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Mineral MacGuffin

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"But then again, seeing as how only the first jewel has control over the soul, a better name for them might be the Infinity Gems."

1-Up: Great job, Stinkoman! You got the Green Crystal Shard!
Stinkoman: Will we ever find all the colors before the bad guy?

A long time ago, several magical items were created. What were these amazing planet-destroying-if-ever-found-by-the-Big-Bad artifacts? Jewels, of course! They're shiny and glowy, and geometric, and crystalline. And let's not forget the allusions to wealth and regency.

Every super powerful Plot Coupon has to be a diamond or gem of some sort. Bonus if it's been somehow shattered into easily re-assembled pieces. And you, our heroes, in all likelihood Gotta Catch 'Em All. Bonus bonus points if there's a Set Bonus. Or just the one in the case of the Crystal Prison. If there are more than one gem, they'll usually be conveniently Colour Coded by their Elemental Powers, although sometimes they're only different colors because it looks cool.

That is, cut and polished Green Rocks. You can even slap them on just about anything to give them a power boost... or just to look neat!

There's probably an entire subtrope one could write for plots in which it turns out the villain wants a jewel not for its monetary value, but because it's necessary to focus the beam of a giant frickin' laser. Such gems can even be plucked straight from a mine wall and put into said laser thanks to their All-Natural Gem Polish. Because Tropes Are Flexible, anything that isn't strictly speaking mineral but looks like it may also qualify for this trope.

See also Unobtainium and Mystical Jade.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Abunai Sisters has the Booby Stone, a gemstone which grants its bearer eternal youth and beauty. It's supposedly the reason for the titular sisters' looks, and the show is mostly about the villains trying to steal it.
  • Dualium in AKB0048 which serves as the reason why entertainment is banned.
  • Sakuradite in Code Geass. Though it has most of the functional properties of weapons-grade uranium, it's played more like oil in the Middle East. It powers most everything in modern society, including the Knightmare Frames, and it's worth invading a country over.
  • Dragon Ball has the eponymous orange crystalline spheres. Bring all 7 together and they summon a dragon capable of granting almost any wish, before scattering all over the world and having a one-year period before they can be used again. The heroes mostly use them to ensure that Death Is Cheap, while the villains tend to want to conquer the world, achieve immortality (which so far only two villains have managed to get: the dubiously canonical Garlic Jr., and Future Zamasu) or to be a little taller.
  • The Philosopher's Stone from Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • The Prism Stones in Futari wa Pretty Cure. Nagisa and Honoka, our heroes, have two of them, and the rest are all in the possession of each member of the original Quirky Miniboss Squad.
  • One ancient and powerful jewel is the Shikon Jewel (shikon no tama or "Jewel of Four Souls" in the dub) from Inuyasha. It shatters early on, setting in motion the Gotta Catch Them All plot with the shards. The jewel was formed from the spirits of a powerful priestess and the composite youkai that was about to overwhelm her, which killed them both and trapped them in an eternal battle in the jewel.
  • Jewelpet
    • Jewelpet Twinkle☆: The heroes collect 12 Jewel Stones each to become eligible to enter a tournament.
    • Jewelpet Sunshine: The Rainbow Jewel from the Summer arc is an object of great power that's protected by pirates. The heroes need it to save Dragon Land.
    • Jewelpet Kira☆Deco!: The Deco Stones, shards of the Mirror Ball that the heroes want to complete.
    • Jewelpet Happiness: The Magic Gems, which the heroes are collecting to fill the Jewel Box.
    • Jewelpet: Magical Change: The Magical Stone owned by Airi, which is the thing that allows the pets to transform into humans.
  • The Red Stone of Aja from Part Two of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency definitely counts, seeing as the Stone serves as the catalyst for Kars' ascension to Ultimate Lifeform, but also as the only thing potentially able to defeat the Aztec God of Fitness.note 
  • The Moonstone from Kimba the White Lion.
  • The Jewel Seeds from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.
  • The pearls in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.
  • The Star Crystal in Negima!? (second season).
  • The Ruby and Sapphire Orbs from Pokémon: The Series. As well as the various Mega Stones.
  • Princess Tutu. The titular princess gathers shards of Mythos' heart (which conveniently look like shards of a jewel) then finds out that the last shard is the jewel around her neck that helps her transform!
  • The Jewel of Life from Ronin Warriors.
  • The Soul Stones from Sacred Seven.
  • Sailor Moon is absolutely flooded with both good and evil jewelry, the most famous being the Silver Crystal (which had to be assembled from 7 Rainbow Crystals in the first anime). Most of the jewelry is, oddly, physically manifested aspects of the human soul. Any given person apparently has a friggin jewelry store in there somewhere.

    Card Games 
  • The Mox crystals of Magic: The Gathering, at least in early prerevisionist stories. They're also this in meta, given that they're five of the Power Nine, extraordinarily expensive, and limited to one per game in formats where they're not outright banned.
  • The Heart of Paradise in the Magi-Nation card game.

