Gems are the more valuable secondary resource that was typically mined for military production prior to the arrival of tiberium on Earth. Gems were rare and limited because, unlike their common counterpart, ore, they were not spawned from visible mining shafts on the battlefield. Typically they were concentrated in remote areas where civilization was not strongly present, as here they managed to avoid exploitation.Sought ever since ancient times, precious stones were a priority on the battlefields of GWWII and GWWIII. They were processed in the ore refinery alongside regular ore, once they had been mined. The most valuable commodity on Earth before the arrival of tiberium, both Allied and Soviet forces demonstrated an eagerness to claim these resources, ultimately leading to their complete exhaustion and the reliance on regular ore until the eventual arrival of tiberium on Earth. Nearly all of them on the planet had been extracted by the Soviet and Allied war industries by the time of the defeat of Yuri's psychic armies. However, it is believed that Soviet time-travel cheated this fate, allowing gems to be present yet again in a new alternate timeline. However, in alternate history World War III gems are no longer designated as strategic objects on the battlefield and are therefore not extracted by Allied, Soviet or Imperial forces to fund war efforts. This is because mining operations now focused solely on the collection of molten semi-processed standard ore, from next-gen civilian mineral extraction structures designated as 'ore nodes'.
Blue tiberium, which first became a strategic substance on the battlefields of the Second Tiberium War, can be considered the direct equivalent to gems.
The clusters of gems discovered in GWWII appeared to consist of hessonite (orange), saphire (blue), yellow saphire (yellow), emerald (green), and ruby (red). Hessonite and yellow saphire, being the less expensive minerals, were phased out of the priority materials list in GWWIII, and were therefore no longer visible in gem clusters by battlefield interfaces. For this reason, only the green, blue and red gems were noticed in GWWIII (see images).
Certain of the discussed minerals (such as ruby) have important technological applications, such as lasers (most notably the Allied prism towers and tanks), but they are believed to have been sought by the Allied and Soviet forces for economic purposes only. The Brotherhood of Nod continued to seek out certain gems, mainly ruby, for use in their laser and stealth technology, since ruby cannot be obtained from tiberium. It is believed that the Brotherhood gained much of the world's gems using their vast financial leverage through their near monopoly on tiberium prior to the First Tiberium War. Large red gems are visible on the experimental Nod laser weapons encountered by Captain Nick 'Havoc' Parker, indicating that the quasi-terrorist group possessed considerable reserves of the crystals.
Ore: the strategic term applied to economic minerals mined and collected before the arrival of tiberium, serving as a primary resource for military funding and production