"Gems" are an extraterrestrial species of magical beings that play a central role in Steven Universe. Their origins, history, and culture are at this point not well understood, although numerous small hints throughout the series imply that Gems are an interstellar race which at one point maintained several outposts on Earth, but suddenly fled and left many of their artifacts to ruin, with the only Gems currently on Earth being the Crystal Gems and the corrupted Gem Monsters.
- Centipeetle Mother
- Worm Monster
- 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
- Rainbow Cloud Monster (comics)
- Old Book Gem (comics)
- Snowbeast (comics)
- Slug Monster (comics)
- Plant Monster (comics)
- Big Flying Manta Ray (comics)
- Clock Tower (comics)
- Moon Bird (comics)
- The Perils of Pweepwee (comics)
- Unnamed Gem Warrior (Sworn to the Sword flashbacks)
- Unknown Fusion Gem (Historical Friction)
- Unknown Giant Gem Monster (Historical Friction)
Gems as a species are characterized by the gemstone each Gem has embedded somewhere on their bodies. Each Gem shown thus far is unique, and the gemstone seems to be analogous to a brain or CPU.
Gems physical forms are projections from their gemstone, and Gems may change their physical form at will (although shapeshifting is not permanent and Gems will return to their "default" form eventually), with their only constant feature being their gemstone and color palette. All Gems are inherently sexless and the species lacks sexual dimorphism, although Gems' physical forms typically have characteristics associated with human femininity, with the only exception thus far being Steven, due to his half human parentage.
Gems have numerous abilities, such as weapon-summoning, fusion, the power to 'store' material in their gemstones (it is unknown if this ability has a limit), and the ability to conjure bubbles. It should be noted that not all Gems are capable of summoning a personal weapon: Lapis Lazuli replaces this ability with hydrokinesis (the ability to manipulate water). All Gems seem to have the ability to harness/transfer 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 whip or whips. In addition, many Gems have unique abilities as well, such as Lapis Lazuli's ability to manipulate water, and Pearl's ability to manipulate sand.
Gems are functionally immortal and do not require food or sleep (although Gems can still eat and sleep if they so desire). The only way to permanently destroy or "kill" a Gem is to destroy their gemstone. If a Gem's physical form is badly injured, they will retreat into their gemstone to regenerate. Regeneration is special in that Gems can make permanent changes to their physical form while regenerating. The length of the regeneration process can range from minutes to weeks, but a "rushed" regeneration can suffer from physical deformities (such as Amethyst in "Reformed"). Regeneration can be prevented if a Gemstone is bubbled or otherwise constricted, such as within a mirror or a pillow.
If their gemstone is damaged, a Gems physical form may "glitch". It is also noteworthy that a Gem's gemstone can be used as a power source, even if damaged. Gem Shards function similarly, which appear to be the remnants of a shattered gemstone. Gem Shards possess a "powerful partial consciousness," which can grant sentience to their containers and have been used to create drone soldiers. Gem Shards that have also been fused together over time of compression will also regenerate and glitch into The Cluster.
- There are two known groups of Gems: Homeworld Gems and Crystal Gems.
- The Homeworld Gems are gems currently living on the Gem Homeworld. Historically, Homeworld Gems wished to exploit Earth and established a foothold on the planet, by which they used to create new Gems, known as a Kindergarten. The "Homeworld Gems", including Peridot, Jasper, Lapis Lazuli and their currently unseen superior known as Yellow Diamond, are hinted to be a hostile military force that invades planets, bleeds their natural resources dry, and "leaves them for dead."
- The Crystal Gems are a group of rebels who chose to join Rose Quartz in the fight against Homeworld in order to defend Earth. The only Crystal Gems that remain are Garnet (the fusion of Ruby and Sapphire), Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven, the son of Rose Quartz.
- Over five thousand years prior to the start of the series, Rose Quartz organized the Crystal Gems to oppose the Homeworld Gems. The Crystal Gems won, as stated by Pearl in "Rose's Scabbard", and the Homeworld Gems were driven from Earth, leaving behind many relics and temples.
- Gem civilization is very advanced, capable of creating spaceships, pocket dimensions, and teleporters.
- Gem culture is quite different from human culture, given the Crystal Gems' confusion over seemingly everyday human cultural practices, such as birthdays and video games.
- The Gem culture is an ancient one, predating all known human civilizations.
