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Crystal Gems, Homeworld Gems, Corrupted Gems, Fusion Gems, Minor Gem Characters, Unknown Gems, or Gemstones.
Gems are an extraterrestrial species of "magical" beings that play a key role in Steven Universe. 5,750 years ago, the Gem Homeworld maintained several outposts on Earth, with plans to completely colonize the planet, but were driven off by Rose Quartz's rebellion, leaving the Crystal Gems, and the Corrupted Gems the only Gems on the planet, except for a small group of stranded Homeworld Gems.
- Crystal Gems:
- Homeworld Gems:
- No Alignment:
- Crystal Gem fusions:
- Hybrid fusions:
- Homeworld fusions:
- Forced fusions
Minor Gem Characters
- Main article: Minor Characters/Gems
- Centipeetle Mother
- Worm Monster
- Pyramid Temple Gem
- Gem Cave Creature
- Desert Glass
- Big Bird
- Heaven Beetle
- Earth Beetle
- Watermelon Tourmaline
- Ice Monster
- Invisible Gem Monster
- Lighthouse Gem Monster
- Water Bear
- The Slinker
- Crab Gem Monster
- Snow Monster
- Orange Great North Monster
- Tongue Monster
- Obelisk (comics)
- Rainbow Cloud Monster (comics)
- Old Book Gem (comics)
- Snowbeast (comics)
- Slug Monster (comics)
- Plant Monster (comics)
- Invisible Manta Ray (comics)
- Clock Tower (comics)
- Unknown Giant Bird (comics)
- The Perils of Pweepwee (comics)
- Glass Ghost (comics)
- Main article: Unknown Gems
Gems are characterized by the gemstone embedded somewhere on their body, which is analogous to a brain or CPU.
Gems' physical forms are projections from their gemstone which can be changed at will, described as being "like a hologram, but with mass," with their only constant feature being their gemstone and color scheme (shapeshifting is not permanent, and Gems will return to their "default" form eventually). Although Gems lack sexual dimorphism, Gems' physical forms typically have characteristics associated with human femininity. Because of this, all Gems are inherently sexless, with the sole exception being Steven.
There are a variety of gemstones, each of which imbues the Gem in question with specific abilities, and there are multiple Gems with the same gemstone. The gemstone can be located on many different parts of the body, regardless of Gem.
Typical Gem abilities include extreme physical strength and durability, weapon-summoning, fusion, the power to 'store' material in their gemstones, the ability to use their gemstones like a flashlight, and bubble creation. Note that these are not ubiquitous, some Gems, such as Lapis Lazuli, are not able to summon a personal weapon, and Gems created in sub-optimal conditions like second era peridots lack strength. All Gems with their own weapon have the ability to direct energy through their weapons, such as Garnet using her gauntlets to charge Greg's van, Pearl firing an energy blast from the tip of her spear, and Amethyst sending bursts of energy through her whips.
Gems are engineered to adapt to a variety conditions and cannot die by natural causes. Gems do not have to breath, eat, drink, and sleep to survive, and they do not age, making them effectively immortal. They can, however, still eat and sleep if they so desire. Their bodies will also automatically alter themselves to fit the conditions of whatever celestial body or spacecrafts they are on, such as adjusting mass for gravity. The only way to permanently destroy or "kill" a Gem is to destroy their gemstone. When the physical body of a Gem is seriously injured, they will retreat into their gemstone to regenerate. This is one of the only times Gems can make permanent changes to their physical form. The length of the regeneration process can range from minutes to weeks, but a "rushed" regeneration can suffer from physical deformities. Regeneration can be prevented if a gemstone is bubbled or otherwise constricted, such as within a mirror.
If a Gem's gemstone is damaged, their physical form will deteriorate and render them incoherent. A Gem's gemstone can be used as an energy source, even if damaged. Gem Shards, the remnants of a shattered gemstone, possess a "powerful partial consciousness" which can grant sentience to their containers and have been used to create drone soldiers. Gem Shards have also been forced to fuse together over time to form Cluster Gems.
