gold. It’s easy to turn 1500g into 2500g by prospecting, crafting rings/necks/weapon, disenchanting and selling DE mats, but I will explain how you can buy ore without being afraid of losing gold. With the prices in cata being so unstable since it’s still early in the expansion, its hard to know when to buy ore, and when to not buy ore. That is why I made a formula to figure out exactly how much I will make by just prospecting and selling raw gems;

5x Obsidium Ore –> 0.075*(sum of current bluegem prices)/6 + 1.44*(sum of current greengem prices)/6

I will explain the numbers a bit, so they are not so scary(the prospect-into % are taken from wowhead.com).

Green gems have a 144% chance of getting prospected from Obsidium Ore. That means its more than 1 green gem from every 5 ore. Almost half the time you get two green(56% chance of getting one, 44% chance of getting two). Blue gems have a 7.5% chance of getting prospected.

Sum of current bluegem prices = Amberjewel + Demonseye + Dream Emerald + Ember Topaz + Inferno Ruby + Ocean Sapphire

(this means the current price you could sell these gems for, and add them all together. We divide by 6 in the formula since its 6 gems, this gives us the average price of a blue gem)

Sum of current greengem prices = Alicite + Carnelian + Hessonite + Jasper + Nightstone + Zephyrite

(again we summarize the prices we would sell these gems for, finding the sum of them all, and using that number in the formula. We divide this number by 6 aswell, since its 6 different gems)

When we have this formula, and understand it, it is easy to use it to find how much you would make today, by prospecting ore. In the example below, I will use my realms current AH prices.

BLUE(sum:234g)

Amberjewel: 10g

Demonseye: 43g

Dream Emerald: 30g

Ember Topaz: 35g

Inferno Ruby: 86g

Ocean Sapphire: 30g

GREEN(sum:81g)

Alicite: 9.5g

Carnelian: 18g

Hessonite: 13g

Jasper: 11g

Nightstone: 20g

Zephyrite: 9.5g

5x Obsidium Ore == 0.075*(sum of current bluegem prices)/6 + 1.44*(sum of current greengem prices)/6

== 0.075*(234)/6 + 1.44*(81)/6

== 2.925 + 19.44

== 22.365 (divide by 5 to find the return of gold from 1 ore)

1x Obsidium Ore gives ~4.5gold in raw gems

At the time of putting the prices into this formula, the prices for Obsidium Ore were down to 2.4 gold.

So in theory, it gives you 2 gold profit per ore when you prospect, or as it is since you need to prospect 5 at a time, 10g profit per prospect.

The Obsidium Ore prices are plummeting at the moment, so I wondered how low the prices had to go before you could actually profit from prospecting + cutting all the gems + selling to vendor. I used 9g per green gem, and 4g 10s 10c per blue gem(average vendor price per gem when crafting The Perforator) as numbers in the formula, and found out that **you will profit as long as the Obsidium Ore prices is below 2g 65s 35c per ore(or 53g 7s 3c per stack)**. This was a real eye opener for me, because this means you don’t have to worry about loosing money anymore at that point. I bought 25 stacks of Obsidium Ore on my realm yesterday for 1g 70s, I have a feeling the prices will level out very soon because of the vendor value of the cut gems.

Vendor doesn’t want a deposit or a cut of the profit, but I would of course recommend making rings/neck/weapon and disenchant instead of selling to a vendor.

I just bought 3500x Obsidum Ores for less than vendor value(prospected and cut). Atm people don’t know whats best for them 😉 The only negative thing is that it takes close to 50 mins to prospect 3500 ore, but then again I do earn me about 7k for doing it. ..and when I DEed what I made, I noticed it was 270 items. xD

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