    Comic Books 
  • The Koh-i-Noor in Assassin's Creed: Brahman, which is a Piece of Eden that enhances the powers of the other Pieces. Subsequent material from the franchise show both Assassins and Templars have been on a long hunt throughout history for it. (The one in the British crown jewels is a fake. The actual Koh-i-Noor hasn't been seen since the 1920s.)
  • In Barracuda, the McGuffin that everyone is seeking (but especially Blackdog and his crew) is the Kashari diamond: the largest in the world , known for never left but death and desolation in its wake.
  • Doctor Who (Titan): "Ghost Stories" has the Doctor enlisting The Ghost to help him track down the three sister gems to the one that gave Grant Gordon his superpowers.
  • The Infinity Gems from Marvel Comics. They were originally referred to as the Soul Gems, but Thanos decided to give them a more appropriate name.
  • The Scrameustache: Inverted. Sorbon is rare mineral which cause ships to malfunction when mixed in their engines.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog Promo Comic, the evil Dr. Robotnik builds an army of robots to take over the world and harness the power of the Chaos Emeralds for his own means.
  • Superman:
    • Two for the Death of One has the Runestone of Merlin, a large glowing red gem which is a source of ultimate magical power coveted by villainous sorcerers Satanis and Syrene.
    • In Superman and the ThunderCats, the Thundercats are trying to stop Mumm-Ra's minions from retrieving a magical stone equal in power to the Eye of Thundera.
    • In The Killers of Krypton, Supergirl has to hunt down powerful gemstones scattered across the edge of the galaxy to find the responsible for Krypton's destruction.
  • In Wonder Woman and the Star Riders (a promotional comic for a show and toy line that were never produced) each of the Star Riders have a magical star shaped jewel that helps them keep the earth safe which the villain steals. The riders get them back, but the villain manages to steal one as she escapes and swears she'll steal the rest again one by one.

    Fan Works 
  • Daily Equestria Life with Monster Girl: A key component in the translation fabrial given to Cerea is a black opal mined from within Tartarus. This is one of the main reasons why translator fabrials of that level are so rare.
  • The Triptych Continuum has deathstones, also known as chaos pearls. These form at the heart of chaos terrain, where Discord's ancient rule left the world permanently distorted, and each deathstone holds a drop of Discord's power and can further be used to capture and store the essence of mortal souls. Physically, deathstones constantly shift from one gem to another: one second it will be a sapphire in color, weight, and texture, the next it will be a ruby, then a topaz, and so forth.
  • Universe Falls: In "Peridot and Pacifica", Dipper, Pacifica, and Peridot team up to find some "titan's ore", a mineral that's very rare on Earth but which they need to help heat-proof the drill they're building to stop the Cluster from emerging.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Magic Roundabout (2005): The plot is driven by the animals (plus Train) being on a quest to retrieve three magic diamonds from their (usually well-fortified) hiding places before the Big Bad does: the heroes intend to use the diamonds' magic to reimprison the villain before he can freeze the world, whilst the villain intends to use them to further his plans.
  • Moana has the Heart of Te Fiti, a magical stone holding the powers of a creator goddess. Moana and Maui must return it to its rightful place to stop the blight spreading across the islands and save Moana's home.
  • In The Rescuers, the Devil's Eye is a nearly fist-sized faceted diamond worth an absolute fortune. Madam Medusa abducted a child to force her into the grotto where the diamond is hidden, who sent a message in a bottle out as a plea for help, alerting the Rescue Aid Society.
  • The meteorite that promises to be an unlimited energy supply in Tarzan (2013).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Unobtainium (no, seriously, that's what it's called) in Avatar is actually more of a Mineral MacGuffin — aside from being a source of Human-Na'vi conflict, its only use is to sit there and be expensive. In the various wikis and other supplementary sources, it's revealed that the element, though not a fuel source per se, is vital to the operation of interstellar vehicles — in other words, it's an oil allegory.
  • The "Blue Water" sapphire in the 1926 and 1938 adaptations of Beau Geste.
  • The eponymous Blood Diamond.
  • The film Cash revolved around stealing three diamonds owned by three different people. Since they were cut from one original stone, together they provide a full set bonus.
  • The eponymous stone from The Dark Crystal, as well as the shard that must be reunited with it. Unusually, both shard and Crystal aren't cut gemstones, but hunks of rough crystal in its natural state.
  • Filibus: Much of the film follows the Sky Pirate of the title attempting to purloin the diamond eyes of an Egyptian cat statue.
  • The item everyone is after in The Ghoul is the Jewel of Light; either for its monetary value, or its supposed supernatural powers.
  • The diamond that is the target of the thieves in The Hot Rock. It reaches the point that the monetary value of the diamond is forgotten, and Dortmunder believes that the stone is cursed and his life will never run smoothly till he manages to successfully steal it.
  • Jagged Mind: The magic crystal which Alex got ahold of and lets her create a time loop with magic. She uses this on Billie multiples times, which sparks the plot. Billie managing to find and use it herself undoes all Alex's time loops, saving herself along with other people.
  • In Joe Versus the Volcano, the reason Samuel Graynamore sends Joe on his journey is to bargain for a rare mineral called Boobaroo, needed in his manufacturing industry.
  • In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the player characters has to return the giant emerald eye to the jaguar statue to lift the curse on Jumanji.
  • 'The Eye of God' — the (possibly magical) treasure everyone is searching for in Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears — is a massive emerald about the size of a loaf of bread.
  • El Corazon ("The Heart"), an enormous emerald in Romancing the Stone. Subverted in the sequel, Jewel of the Nile, which sounds like a Mineral MacGuffin, but is actually... a person.
  • Sinbad of the Seven Seas is about Sinbad fighting to retrieve the four sacred gems of Basra that Evil Sorcerer Jaffar scattered across various islands.
  • Although non-magical, the Heart of the Ocean is the elusive MacGuffin that kicks off the framing story of Titanic (1997).