- Gems have their own written language, which is inscribed on many of their temples, as first seen in Steven's Room in the "Pilot".
- Gem architecture can be seen scattered across the Earth in the form of the structures, such as the Lunar Spire, the Communication Hub and the Galaxy Warp.
- 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.
- While Gems are incapable of reproduction, romantic relationships do exist in their society, such as that of Ruby and Sapphire.
- Gems do not have genders.
- Gem culture does not have a gender binary or a concept of gender.
- Gems refer to each other using feminine pronouns, but have no particular reason for doing so beyond arbitrary convenience.
- In their default state, Gems typically appear feminine by human standards, and they can use their shapeshifting abilities to deliberately assume overtly gendered forms.
- Steven is an exception because he is half-human.
- While Gems don't typically have gender identities, an individual Gem could identify as male or female.
In "On the Run", it is revealed that Gems from the Gem Homeworld used what is now a canyon on Earth, referred to as "Kindergarten", to create new Gems; and that Amethyst was one such Gem. The methods used to accomplish this involved the large Injectors planting Gems in the holes they drilled in the Earth's surface, such as the hole which Amethyst claims, "This is where I was made." As they incubated, the planted gems would leach away the life from the ground. This made the process very invasive to the environment and deadly 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't reproduce with each other they can create Gem-hybrid offspring. Through shape-shifting, they can perfectly replicate reproductive organs of organic beings for their "human constructs" in order to reproduce. Rose Quartz, so far, is the only Gem to have done this as she did so in order to give birth to her son, Steven. This resulted in her gemstone being passed down onto her son; an action which also caused the destruction of her physical form, "killing" her.
- As early as "Jail Break" (which establishes Garnet as a Fusion), and drawing from the events of "Coach Steven" (in which Garnet fuses with another Gem for the first time in the show's run), it is established that Fusions are capable of further fusing with Gems.
- Fusions tend to highly exaggerate whatever personality traits are shared amongst the majority of the Gems comprising the Fusion. Sugilite seems to inherit her impulsive and irrational behavior from Ruby and Amethyst, while Sardonyx seems to get her haughty and self-absorbed personality from Sapphire and Pearl.
- Fusions created by Gems with opposing personalities tend to exhibit little to no personality of their own, remaining silent for extended periods, or flipping between the personalities of the constituent Gems. Opal and Alexandrite are examples of such Fusions. Garnet herself has a strong-but-silent personality, and has occasionally lapsed into incoherent speech during stressful situations.
- When Gems in a given Fusion have incompatible personalities, or have conflicting motives for fusing, and for whatever reason do not (or can not) terminate the Fusion, it results in an Unstable Fusion. When this happens, the constituent Gems risk losing touch with their individual personalities the longer the Fusion persists.
- In "Coach Steven", Sugilite is the first example of Gems remaining as an unstable Fusion for too long. It can be surmised that this case arose because Ruby and Amethyst have many similarities in personality, while Sapphire's personality strongly contrasts with both. Sapphire's presence was enough to cause instability, but not enough to "outvote" Ruby and Amethyst and cancel the Fusion.
- Malachite is another example. At the end of "Jail Break", Jasper is clearly trying to escape the Fusion. Either Jasper has very low willpower (not unlikely, considering her barbaric personality), or Lapis Lazuli has a great deal of mental fortitude, or a combination of both.
- The majority of known Gem weapons are medieval: Garnet's gauntlets, Pearl's spear, Amethyst's whip, Steven/Rose's shield, Opal's longbow, Sugilite's flail, Jasper's crash-helmet, Ruby's gauntlet, and Sardonyx's war hammer.
- Some Gems are connected to birthstones (by month).
- Garnet - January
- Rose Quartz - January (alternative)
- Amethyst - February
- Jasper - March (alternative)
- Diamond - April
- Pearl - June
- Alexandrite - June (alternative)
- Ruby - July
- Peridot - August
- Sardonyx - August (alternative)
- Sapphire - September
- Lapis Lazuli - September (alternative)
- Opal - October
- Tourmaline - October (alternative)
- The gems themselves correspond with the Gems' personalities.
- Amethyst is a stone associated with love. The stone itself is associated with Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication. Amethyst is not a clear thinker, but is fun-loving.
- Pearl is a stone associated with purity. Pearl is mature, wise, and perfectionistic.
