Getting to the later skill levels of Stardew Valley is a head-scratching affair. Outside of the combat tree, a lot of skills are focused on making a ton of money on different items. When it comes to profits, the question of Excavator vs Gemologist always seems strange. Geodes are such a random pile of goods, and gems are so crucial and so rare. Which of these options will get you the gold that you need for endgame goods? Let’s go over these two options and discuss if there is a clear victor.
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Is Excavator or Gemologist Better?
Thankfully, Excavator is the far-and-away best choice for general profits in Stardew Valley. Gemologist seems nice, with the 30% bonus, but gemstones tend to not be worth very much in general. By doubling your chance to find Geodes, you’ll have a source of income that is only worth money, rather than having to worry about whether or not it is a waste.
Excavator doubles the odds that you find the four types of Geodes in Stardew Valley. The four geodes — default, frozen, magma, and omni — can be found in the mines through tilling, fishing treasure chests, and late-game areas. Doubling the odds of finding them means that you improve your profits by quite a lot, without any risk of wasting materials.
The reason why Excavator is so good is that most Geodes provide nothing but monetary goods. And they’re pretty solid, as long as you make the Geode Crusher provided in patch 1.5. Without the Crusher, you need to pay Clint 25 gold to crack a geode. The Crusher just costs Coal, which is much, much more affordable.
You can get the recipe for the Geode Crusher by fulfilling the special request “Cave Patrol” for Clint. Once you fulfill that order, it just costs two Gold Bars, 50 Stone, and one Diamond to produce.
Selling Geodes in the early and late game is a good idea! The following profit margins assume that you do have a Geode Crusher:
- Geode: 60g
- Frozen Geode: 100g
- Magma Geode: 167g
- Omni Geode: 114g -> 121g (After breaking 15, you have a low chance to find Prismatic Shards in them, improving the profit margin)
If you do not have a Geode Crusher, you are better off selling all Geodes — with the exception of Omni Geodes — without cracking them. Their average loot price does not go above their non-cracked Sell price when you take 25 gold off of them.
So, by doubling the chance you find Geodes, you’ll just be making free money! Geodes also have a chance to contain resources, based on which floor of the Mines you have reached. This can move progress forwards, as long as you’re okay with risking 25g on it… Or crafting the Geode Crusher.
With both professions, the Magma Geode and Omni Geode are the best two options for making money while mining. Magma Geodes are found randomly floors 81-120 of the Mine, as loot in the Skull Cavern, in Fishing Chests, and through tilling on the farm. Omni Geodes can be found in the mines, skull cavern, as loot from carbon ghosts and panning, purchased from Krobus and the Oasis on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, by digging up Artifact Spots on Ginger Island, and in the Volcano Dungeon.
Gemologist improves the prices of minerals and gems by 30%. This means most of the things that you find in the mines that are not ores or rocks will have their costs improved. Geode Minerals, for instance, are improved by this trait, as are the foraged materials that can be picked up from the mine.
We discuss the prices for Geodes in the Excavator description, and Gemologist actually improves their cracked profit margins by a bit! Factoring in the 30% that you get for most items in each Geode, the following profit margins are reached (assuming you have a Geode Crusher):
- Geode: 74g
- Frozen Geode: 125g
- Magma Geode: 208g
- Omni Geode: 140g -> 149g
With Gemologist, Geodes are always worth cracking before you sell them. They’re consistently worth more than if you sell them straight-up, with Frozen and Default geodes just barely cresting the profit margin. With the Geode Crusher and some Coal, they will always be a good profit.
Before the Geode Crusher was added with Patch 1.5, this would still not be the closest race. Add in the Crusher, and each bonus Geode becomes a huge amount of profit that a 30% bonus can’t beat! 30% profits vs 100% of the number of geodes… It’s just math.
If that wasn’t enough, Gemologist also has the very not-so-fun issue of Gem stones being quite important. Gems like Ruby and Topaz in Stardew Valley can now be used for forging weapons at the Volcano Dungeon. This dungeon, unlocked after fixing Willy’s Boat, lets you turn your relatively low-cost Rubies, Aquamarines, Amethyst, Emerald, Jade, and Topaz into more damage and better stats for weapons. That’s a really big deal, and worth more than the small amount of money that they get for being sold.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you become an Excavator or Gemologist?
To reach this point, you have to be Level 10 in Mining. You also must have chosen the Geologist mining profession.
What’s the fastest way to level up Mining?
You can quickly gain Mining levels by repeatedly breaking rocks. This is made easier by leveling up your pickaxe.