  • In the Lone Wolf gamebooks and spin-offs, there are several Mineral MacGuffins:
    • First and foremost is the Moonstone, a powerful artifact crafted by a race of demigods, the Shianti. So important it is in Magnamund that Year I of this world's calendar is set on the date of its creation.
    • Then, there are the Lorestones, made by Nyxator the Dragon, which spun the Gotta Catch Them All plot of the whole Magnakai series.
    • Even the villains have their own set, the Doomstones created by Agarash the Damned (as a mockery of the Lorestones), which any hero is better off destroying on sight.

  • In Chivalric Romances, the magical jewel that shone of its own light is a stock magical item.
  • The Affix revolves around a gem that severely messes with probability, to the point where it will return to the keeper it chooses if they throw it away. When it's "awake" not only do its powers get exponentially worse, it glows at night and changes color as it gains strength; the rest of the time it looks like smoky quartz. It's supposedly harder than diamond according to a geologist who once had it, yet it has 11-sided symmetry that should be impossible to cut into that hard a stone even if the tools existed to cut it.
  • Subverted in an Artemis Fowl mini-book that takes place between the first two novels. Artemis goes to a lot of trouble to steal a unique jewel from a group of dwarves pretending to be a human circus troupe. He gives the stock "focus a new laser I'm developing" excuse to dwarf ally Mulch Diggums, who seems sceptical but doesn't push it. Artemis really wants it as a present for his mother, since it matches the colour of his missing father's eyes.
  • The "Blue Water" sapphire in Beau Geste (1924).
  • The gems of the Belt of Deltora in Deltora Quest.
  • Diadem: All gems were magic and each had their own power, but only someone with magical talent could unlock them.
  • The Sun Stones from the Dinotopia books, used to power the strutters.
  • In Sarah A. Hoyt's Draw One in the Dark, the triad is chasing after Tom for a pearl.
  • The more powerful and plot-important gelstei crystals in Ea Cycle, especially the gold and silver varieties.
  • David Eddings
    • The Orb of Aldur and its evil counterpart, the Sardion from the Belgariad and its sequel series, The Malloreon. Individually they're both quite powerful. If any one person (or being) can manage to hold both of them, it would become a god. Literally.
    • The Elenium has another another sapient (and almost as powerful) blue jewel, The Sapphire Rose (or Bhelliom), at the center.
  • The odd black gems in Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East. Nothing much to ordinary sight, but incredibly beautiful to spirits and wizards who could see the inner structure. But only Ardneh knew that they were originally the magneto-hydrodynamic cores of hydrogen fusion power lamps, from which he could draw enormous amounts of power.
  • The Fire's Stone: The Fire's Stone.
  • Robert E. Howard
    The red heart of the night it is, strong to save or to damn. It came from afar, and from long ago. While I held it, none could stand before me. But it was stolen from me, and Acheron fell, and I fled an exile into dark Stygia.
    • In Kull story "The Shadow Kingdom", the stolen gem.
    Above all, why had Ka-nu shown him the green gem of terror, stolen long ago from the temple of the Serpent, for which the world would rock in wars were it known to the weird and terrible keepers of that temple, and from whose vengeance not even Ka-nu's ferocious tribesmen might be able to save him?
  • Kindling Ashes: Gold is a essential nutrient for young dragons. Without it they are flightless and stupid lizards. The pre-story war was about the supply of this mineral.
  • The unnamed, walnut-sized diamond which once belonged to King Charles the First in Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner.
  • The titular MacGuffin in Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone.
  • Nansō Satomi Hakkenden: In her youth, Princess Fuse receives a necklace of 108 beads as a countermeasure for her family curse, the largest eight being marked with the Eight Confucian Virtues. After her Mystical Pregnancy, each of her children (the titular Eight Canine Warriors) is born with one of the large beads corresponding to their greatest virtue, granting them a Healing Factor and the ability to sense the other beads. At the end of the story they lose their markings and their powers, and the Warriors end up simply giving them away to artisans.
  • The Quantum Thief-trilogy has the Kaminari Jewel, a piece of crystallised spacetime that contains encoded instructions towards breaking the Planck Locks and solving causality, itself. The catch is that its creators ensured that it can only be opened by someone performing an altruistic action from the perspective of the entire universe.
  • The Rainbow Magic series "The Jewel Fairies" has Rachel and Kirsty search for seven gemstones belonging to the titular fairies; India's moonstone, Scarlett's garnet, Emily's emerald, Chloe's topaz, Amy's amethyst, Sophie's sapphire, and Lucy's diamond. Without these jewels, Fairyland with lose its magic.
  • In Clive Cussler's Raise the Titanic! and the movie adaptation it spawned. The mineral in question is Byzanium, which is required to power a new missile defense system for the USA. The trouble is, the last known deposit was on the Titanic when it sank in 1912.
  • Several of the Sherlock Holmes stories deal with retrieving priceless gems, including the titular jewels of "The Mazarin Stone," "The Blue Carbuncle," and "The Beryl Coronet." The black pearl in "The Six Napoleons" isn't really a MacGuffin because we don't learn it exists and motivated the plot until the dénouement.
  • In the War Of Vengeance, the battles between the humans and the Parshendi were driven by this trope. Each chasmfiend has an enormous gemstone within its body (about the size of a man's head, referred to as "gemhearts"), and each gemheart could pay for an army for months.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien
    • The Silmarils from The Silmarillion, and to a lesser extent, the rings of the Elves, which are set with diamond, sapphire, and ruby.
    • In The Hobbit, Thorin Oakenshield covets the Arkenstone, or "Heart of the Mountain", a unique precious gem and family heirloom that is lost amongst the treasure hoarded by the dragon Smaug.
  • Lampshaded brilliantly in the fantasy novel Villains by Necessity, with the Spectrum Key the object which can save the world: a spherical crystal worldgate broken into six identically-sized pieces in six different colors, each hidden in a different location by a different Hero and protected by a different clever trap. Several characters comment on the colors; one character is from a colorblind species and can't understand what they're blathering about.
  • In Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, the titular gemstone is part of a magical bracelet that can be used to protect its wearer, but serves a more important purpose in powering the enchantments which keep Arthur and his Knights agelessly asleep in Fundindelve.
  • In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone, the title stone. Not much to look at, but harder than diamond.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blake's 7. The episodes "The Harvest of Kairos" and "Games" involved The Caper to steal valuable crystals from the Federation, ostensibly to prevent Servalan getting them but equally to make our anti-heroes rich.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Hilariously subverted in "Planet of the Dead", when Ten sends his new lady thief friend rappelling into the innards of a crashed spaceship to retrieve a very large crystal from its engine ... and then throws the crystal away, because what he actually needs are the clamps which held the thing in place.
    • "The End of Time": A mostly ordinary diamond becomes one of these when it makes it out of the Time Lock sealing the Time War away, creating an anchor the Time Lords can use to escape.
  • Power Rangers is quite fond of this. The Power Crystals used in zord piloting in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 1, the Zeo Crystal(s) in Mighty Morphin' Season 3 and Power Rangers Zeo, the Trizerium Crystals in Power Rangers Time Force, the Animal Crystals in Power Rangers Wild Force, the Dino Gems in Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, the jewels of the Corona Aurora in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive...
  • How many times did various Star Trek series base a plotline on the ship running out of dilithium crystals, exactly? Dozens? A hundred? Other sought-after minerals have included pergium and topaline.
  • The magical and sometimes mischievous Stone which changed hands several times in The Wanderer.