- Garnet is a stone that protects from evil. Garnet is the most powerful of the Crystal Gems and often saves the day. She is also the leader of the Crystal Gems.
- Rose Quartz is a stone associated with love and joy. Steven is the most caring, and upbeat of the Gems, and Rose Quartz was very loving and had a joyful personality.
- Lapis Lazuli is a stone associated with gods and power. She is a powerful Gem, nearly capable of defeating the Crystal Gems, in the midst of a cracked gem.
- Peridot is a stone associated with the heart chakra, bringing balance and relieving stress. Peridot is shown to be level-headed and calculated, if not passionate about her work.
- Jasper is a stone associated with compassion and maternity, ironic considering Jasper's savage and aggressive temperament.
- However, the gemstone is also associated with fire, so this could lead to Jasper's ill-temper.
- Their gemstone placement seems to correspond to their personalities, actions, and how they think.
- Amethyst's gem is near to the placement of a human heart; she tends to be fun-loving, and often does whatever she wants.
- Pearl's gem is on her forehead; she tends to over-think things, has a perfectionist mindset, as well as being very intelligent.
- Garnet's gems are on her hands; she tends to not talk often and respond through action instead.
- Steven's gem is over his stomach; he tends to go with his gut instinct and is often hungry, and like his mother he is very loving and caring.
- Lapis Lazuli's gem is placed over the center of her spine; she sprouts wings from her gem and has been shown to be very vulnerable emotionally.
- Peridot's gem is on her forehead; she is shown to be very intelligent (a trait she shares with Pearl) and dedicated to her mission.
- Jasper's gem is placed over her nose; she is very self-centered and primal.
- 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 as 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. According to Mr. Gus in "Say Uncle", Steven's powers are maternal, meaning his powers react to his emotion, although this is questionable as the episode is considered to be non-canon.
- Jasper may be able to summon her weapon when under a berserk mindset.
- Ian Jones-Quartey has stated that Steven is the first Gem to use masculine pronouns.
- Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey have stated that Gems use feminine pronouns by default.
- Although Gems are genderless, in their human-like forms they are anatomically constructed similarly to human women, and referred to by the pronouns used by human women.
- This is demonstrated in "Ocean Gem", as Pearl called Lapis "she."
- Pearl also referred to Rose Quartz as "she", while reminiscing in "Rose's Scabbard".
- Garnet, Pearl, and Steven referred to Peridot as "she".
- Garnet referred to Jasper as "she".
- Gem's physical bodies are capable of producing bodily fluids, such as saliva, tears, mucus etc. Furthermore, in "Coach Steven", Pearl can be observed to have scrapes on her "skin".
- Each individual Gem seems to have a blood color that matches their own color palette, with Pearl's blood being blue, and Amethyst's blood being a dark purple. This is observed based on the color of a Gem's blush.
- 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 was able to pass her traits on to Steven, although this would contradict Pearl's implication that Gems are inorganic in Alone Together.
- Gem-hybrids can fuse with humans, such as Steven did with Connie to form Stevonnie, but it's unknown if hybrids can fuse with Gems.
- Gems cannot fuse with humans, as shown in "We Need to Talk".
- Thus far, all Gem regenerations have reflected how their last body was destroyed.
- Pearl has a large ribbon wrapped around her waist, much like a bandage, from when she was stabbed.
- Garnet's color scheme is split down the middle of her, much like how she was diffused.
- Amethyst's design is more tightened, reflecting how she was squeezed to retreating.
- It is hinted at that there could be multiple gems with the same type of gemstone.
- Both Jasper and Pearl herself have referred to her as "a Pearl", implying there are more.
- It is unknown if the placement and shape of a gemstone is a choice, or a default.
- Gems' skin tones are always related to the color of their gemstones, however they don't always match precisely, for example Rose Quartz's skin tone has a lighter, peachier shade than her gemstone.
- A Gem's physical form's size may correspond to their strength. For example, Rose Quartz, Jasper, and Garnet are extremely strong Gems, and their forms are larger than most Gems seen so far. Peridot and Pearl are also about the same size and strength, and are the "standard" Gem size.
- 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.
- It is implied that Gems either don't need to breathe, can hold their breath for long periods of time, or breathe differently from humans.
- In "Nightmare Hospital", it is revealed Gems do not have hearts.