Because Gems are created to regenerate from bodily damage, but cannot heal their gemstone on their own, a corrupted or damaged Gem will simply regenerate into a Gem Monster. Shattered Gems similarly will also attempt to regenerate but will only produce seemingly random appendages.
- There are two known groups of Gems: Homeworld Gems and the Crystal Gems.
- Homeworld society is ruled by the autocratic Great Diamond Authority. Its members impose a strict caste system based on gemstone, and maintain their empire by terraforming worlds (and destroying them in the process) through facilities like the Kindergarten. Homeworld society heavily stigmatizes fusion between Gems of different gemstones, and fusion between Gems of the same gemstone is reserved solely for combat.
- The Crystal Gems are a rebellious group of Gems established by Rose Quartz who disagreed with the customs and principles of Homeworld society, particularly on its perspective toward life. Five thousand years ago, Rose instigated the Rebellion against the Homeworld Gems to protect the Earth. The Crystal Gems were able to successfully drive the Homeworld Gems off planet. As they withdrew, Homeworld forces activated a powerful weapon, corrupting the majority of the remaining Gems on Earth. Rose, Garnet, Pearl, and Bismuth were the only Crystal Gems to survive.
- Gems have their own written language, which is inscribed on many of their temples, as first seen in Steven's Room in the Pilot, despite every non-corrupted Gem speaking English.
- Remains of Gem architecture can be seen scattered across the Earth in the form of the structures, such as the Lunar Sea Spire, the Communication Hub, and the Galaxy Warp.
- Gem culture is ancient, predating all known human civilizations.
- Gem civilization is incredibly advanced, capable of creating spaceships, pocket dimensions, and teleporters.
- Slower than light travel is now considered outdated, due to the advent of teleporters. Current Gem technology is described as incomprehensible by Lapis Lazuli.
- Individuality is not highly valued among Gems. As implied in "Bismuth", this is in part a conviction the Gem elite has forced down upon lesser Gems to limit their potential. While each Gem may exhibit their own unique nuances in personality, they all primarily adhere to the fundamental behavior and preferences of their caste and types. Whatever the case might be, like organic beings, Gems are able to define their own identities and develop unique personalities of their own. The most prime examples of this are the members of the Crystal Gems.
- Most Gems hold little value for the preciousness of life. Being part of a society where many individuals share the same traits, Gems have come to objectify any life form, organic or Gem. As such, they tend to treat each other and themselves as disposable commodities.
- While there has never been mention of Gems practicing any form of spiritualism, the existence of the Moon Goddess Statue, along with the Sea Shrine and the Pyramid Temple, imply some sort of belief system.
- Gem culture does not have a gender binary or a concept of gender.
- Gems refer to each other using she/her pronouns, but have no particular reason for doing so beyond arbitrary convenience.
- The gendered term "mother" is also applied often to Rose Quartz, a Gem, by Gems, humans, and Steven Universe, a half-human, half-Gem.
- Peridot uses the term "matriarch" when referring to the Great Diamond Authority in "It Could've Been Great".
- Amethyst refers to Jasper as "sis".
- Gems refer to each other using she/her pronouns, but have no particular reason for doing so beyond arbitrary convenience.
- It is initially difficult for Gems to comprehend human social customs such as marriage, parents, childhoods, birthdays, or funerals (as particularly evidenced in "Gem Harvest"). Given that Gems do not have a gender binary, and they reproduce by growing new Gems in Kindergartens, they apparently do not form romantic/social bonds comparable to marriage (Garnet's status as a "permafusion" is highly irregular and never occurs on Homeworld). Rose herself admitted that for a long time she did not understand that infant and adult humans are the same species: Gems are created fully formed and with adult-level knowledge, so they do not have a concept of a childhood stage of growing.