  • In Rain Quest, there's Solarite, a powerful stone from a mysterious meteorite. It was shattered by an evil, living lightning bolt, forcing Joel and Nina to travel across the land to find the pieces before the lightning bolt does.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Most Dungeons & Dragons settings have a fair few scattered about, but most notably Eberron has the dragonshards, magical crystals believed to be formed from the essence of the three progenitor dragons that created the world. Almost everything magical in Eberron, especially any MacGuffin, is going to have a dragonshard in it somewhere. As well, abundant Siberys dragonshards are the biggest reason everyone wants to explore the previously-neglected continent of Xen'drik, in a fair parallel to the search for gold and silver in the New World during Spain's Golden Age.

  • LEGO Aquazone has hydrolator crystals, silver crystals with ambiguous properties. All that's known for certain is that every faction wants them and are willing to fight over them.

    Video Games 
  • Armello has Spirit Stones. Collecting 4 of theses allows you to cure the King's Rot infection and thus win the game without fighting.
  • Baldur's Gate III has the Netherstones, three magical gems that are part of the Netherese Artifact of Doom known as the Crown of Karsus, with all three having the ability to dominate whoever is wearing the aforementioned crown. The Chosen of the Dead Three are using the Netherstones to control the elder brain that poses as the Absolute as part of a greater plan to Take Over the World in the name of their respective gods, and the player character must take the Netherstones from them if they are to confront the elder brain and be free of being infected with a mind flayer parasite (or if they wish, hijack the villains' plans and control the elder brain for themselves).
  • In platformer Cactus McCoy and the Curse of Thorns the title character stole the Thorned Emerald for the guy who hired him and was cursed to remain green and spiny until he delivered the jewel to its rightful location.
  • Chrono Trigger has Dreamstone, a type of Unobtainium that you need to reforge a broken Sword of Plot Advancement. You win it in a Drinking Contest in Prehistory.
  • Starting with Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, the Crystals and Gems become this for many of the Crash Bandicoot games, being sought after by the villains for their great power. When they aren't this, they're a collectible in general as in Crash Bash, or in Crash Bandicoot (1996) where they're used as platforms to get to where the alternate ending is, but aren't referenced by the story itself.
  • In Crystal's Pony Tale, the main character must find seven rainbow-colored crystals in order to set his friends free.
  • Dark Cloud
  • The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark: The "Druid's Delight" section of the game revolves around the theft of the Sunstone, a big glowing gem that legend says is vital to keeping the sun shining.
  • In the adventure game Darkstone, the seven Crystals of Virtue are a combination of this trope and Gotta Catch 'Em All; once united, they form the Time Orb.
  • In Day of the Tentacle, the three heroes are trying to use a time machine powered by a diamond to stop the evil Purple Tentacle from conquering the world. Unfortunately, Dr. Fred used an artificial diamond to power the machine which results in Hoagie being stranded 200 years in the past, Laverne 200 years in the future, and Bernard ending up right back in the present. While Hoagie and Laverne each try to find a way to power their respective time travel pods, Bernard is trying to find a new diamond to serve as a power source for the master unit.
  • The nine Talismans in Dragon's Crown, which are needed to harm the Ancient Dragon.
  • Dungeon Keeper 2: The one exit from the Underworld's endless caverns to the surface world can only be opened with a full set of Portal Gems, which have been scattered throughout the Underworld. You, the Villain Protagonist Dungeon Keeper, seek to claim them from the forces of Good, secure the portal, and unleash your armies on the surface.
  • The Eberron RTS Dragonshard is focused around three factions fighting for control of a massive dragonshard, a magical crystal known as the Heart of Siberys. The Church of the Silver Flame and the Umbragen want it for their own purposes while the Lizardfolk just want it to be left alone because of its cultural significance to them.
  • The titular gemstones of 8 Eyes were said to have been formed in the midst of nuclear explosions, with a king trying to use them to help rebuild the world After the End. However, his eight dukes (the most powerful one is actually a duchess) turned against him, stole the gems and banished him to the wastelands. The exiled king's guardsman is charged with fighting off the dukes and retrieving the gems, and properly aligning them on an altar after defeating the final boss.
  • Somewhat used in Paul's chapter of Eternal Darkness. Three gems, a ruby, a sapphire, and an emerald, are needed to open catacombs within a church and proceed through the level — they seriously are just plain gems, though, with no power of their own. Their color does seem to hold some significance with the game's unique element system, however, depending on where they're found. Green represents sanity and the emerald is found in the staff of a priest depicted in a wall carving, and Paul's own staff is used for sanity recovery. The blue gem, blue representing magic, has to be taken from a Horror, a hulking monster that fires bolts of magic from a distance. The last gem is taken after a miniboss fight with a 600+-year-old and very zombified Anthony. Defeating him allows you to take his ruby eye, red representing strength.
  • Practically all gemstones in Fate have magical powers, except the Lampshadingly-names Gem of Lost Hopes.
  • Any Final Fantasy game involving crystals.
  • The Kingdom Stone in Freedom Planet.
  • Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland's entire gameplay revolves around getting as many rupees as possible — including the Super Rupees that act as the games dungeon counters and the final Master Rupee.
  • The four Elemental Stars in the Golden Sun series.
  • Gumshoe revolves around a private eye who must travel the world finding the five Black Panther Diamonds in order to save his daughter Jennifer, who's being held hostage by the mobster King Dom.
  • The PC game Jazz Jackrabbit 2 had the titular character trying to get back the diamond from his fiancée's (the princess's) wedding ring — an enormous diamond the main villain was using to power his time machine so he could erase rabbits from history.
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The titular crystals were all pieces of an even bigger crystal.
  • The Mystic Orbs in Kyle & Lucy: Wonderworld, which are actually meteorites that are made of pure, magical energy.
  • The Legend of Zelda has a bunch of these, usually in the colours green, red and blue to represent the Goddesses and their respective powers (courage, power and wisdom). The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has the three Pendants of Virtue; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the three Spiritual Stones; The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has the Goddess Pearls; and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass has the Pure Metals. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap all feature the four Elements/Royal Jewels.
  • Magical Tetris Challenge: A magical gemstone that fell to Earth from space plays a big role in the story. Pete's evil plan depends on getting the stone and its power.
  • The eight elemental crystals from MARDEK RPG. Each of them is is the font of all energy of their type: aside from the basic elements, the Light and Dark crystals are responsible for Good and Evil, the Fig crystal for all thoughts and dreams, and the Aether crystal for all souls and lifeforces. Every planet has its own set, although non-life-bearing planets don't need the Moral or Spiritual ones.