- ↑ Watermelon Gem confirmation
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj2qtDuO9t8
- ↑ Gem Weapons
- ↑ "Frybo" Pearl: "These Shards have a powerful partial consciousness that has been harnessed by Gems throughout history in order to create semi-sentient drone soldiers with the capacity to follow basic orders."
- ↑ confirmed Gem romance
- ↑ https://twitter.com/ianjq/status/578413033883508738
Q: "So real talk, what does this say about Stevonnie's gender? I mean if we want to be cannonically correct, of course!"
A: "Stevonnie is an experience."
- ↑ https://twitter.com/mcburnett/status/620637717731217408
"Stevonnie uses them/they."
- ↑ http://www.beachcitybugle.com/2015/07/more-sdcc-news.html
"Gems are just gems, but they could identify as male if they wanted to, according to Rebecca."
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2e4gmx/i_am_rebecca_sugar_creator_of_steven_universe_and/cjw34bu
"The real question is, were/ are there any female crystal gems! And the answer is NO"
"Gems are Gems!"
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2e4gmx/i_am_rebecca_sugar_creator_of_steven_universe_and/cjw4rfj
"Steven is the first and only male Gem, because he is half human!"
"Technically, there are no female Gems! There are only Gems!"'
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2e4gmx/i_am_rebecca_sugar_creator_of_steven_universe_and/cjw8gre
Q: "Hey Rebecca, Will we ever get an explanation in the show why Gems have the form of human females? If not, could you explain why?"
A: "Why not look like human females? That's just what Gems happen to look like!"
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2e4gmx/i_am_rebecca_sugar_creator_of_steven_universe_and/cjw8ztw
Q: "I'm not trying to nitpick, because I am very happy with the gems and who they are, but is there any particular reason they use feminine pronouns if gender is irrelevant to them? I would understand if it were just more convenient."
A: "There's a 50 50 chance to use some pronoun on Earth, so why not feminine ones-- it's as convenient as it is arbitrary!"
- ↑ http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/113794156834/i-know-that-the-gems-are-sexless-agendered-etc
"Ok, i’m gonna try to explain this as simply as I can(apologies in advance if I screw up any gender terminology):"
"In the world of the show, Gems are an alien species that don’t have a gender binary. They are all the same. (This is very common in fiction. Think of alien species like the Namekians in Dragon Ball.)"
"Steven on the other hand was created by mixing human and gem DNA so he’s a completely new kind of being. He is the only gem to be born thru biological reproductive means(Rose shapeshifted a womb for him to be born from). In Earth terms, he identifies as male so the Crystal Gems have no problem using he/him pronouns with him. (Jasper, who has no concept of this, refers to Steven as if he is Rose)"
"This is similar to how all Smurfs were “male” before Smurfette was created by Gargamel."
"That said, Gems have the ability to take on gendered forms if they choose to. You’ve seen Amethyst do this."
- ↑ http://rebeccasugar.tumblr.com/post/113764004948/does-ruby-use-male-or-female-pronouns-since-it-a
IanJQ: "In the world of the show, gems are an alien species that use feminine pronouns for each other"
Rebecca: "For everyone wondering about Ruby: she is a Gem"
- ↑ Gem reproduction
- ↑ http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/113794156834/i-know-that-the-gems-are-sexless-agendered-etc
- ↑ http://rebeccasugar.tumblr.com/post/113764004948/does-ruby-use-male-or-female-pronouns-since-it-a
- ↑ Gem DNA
- ↑ http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/98516324679/can-there-be-a-topaz-gem-please-oh-pretty-please
"in canon, a Gem’s skin color MUST be related to the color of their gemstone!"
"Lapis’s skin is blue because the gemstone is blue. Amethyst is purple because the gemstone is purple! Pearl is cream because her Pearl is cream! Garnet is red because etc etc etc!"
- ↑ http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/98523846249/q-about-the-gemstone-color-thing-dont-a-lot-of
"You’re absolutely correct- for instance, if we had designed the character Pearl to have a yellow-colored pearl on her head, her skin would be a yellow shade! Or if we had chosen a green-colored Garnet she would have greenish skin! The main point was: in canon we don’t give Gems “human” skin colors. The skin is based on whatever gem that character has."
- ↑ http://ianjq.tumblr.com/post/98525160924/if-the-gems-arent-supposed-to-have-human-skin
"There are rose quartz stones that are peachy light pink. That’s what her skin is based off of."