Though some Gems may have their own unique abilities, every Gem shares these abilities:
- Enhanced Condition: Every Gem has superhuman abilities, such as enhanced strength and durability, however, the amount depends on the type of Gem.
- Semi-Immortality: Gems do not age, and thus do not die of natural causes like humans. However, they can still be killed if their gemstone is shattered.
- Fusion: Every Gem has the ability to fuse. Fusions can also fuse again.
- Bubbling: Gems, including fusions, have the ability to encase an object inside a bubble. The color of the bubble depends on the Gem. The bubbles are sent to wherever the bubbler considers "home".
- Gravity Shifting: As said by Peridot in "It Could've Been Great", Gems' bodies will automatically adjust to different levels of gravity on any planetoid. This is further elaborated on in "Adventures in Light Distortion" where Pearl says that their forms are dependent on the local gravity and air pressure.
- Regeneration: When a Gem suffers a fatal injury, they release their physical form and retreat into their gemstone in order to create a new, undamaged one. The amount of time this process takes depends on a number of factors, such as the type of Gem and whether or not they are changing the appearance of their form. As demonstrated by Amethyst in "Reformed", it is possible for a Gem to rush their regeneration process, but it may lead to a number of problems, such as deformed body parts.
- Weapon-Summoning: Gems have the capability to summon a tangible weapon from their gemstones, however not all Gems utilize the ability nor is it known how the process of creating a summoned weapon works.
Era 1 Exclusive
- Shapeshifting: Every Era 1 Gem and fusion is able to shapeshift, an example being Amethyst, who is very skilled.
The Gem Homeworld maintains a strict caste system based on gemstone, with each Gem belonging to a larger "type".
- Diamonds - The Diamonds are the highest ranking Gems and the matriarchs of the entire species who form Homeworld's "Diamond authority". The Diamonds are believed to be flawless, with no weaknesses by Homeworld society. Diamonds are also much larger than the average Gem, dwarfing all other known Gem types, with only some fusions exceeding them in height. As indicated by Blue Diamond's quote, "Where else would a being as fragile as a human live, while a being as powerful as a Diamond, perish?" Diamonds are possibly the most powerful of the Gems.
- Blue Diamond - Seen in "The Answer" as the overseer of Earth's colonization effort.
- Yellow Diamond - Mentioned in "Jail Break", "Cry for Help", and "It Could've Been Great", and making her first appearance in "Message Received".
- Pink Diamond - Mentioned in "Earthlings", shattered sometime during the Rebellion by Rose Quartz.
- Sapphires - Rare Gems with foresight that hold aristocratic status. They are trusted advisors to the Diamonds, and it is not unusual for them to have their own Pearls as personal servants.
- Sapphire - A Sapphire that was sent to Earth as a diplomat to attempt to disband the Rebellion.
- Quartzes - Huge, loyal, and intimidating soldiers. They vary in coloration and appearance, but most are broad shouldered, around 6-7 feet tall and have back-length hair. They appear to be high in Homeworld's hierarchy, as Rose Quartz was able to lead a rebellion and Peridot considered Amethyst to be the highest ranking Gem among the Crystal Gems despite her "defectiveness." Unlike the other Gems, quartzes come in varying shapes, names and categories (Rose Quartz, Jasper, Amethyst, Carnelian, and possibly others.). Due to this, it is possible the term "Quartz" is a broader term to refer to these kinds of Gems.
- Rose Quartzes - A kind of Quartz Gems created by Pink Diamond. All members of this Gem-type are seen as outcasts due to Pink Diamond being shattered by one of them, which led to all of the rest being imprisoned in bubbles.
- Amethysts - A kind of Quartz Gems which were created mainly in the Earth's Prime Kindergarten.
- Jaspers - A kind of Quartz Gems which were created mainly in the Earth's Beta Kindergarten.
- Carnelians - A kind of Quartz Gems which were created mainly in the Earth's Beta Kindergarten.