  • Refractors in the Mega Man Legends/Rockman Dash series are big crystals left over from an earlier civilization. Small ones serve as money, big ones power airships.
  • The Crystal Stars from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and an honorable mention to the pieces of Star Road from Mario RPG, which at least look the part.
  • Pokémon
    • In Pokémon Platinum, the Red Chain. Cyrus essentially found three spirits that are considered mirages with how god damn rare they are, had them taken to a lab with their powers somehow being subdued (If Uxie opened its eyes, it would have mind wiped the people on board. Touching Mesprit would render one emotionless in three days (although that would likely suit Cyrus), and harming Azelf renders one immobile for eternity within a scant five days.), RIPPING JEWELS OUT OF THEM, crafting the jewels into a chain, cloning the chain, then using both chains to drag Dialga and Palkia out of their dimensions, knowing that the pixies would come and neutralize the gods. However, he planned ahead, knowing that they could only contain one god, so he would be free to remake the universe by using the other. However, Giratina came in and dragged him to the world's polar opposite to stop him. Man, Arceus did a good job at setting up that failsafe. The Red Chain makes a comeback in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, with the Player Character forging it for noble purposes by convincing the Lake Guardians to voluntarily hand over their jewels.
    • Hell, the Pokémon games themselves could be considered Mineral MacGuffins to die-hard collectors. You've got Gold, Silver, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Of course, this is averted by the fact that the games aren't actually made of these materials...
    • Pokémon, in general, uses this one a lot. On top of the gems involves with Cyrus' plot (by the way, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina each have a plot-uniportant gem that boosts their power considerably), the bulk of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire was about trying to hunt down gems that woke up legendary Pokémon. In Pokémon Black and White, it's a similar situation, except the magic stones ARE the legendary Pokémon. It also introduced elemental gems that give an attack of the same type a huge power boost, but they're common enough to be junk items.
    • The sixth Generation games added the mysterious Mega Stones, that allow some Pokémon temporaly evolve into stronger forms. Examples Include Lucario, Gardevoir, Latios, Latias, Scizor, Garchomp, Tyranitar, Salamence, the Kanto and Hoenn Starters and Mewtwo.
    • In the seventh generation, items called Z-Crystals are introduced. Equipping the correct ones to your Pokémon allows them to use incredibly powerful attacks known as Z-Moves. Collecting the entire set is the focus of the Island Challenge plot: you get one for each Totem Pokémon and Island Kahuna you defeat, and the others can be found as you travel Alola. Come the second set of games, it's discovered that the power of the Z-Crystals is the "light" produced by Necrozma, which shone down onto Alola and created the Crystals and Totems. Necrozma has since lost the power to produce its light and is in agony without it, but by the time the player meets Necrozma, they have a large collection of Z-Crystals. This means that so long as Necrozma is with the player and their Pokémon, its pain is stopped, and it has the opportunity to temporarily regain its true form.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet had Tera Orbs, which were created using mysterious unnamed crystals found in Paldea's Lost World known as Area Zero and allowed Pokémon to temporarily change their type while giving them a crystalline aura. The crystals end up being vital to the plot, as The Professor used them to create their Time Machine and it's heavily implied that they created the Paradox Pokémon instead of the machine. It was later revealed that the being responsible for these crystals was the Legendary Terapagos.
  • In Ruff 'n' Tumble, the big bad needs marbles in order to power a world-domination machine.
  • RuneScape: In the Desert Treasure quest, the player must defeat four guardians to retrieve the smoke, shadow, blood and ice diamonds to free Azzanadra from his pyramid prison.
  • The red stone in Shadow of Destiny.
  • The Moon Crystals in Skies of Arcadia.
  • The titular Sol Cresta, which was stolen by Go Kurogane and Noboru Tendo from Mandler, is later used to power up the Yamato in the final battle against Mandler.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog's Chaos Emeralds, although how important tends to vary. If it's a side-scrolling game, the Emeralds are an important collectible but aren't important to whatever story the game may have, outside of accessing the secret ending, Super/Hyper Sonic, and the implication that Robotnik has won by getting them in your stead on the game over screen. In the story-driven 3D games they're often integral to the plot, such as powering up Chaos or being used for time travel, and collecting all of them is a focal point for both the heroes and villains. Also see the Laser-focusing variants section for more examples.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles also has the Super Emeralds, upgraded versions of the Chaos Emeralds you've already collected.
    • For Knuckles, the Master Emerald is also this when it gets shattered and he has to collect all of the shards.
    • The Sol Emeralds from the Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, where in the first game, Blaze starts her journey looking for them after Dr. Eggman has stolen them, which threatens to destabilize the dimension she hails from. In both games, once she has all of them, she can access her own super mode, Burning Blaze, in order to defeat Eggman and Eggman Nega.
  • Supernova has a crystal, protected by traps in a pyramid. It was originally implied to be a valuable treasure, but is instead used as a timing crystal at the end of the game for a ship's computer.
  • They are more than just bling in Tail Concerto.
  • The entire backstory for Torchlight revolves around the discovery of a mine with a rich seam of Ember.
  • In Uncle Albert's Mysterious Island, the player must find three jewels to open the mask of Pachacamac.
  • The Fantasm Jewelry in Valis: The Fantasm Soldier.
  • Null Crystals from zOMG. Their exact origin hasn't been explained yet, but they do seem to have enormous power. Null Crystals have the power to neutralize G'hi energy, forcing The Animated to avoid them at risk of de-Animation. The crystals come in three varieties.
    • Null Fragments are used in Item Crafting, and are Hand Waved as the reason why some recipes use rather illogical ingredients.
    • Transit Crystals are large crystal outcroppings that can repel and de-animate The Animated. When touched, they can teleport a person to its partner crystal, assuming that they are attuned to it. They're used to send people to the Null Chamber.
    • The Null Chamber serves as zOMG's hub. It is filled with "Dark Crystals", which have the power to neutralize G'hi energy, allowing players to swap out and charge rings. In addition, the Null Chamber grants anyone who enters it a form of immortality. If you are killed in the field, you can release your lifeforce and reform at the Null Chamber.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Marco & the Galaxy Dragon, the Lizard Stone is a magical gemstone that gives whoever holds it the power of a dragon. Marco wants to sell it, and all the villains want to get their hands on it.
  • While it doesn't have gemstones, portions of the plot of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations revolved around Dahlia's heart-shaped bottle necklace. It contains poison, and was used to nearly kill Diego Armando and aid Terry Fawles' suicide. Dahlia pretended to date a young Phoenix Wright to have him unknowingly hide the necklace, and then try to make him give it back again. Its eventual fate? Phoenix ate it. Don't worry, he got better.

