Excavator or Gemologist: Which is More Valuable and Advantageous?

Jared Nathaniel

Do you need help choosing between Excavator and Gemologist in Stardew Valley? Are you looking for a profession that can help you while mining? We’ll talk about all that in this short guide that will help you save time and have better decisions!

Two frames of the player mining and in trouble of choosing whether Excavator or Gemologist.
Excavator or Gemologist? Which profession should you pick?

Venturing below the mines is one of the most challenging yet fun activities you can do in Stardew Valley. It’s the perfect time killer for the winter season, where growing crops is impossible. What if you can turn mining into a serious and profitable business in the game? Would you rather have Excavator or Gemologist as a profession?

It’s never been easy to weigh every choice and pick which has more leverage. Although I’m an OG player, I commit to several sloppy decisions, which always make me say, “I wish I knew that before!”

In this bias-free comparison, we’ll take Excavator and Gemologist into the table and see which is worth more. Consider this simple guide to save yourself from wasting time figuring which is better because we have a solid answer!

The “Geologist” Profession in a Nutshell

Before we hop on the main topic, you need first to understand their prerequisite profession. Introducing Geologist – a talent you can unlock along with Miner once you successfully reach Level 5 in Mining.

Upon choosing Geologist, there’s a 50% chance of gems appearing twice when you break nodes, geodes, or rocks. This perk lets you finish specific Community Center bundles and access a wide range of artisan equipment like the Mayonnaise Machine.

Since you have a great starter kit to profit from artisan goods, perhaps it’s time to consider Tiller against Rancher? That way, you’ll have more money in Stardew Valley at the end of the day. 

It’s nice to have gems in chests, but they’re not that rare and hard to replicate. They may be helpful for the early game, but you’ll have Crystalariums sooner or later, giving unlimited copies of a specific gem.

Nonetheless, I know you’re sure about the path, so let’s take a closer look at whether to choose Excavator or Gemologist!

Excavator or Gemologist: Benefits Close Comparison

Getting to Level 10 in Mining is easy: you break rocks, use bombs, and repeat. Unfortunately, doing it over and over again in the Quarry will give you fewer experience points than in the Skull Cavern. Aside from the loot differences you get, the same concept applies with EXP.

But once you’re on the maximum level of your mining skill in Stardew Valley, you may either choose Excavator or Gemologist. Here are the benefits you can get for each profession:

Doubles your chance of finding all types of geodes.Every gem and mineral has a 20% selling price boost.

The Problem With Being an Excavator or Gemologist

The player mining in the Skull Cavern with an Iridium pickaxe and being attacked by a Serpent.
Mining for valuables in the Skull Cavern.

Are gemstones hard to find in the mines? Yes. Is mining easy? Not if you have an iridium pickaxe with extra buffs, you’re good. Otherwise, bring additional food items to keep your health and energy bar longer.

About 90% of the gemstones lineup in Stardew Valley sells too low compared to the player’s hard work. Prismatic Shard, Diamond, Emerald, and a handful of geode minerals are pricey – but getting them is difficult.

The selling price is the main issue with the Gemologist profession. With only a 30% profit increase, risking your life in Skull Cavern to farm geodes and crack open worthless minerals isn’t justifying. Prismatic Shards are the exception because you can buy almost three dozen melon seeds with its value.

Players might want to switch to this profession until the bonus profit for every mineral adds 20% more.

Excavator, on the other hand, is pretty indispensable for early-game mining. With a 2x chance of getting a geode, you can donate more items in the museum, leading to unlocking further secrets. One catch, though, is its depreciating value. What’s the point of breaking more geodes if their minerals are worth less than crops?

Excavator Wins for Objectivity

Clint - the Blacksmith breaking open normal, frozen, magma, and omni geodes.
You can use the Excavator profession to increase geode drops, break them open, and donate the minerals/artifacts to the Museum.

If you’re having difficulty completing all museum donations in Stardew Valley, you might be in the wrong profession. Excavator is a more suitable choice if you want to unlock more rewards that help you progress.

Geodes are one of the most ignored items in the early game, but it holds the solution in unlocking the Sewers. By opening a geode for 50g, you’ll get random and sometimes less valuable minerals. However, you can donate these items for faster scaling as long as you have geodes.

The doubled chance of finding these breakable rocks is a massive help too, since getting them from the Mines or Skull Cavern is rare. Also, the Desert Trader would gladly give away his rare item collections in exchange for Omni Geode – the hardest type to find.

By the time you’re at the endgame of Stardew Valley, Excavator will be worth less than Gemologist. That’s because the need to grind in the Mines will end after donating every museum item. On top of that, replicating its contents (except for basic resources) is easy with Crystalariums.

Gemologist is Better for Side Profits

The player inside a Big Shed holding a Diamond in a Diamond factory (crystalariums).
Selling the most profitable gem in Stardew Valley needs Gemologist to increase their value.

A piece of diamond costs 975g with the Gemologist profession. If you know how to get tons of the gem while mining, you could raise some five-digit value by selling them. This profession may not be more lucrative than farming, but it’s a great way to earn income if planting is impossible. 

However, you can’t be mining your valuables every time since you have more priorities in Stardew Valley. Enter Crystalarium – a marvelous invention that copies any valuable gems except for the Prismatic Shard.

You can either get it by purchasing 25000g from the Community Center bundle, Museum reward, or crafting 99 pieces of stone, five gold bars, two iridium bars, and a battery pack.

Craft enough Crystalariums, and you’ll have enough to turn it into a profitable collection. The waiting time ranges from seven in-game hours up to five days, and you only consume one gem.

Pricing Improvements with Gemologist

The following is a complete price list of every gem and mineral with the Gemologist profession:

Foraged MineralsSell PriceGemsSell PriceGeode MineralsSell Price
Earth Crystal65gAmethyst130gAerinite162g
Fire Quartz130gAquamarine234gAlamite195g
Frozen Tear97gDiamond975gBaryte65g
Prismatic Shard2600gCalcite97g
Fairy Stone325g
Fire Opal455g
Ghost Crystal260g
Lemon Stone260g
Ocean Stone286g
Petrified Slime156g
Star Shards650g
Thunder Egg130g

The table show Diamonds are the best candidate for profiting with Gemologist in Stardew Valley. However, you have to wait five days before gathering the gems. This is something you should keep in mind so you’re not picking a less valuable mineral.

Should You Choose Excavator or Gemologist?

While each profession has equal value, choosing between Excavator or Gemologist will depend on your needs. Think of a reason: Do you need extra money or geodes for earthly valuables? If you’re in great dissatisfaction or want to experience both perks, the Statue of Uncertainty can help you.

Meet the author

Stardew Valley is perhaps the most chill game out there. If you're a new player and hoping to join Pelican Town, we've got your back with all the basics.

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