- Agates - A kind of Quartz Gems who are dedicated to "terrify" as described by Yellow Diamond. They also seem to be placed in managerial positions and occupy a social step above the other Quartz Gems.
- Rubies - In "The Answer", Garnet describes the Rubies as "common soldiers". They usually come in groups, and most commonly fuse with one another in combat, possibly to compensate for their height, and rarely summon weapons for combat with few exceptions. In "Hit the Diamond", Homeworld Rubies are shown to lack basic reasoning skills and memory.
- Ruby - A Ruby that remains fused with Sapphire as Garnet.
- Ruby (right shoulder gem) - A known Ruby that used to protect Sapphire.
- Ruby (right back-hand gem) - A known Ruby that used to protect Sapphire.
- Ruby-1F4 Cut-4ND (Eyeball) - A known Ruby sent to retrieve Jasper, as well as a veteran of the Gem war on Earth.
- Ruby (Army) - A known Ruby sent to retrieve Jasper.
- Ruby (Navy) - A known Ruby sent to retrieve Jasper.
- Ruby (Leggy) - A known Ruby sent to retrieve Jasper.
- Ruby (Doc) - A known Ruby sent to retrieve Jasper, as well as the leader of the Rubies.
- Peridots - Peridots are an engineer/technician caste, operating starships, and Kindergarten facilities. Peridots are low-ranking enough that they rarely if ever have their own Pearl servant. The current version of Peridots a.k.a. "Era 2" Peridots are more diminutive than the original line and are given technological enhancements as they supposedly do not have powers (Peridot's metal powers may make this untrue). It is unknown how Era 1 Peridots were more superior, if at all.
- Peridot Facet-2F5L Cut-5XG - A former Yellow Diamond follower and currently a member of the Crystal Gems.
- Bismuths - Bismuths were made for the purpose of building structures for elite Gems on Gem colonies, such as spires for intellectual Gems and arenas for fighting Gems. They are considered a lower caste, working away to serve the higher ones.
- Bismuth - One of the original Crystal Gems, who possessed a zealotry towards Rose's beliefs in personal freedom, giving her the choice to make what she wanted. Before the end of the war, Bismuth introduces Rose to a weapon known as the "Breaking Point", which would completely shatter a Gem's gemstone, destroying them completely. Rose feeling it is cruel, fights Bismuth, poofs and bubbles her, and keeps her fate a secret from the rest of the Crystal Gems. It was not until about 5,300 years later that she is freed, Steven learns the truth, and she is poofed and bubbled again, but this time the Crystal Gems are told of what truly happened.
- Lapis Lazulis - The purpose of Lapis Lazulis are to terraform as stated by Yellow Diamond. Peridot states that Lapis Lazulis are typically partial to water and flying. It is unclear how high they rank in the caste system, though they seem at least roughly equal to Peridots.
- Pearls - In "Back to the Barn", Peridot stated that Pearls are accessories and made-to-order servants who are just there for standing around, looking nice, taking orders, and holding other Gems' stuff. Peridot also indicates that it is a status symbol to have your own Pearl, and typically only the higher castes can own one. It is also implied by Ruby that Pearls are awarded to Gems who have done honorable deeds in "Bubbled". Pearls come in various colors, including blue and yellow, and it is implied that there are varying qualities and that Pearl of the Crystal Gems is an especially fancy one. Pearls all seem to have the same basic physical appearance (though they can dress and wear their hair differently). Pearls are the only Gems known to come in different colors; according to Rebecca Sugar, this makes Opal, Sardonyx, and Alexandrite also come in different colors, dependent of the Pearl who fused.
- Nephrites - Not much is known about what their abilities or role in Gem society is. Nephrite is one of two distinct mineral forms classified as "jade" (the other is jadeite).
- Unknown Nephrite - Pearl once took a Nephrite out of the cockpit of a drop ship during the Rebellion.