    Web Animation 
  • The Lucky Dime in Episode 3 Of Ducktalez, as part of a set of magical stones that grant the owner immortality and great power if they are collected. However, during his Heroic BSOD, Scrooge gives it to Magica, who then uses it to buy bubblegum.
  • Each member of First Stage Production's first English-language wave, Avallum, is in possession of a crystal that, when all five of them are united, will lead them to the location of the same name to have their wishes granted. Said crystals are also capable of being used to perform various magical feats, though Gale, being the Token Human out of the five of them, has remained unsuccessful with doing anything with his crystal.
  • Spoofed on Homestar Runner with a mention of "Stinkoman and the Challenge of the Crystal Shards" (at the end of this cartoon).
  • The three Nodes in Think Like A Coder that Ethic needs to collect to save the world are icosahedron-shaped (the shape of a D20) crystals.
  • Wolf Song: The Movie has the Stone of Souls, a zircon gem housing the souls of deceased wolves, which the hero needs to activate an ultimate form and the villain covets in order to fulfill his quest. Also overlaps with Fatal Macguffin as overuse will cause you to be consumed by the stone and die as a result.

  • In Agents of the Realm, the amulets all have parts of the Provenance in them, the Provenance being a giant magical gem.
  • Soulstones, found in the Earthsong 'verse, formed of semi-sentient minerals which make up the consciousness of planets (read the comic, it's much clearer there) crystallise out of characters' blood INSIDE THEIR CHESTS. If not dealt with correctly by teleporting the relevant character to Earthsong, they then proceed to spontaneously explode.
  • El Goonish Shive has the Dewitchery Diamond, a huge green diamond that is responsible for creating one of the main characters.
  • Wayward Sons: The Star Core brought the protagonists and antagonists to earth, and empowered them. It's currently set in the hilt of Suras' Cool Sword.

    Web Original 
  • THE MONUMENT MYTHOS: Giza Glass is an anomalous form of glass that is formed by unusual lightning (that only comes with a given constellation and is implied to originate from Special Trees) striking the desert sands near the Pyramid of Giza. While useful as a currency, its main properties come when made into a cutting edge. Not only is it one of the few things to cause a dent in the normally-indestructible Special Trees, but anything severed by it apparently doesn't die, nor lose connection with the whole. Slicing your hand off with Giza Glass still lets you control it wherever it may be, even miles away, and it won't rot. People decapitated by it are a different story; their bodies seem fine, but they lose the capacity to speak, and their heads just float off, able to mysteriously fly, and will start bloating and growing in size if not supplied with vinegar.
  • Super Stories features the Trabethan Jewel, a large jewel with the ability to amplify various kinds of waves. Its adaptability has made it the focus of many a failed doomsday weapon, and it is thus usually sought by somebody and spends most of its time in police evidence lockers.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: The Music Box which transported the three girls to Amphibia and is ultimately central to the plot of the entire series is fueled by the power of the three Gems embedded in it, each one represents a different aspect of the Self: the blue gem represents heart, the pink gem represents strength, and the green gem represents wit. The heroes spend Season 2 recharging the gems one by one (unaware that they've been imbued with the magic from each of the gems, but recharging the gems drains its magic back out of them). The Big Bad's plan after all three gems are recharged is to use the Music Box's portal-opening abilities to invade Earth and become a Multiversal Conqueror.
  • The Reality Gems from Danny Phantom, a homage to the Infinity Gems from Marvel above.
  • Spoofed in Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century. Duck Dodgers and Marvin the Martian end up destroying the entire planet in their attempt to claim the last remaining supplies of Illudium Phosdex, the shaving cream atom.
  • The Crystal of Gawayn from Gawayn is a magical crystal which will restore Princess Gwendolyn to her correct size.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, the 12 Zodiacs come in the form of stones called Talismans. Each of them grant the wielder Animal-themed superpowers based on which Talisman they're using.
  • In Magi-Nation there are the dreamstones and the Moonlands Diamond. Whomever possesses the dreamstones are capable of summoning and controlling the guardian hyrens of the 12 realms. Gathered together and placed in the Book of Elders, they form the Core Glyph which was used to capture and seal the Big Bad. The Moonlands Diamond can store and channel massive amounts of energy. It is half of the relic Realms' Honor and can be used to offset the massive energy drain of summoning the guardian hyrens, as well as fuse them together.
  • The Miraculouses from Miraculous Ladybug are a collection of magical jewelry that — when powered by their respective kwamis — bestow their wielder a plethora of superpowers, including their own weapon, enhanced speed, strength, durability, a unique superpower and their own awesome costumes. The two main heroes have the Ladybug and Cat Miraculous, which grant the power of Creation and Destruction respectively (and when brought together, can grant wishes), but other reoccuring ones include the Butterfly Miraculous (Transmission) used by Hawk Moth, the Bee Miraculous (Subjection) used by Chloe, the Fox Miraculous (Illusion) used by Alya, the Turtle Miraculous (Protection) used by Nino, and the Peacock Miraculous (Emotion) used by Mayura.
  • My Little Pony
    • Three episodes have three different gems: The Sun Stone ("The End of Flutter Valley"), the Flashstone ("The Ghost of Paradise Estate"), and the Heart Stone ("Crunch the Rockdog").
    • Also in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic where the power to defeat gods and god-like entities can be wielded by those attuned to the "Elements of Harmony", artifacts traditionally depicted as six gemstones. Since the elements were re-activated by the main characters, their powers have been stored within 5 jeweled necklaces and one Big Crown-Thingy.
  • The Thirteen Treasures of Rule in The Pirates of Dark Water. Subverted by the eighth, which became a creature, with prior foreshadowing of other subversions to come.
  • Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville has the Friendship Heart. It is implied to be used for various purposes by the monarch, including activating the Pocketpedia (another MacGuffin) to find out which pet is suitable for a child and to perform Friendship Ceremonies with. It gets cleaved in half by Zull, who manages to get one half for Eva. The other half ends up in Kate's hands. The protagonists will have to go on various quests to send denizens of Pocketville to their rightful owners in order to complete Ava's puzzle and obtain Eva's half of the Heart so Ava can make her return.
  • The Long Life Stone became the MacGuffin for Grandpa Smurf's adversary Nemesis in a few of The Smurfs episodes.
  • Sonic Prime starts with Dr. Eggman trying to obtain a massive crystal called the Paradox Prism for his latest scheme. When confronting Eggman, Sonic unintentionally shattered the Prism, scattering its pieces and creating The Multiverse with a shard of the prism in each dimension. The Prism shards each have a great deal of power that different characters use to their advantage. The Chaos Council used their shard piece to power their entire city and Thorn Rose used her piece to grow massive trees at will.
  • Tangled: The Series' Sundrop and Moonstone. The Moonstone is causing Corona to be overrun with Kudzu-like black rocks, so Raps and co. venture out into the world to find it and reunite it with its counterpart (I.E. Rapunzel). And as it turns out, it would have been a very, very bad idea. Meanwhile the villains have the opposite goal of getting the Sundrop for various reasons, which makes it a cross between this and Macguffin Turned Human/Living Macguffin.
  • Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic has 16 different sorts of "Starfire Gems", which are kept in a tenko box. They give powers to whoever owns them.
  • Thunder Cats 2011 has the Eye of Thundera, an Amplifier Artifact and Power Crystal for the Sword of Omens and three other unnamed crystals the Thundercats must find.
  • Transformers
    • These were practically a dime-a-dozen within the G1 cartoon. Stand out examples include Burmese rubies in the "More Than Meets The Eye" three-parter (powerful enough to serve as a fuel source for the Transformers), the Heart of Cybertron from "Microbots" (the power source of the Decepticons' old warship that can also serve as an Invincibility Power-Up), the Pearl of Bahoudin from "Trans-Europe Express" (the core of a Cybertronian Weather-Control Machine), and — most famously — the Matrix of Leadership from the movie, an Autobot talisman that serves as the only means of stopping Unicron.
    • Energon in Transformers: Beast Wars and Transformers: Energon (it appeared in the original series as a liquid rather than a solid).
    • In Transformers: Animated, the Allspark starts out as just a box o'endless power. However, after it shatters the fragments manifest as crystal shards.
  • In YooHoo & Friends, Yoohoo and his friends have to complete tasks for Father Time in order to collect gems. Whe they have a full set of gems, Father Time will grant them a wish, which they intended to use to become human again.