- Unknown round, green gem - Currently, it is unknown what type of Gem the Centipeetle is. However, in "Monster Reunion" her role in Gem society is shown. She is a captain in charge of other Gems presumably of the same type as her. These Gems fly in Gem Spaceships, and start building structures on Gem colonies.
- Centipeetle - A Gem sent from Homeworld to start building on Earth, an early Gem Colony. However, she got caught in the war and was ordered to retreat. She was unable to board her ship in time and suffered from the attack caused by the Diamonds, resulting in her corruption.
In the short "How Are Gems Made?", it is explained that Gems "aren't born, they are made when some Gems from outer space came here with these big machines! They put the machines on Earth and shot this junk into the ground, and then boom, you pop right out!" In addition, it is revealed that Gems are formed fully developed: "being a weak baby would be a pain, so, they suck up all the good stuff from the ground so we pop out all big and strong". However, this process is not entirely flawless; as put by Peridot in "Too Far", if a Gem is incubated for too long (referred as being "overcooked" by Jasper in "The Return"), it will result in the Gem's humanoid form being inherently abnormal, as in the case of Amethyst, who is much shorter than the typical Quartz. Also, as revealed in "Too Short to Ride", if not enough resources are present during the incubation process, the resulting Gems will be underdeveloped, as in the case of Era 2 Peridots, who are shorter and lack most standard Gem abilities.
In addition to being fully developed physically, they are also fully developed mentally. When they come out of the ground, they already know all that they need to know to do their job. Rose Quartz explains in "Greg the Babysitter" that when a Gem is made, it is for a reason. They burst out of the ground already knowing what they are supposed to be, and that is what they are forever.
In "On the Run", it is revealed that the Homeworld Gems invaded Earth several thousand years ago and used the Kindergarten to create new Gems using the method described in "How Are Gems Made?"; and that Amethyst is one such Gem. This process is very harmful to the environment to the point where, if it were allowed to continue, it would lead to "the destruction of all life on Earth," according to Pearl in "Marble Madness". Amethyst refers to all the Gems created through the process, herself included, as "parasites".
While biological reproduction is an alien concept to Gems, it is not impossible for them; while Gems can not reproduce with each other, they can create Gem-hybrid offspring. Through shapeshifting, they can perfectly replicate reproductive organs of organic beings for their "human constructs" in order to reproduce. Rose Quartz is the only known Gem to have done this, and her son, Steven, inherited her gemstone, without which she could not project a physical form and subsequently "died", although in "Guide to the Crystal Gems", it is implied that Gems are capable of reproducing without having to give up their physical forms.
Steven asks Peridot what is it like to be created on Homeworld in "Gem Drill". She says she does not remember anything and only had feelings. She describes it as not existing then suddenly existing.
- The majority of Gem weapons are medieval: Garnet's gauntlets, Pearl's spear, Amethyst's whip, Steven/Rose Quartz's shield, Opal's longbow, Sugilite's flail, Jasper's crash-helmet, Ruby's gauntlet, Eyeball's chisel knife, and Sardonyx's war hammer.
- The process for each Gem to summon their weapons depends on a different state of mind for each of them.
- Amethyst places little effort or concentration, claiming that it "just happens" when she needs to summon her weapon.
- Pearl claims that her process is being perfect and calculated, using the science of a flower petal dancing in the wind to describe how hard work and dedication can help master the properties of one's own gemstone and "perform their own dance."
- Garnet claims that she summons her gauntlets by linking her mind with the energy of all existing matter, channeling the collective power of the universe through her gem(s), matching her calm and meditative temperament.
- Steven's means of summoning his shield is still unknown, though it is thought to be caused when he experiences pure joy, having first activated his gem after taking a bite of his favorite ice-cream sandwich, his ability to summon his weapon can also be attributed to the feelings of love and the desire to protect.
- "Say Uncle" reveals that Steven's powers are maternal and that he summons his shield to protect the things he cares about. Though the episode is considered non-canon, the description of how Steven summons his shield seems to be accurate.