Laser-focusing variants

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The diamonds needed by Mr. Freeze for his frost-beam in Batman & Robin.
  • Through the majority of Congo, the blue diamonds are wanted for laser communication with satellites. The last few minutes subvert this when the main character destroys the satellite. This was a spur of the moment solution, thus the diamonds maintain their MacGuffin status up to that moment.
  • Dr. Claw uses a giant ruby as part of his time-freezing beam in Inspector Gadget 2.
  • In Diamonds Are Forever, the only reason why Blofeld set up the diamond-smuggling pipeline in the first place was to snag enough gems to power his Kill Sat's Frickin' Laser Beams.
  • In Star Wars, all lightsabers are constructed using a variety of Force-attuned crystals called kyber crystals to power the blade and provide additional effects like bolstering the user's Force powers.

  • In some endings of the Gamebook Mountain of Mirrors, you can use a huge diamond to focus sunlight on the ice pillar that supports a gigantic frozen cavern, melting it away and collapsing the roof on a monstrous army.

  • Subverted in a short story in The Artemis Fowl Files: Artemis claims to want a blue diamond for a laser he's building, but at the end of the story it turns out he was just saying that to save face — in fact, the diamond is the exact same color as his missing father's eyes, and he has it made into a necklace to comfort his mother on Artemis, Sr.'s birthday.
  • The Stormlight Archive: In the War of Vengeance, the battles between the humans and the Parshendi were driven by this trope. Each chasmfiend has an enormous gemstone within its body (about the size of a man's head, referred to as "gemhearts"). Both sides use gems as the focus for the Magitek that feeds their armies, and the larger the gem the better.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "Tooth and Claw", it's the good guys who want the very real Koh-i-Noor diamond, to create a moonlight laser to overload a werewolf.
  • In the original Knight Rider series, an experimental laser focused with a black crystal is stolen and weaponized. It could've taken out KITT, except that Bonnie developed a spray-on deflective coating.
  • In Power Rangers RPM, they need a specific black diamond owned by the Yellow Ranger's family.

    Video Games 
  • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back sees Cortex trying to get his hands on 25 crystals to activate his brainwashing device, while Nitrus Brio wants the 42 gems to blow up the aforementioned device.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Chaos Emeralds sometimes fulfill this subtrope in function (used for an Energy Weapon device) if not in specific mechanical details (the Emeralds power the weapon rather than act as a tool for focusing the laser).
    • Sonic Adventure 2, in which Eggman needs the Chaos Emeralds to power the Eclipse Cannon.
    • Eggman does this again in Sonic Unleashed, where he uses Super Sonic to suck the Emeralds' power dry in order to power the Chaos Energy Cannon and shatter Earth into pieces, releasing Dark Gaia from within. It gets better as you go through the game.

  • In Endstone, the title stone and others — the Toadstone, the Dragonstone, etc. — can be "rocked" by those with the talent and produce powerful magic.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has borfomite, which when combined with caramel can power a gun to make things explode real good. Also, Galatea used a stolen French ruby to focus the laser of her hologram gizmo.
  • In Strays, Meela finds one.

    Western Animation 
  • Done in the Five-Episode Pilot of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers with a large ruby.
  • Likewise the pilot of TaleSpin, where the gem produced unlimited amounts of electricity instead of focusing it.
  • Inverted and played straight in an episode of Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?. The initial inversion is when Carmen breaks into the central computer at ACME and places a diamond into the path of the CPU's laser to sabotage the system. Played straight when, after the commercial break, Teen Genius Zach just fiddles with the controls to collimate the beam again and make the computer faster than before.


Video Example(s):


The Crystal Coconut

The Crystal Coconut is a jewel of immense power and wisdom. He who holds the Crystal Coconut is ruler of Congo-Bongo Island.

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Example of:

Main / MineralMacGuffin

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