- Ian Jones-Quartey has stated that Steven is the first Gem to use he/him pronouns.
- Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey have stated that Gems use she/her pronouns by default.
- This is demonstrated by the Crystal Gems referring to Lapis Lazuli, Peridot, and Jasper all as "she" before knowing them.
- Although, when regenerating, Gems can take on a "masculine" form and use he/him pronouns if they wish.
- Gemstones can be used as a power source, even if damaged.
- In "Chille Tid", Gems are shown to experience exhaustion, and if they choose to sleep, can dream.
- In "Coach Steven", Gems are revealed to be able to produce bodily fluids and receive scrapes upon the "skin".
- Pearl referred to their bodies as "human construct(s)" in "Fusion Cuisine".
- Ian Jones-Quartey has stated that Gems do possess DNA, and that Rose Quartz is able to pass her traits on to Steven, although this would contradict Pearl's implication that Gems are inorganic in "Alone Together".
- This is explained in the Guide to the Crystal Gems, the Gem equivalent to genetic information is stored in the gemstone, and Rose is able to integrate this information with Greg's DNA by giving up her physical form and passing her gem along to Steven.
- Gems' skin tones are always related to the color of their gemstones, however they do not always match precisely.
- In the comic series, Pearl has been shown to absorb objects into her gem and has gotten sick when she absorbed too many objects into her gem. It is unclear whether other Gems can do this.
- This ability may be inherent to Pearls specifically, as it would account for Peridot's comments about Pearls being made to hold things.
- Although, in "Serious Steven", Garnet appears to be storing the temple key in her gems since she has to summon it as she was not carrying it with her prior to arriving at the Gem Battlefield.
- It should also be noted that the comics are of debatable canon when it comes to their relation to the TV show.
- In "Nightmare Hospital", it is revealed Gems do not have a heart or heartbeat.
- It is implied in "Catch and Release" that Gems produce bodily waste after consuming food (presumably by shapeshifting a digestive system).
- As revealed in "Message Received", Gems are differentiated from other Gems of their category by identification codes based off of "Facet" and "Cut". For example, Peridot's specification is Facet-2F5L Cut-5XG.
- As of "Hit the Diamond", there have been more rubies seen than any other type of non-corrupted gem. Eight Rubies have appeared so far, the second highest amount of Gems being Pearls at three Gems.
- The highest number of Corrupted Gems has been Quartz types, several seen in the Beta Kindergarten imprisoned by Jasper, the second highest being Centipeetles.
- Pearl mentioned in "Last One Out of Beach City" that she could not get a driver's license due to being an alien.
- This is likely because Pearl is not a legal citizen and thus ineligible for government licensing.
- According to Rebecca Sugar, all blue Gems, like Sapphire, are created with diplomatic skills.
- It should be noted that every Gem has their gem exposed in plain view, despite their gem being their most vulnerable spot. In "Three Gems and a Baby", Steven would become fussy and try to undo his clothes to expose his gem, implying that there is a reason why they leave their gems exposed.
- In "Adventures in Light Distortion", it is revealed that if a Gem ship is traveling faster than the speed of light, a Gem's body will fall behind and get dragged.
- Usually Gems of the same type have identical looking gemstones with the same shape and facets. For example, Rose Quartzes have round gems with pentagonal facets. However, there are some Gems that deviate from this.
- Jaspers have shown the most variety in gemstone shapes so far. There have been Jaspers with round gems, triangular/diamond-esque gems, and hexagonal shaped gems.
- Yellow Diamond and Blue Diamond's gemstones are both diamond shaped but slightly different.
- Pearl has an oval shaped gem. Other Pearls have been shown with round gems.
- In "Gem Heist", at least one Amethyst is shown to have a different-shaped gem from other Amethysts (a square facet rather than hexagonal). However, whether or not this was an animation error is unclear.