Skill Gems were the old method of learning skills first seen in the Guild Wars: E3 for Everyone event. Skills were initially conceived as being rings, explaining why a player could only bring eight skills as well as the concept of the Signet skill type (Signets are engravings on rings). Bosses would drop two skill gems upon death, and the gems had their own Trader (And Rare Trader). This mechanic underwent significant modification for the World Preview Event in Kryta, resulting in the Skill Charm. However, these systems were dropped prior to the release of Prophecies.
To learn a skill, a player required both a skill point and the skill gem of whatever skill the player wished to learn, bringing them to a skill trainer in the town of Kyhlo (Now Ascalon City) to earn a new skill ring. It was possible for a character to test a skill by discharging a skill gem to gain a temporary 9th skill slot. These discharged skill gems could then be recharged using a Skill Gem Recharger. Skill gems automatically lost their charge after some time of inactivity.
Each color of a skill gem represented one of the six core classes.
- The inventory icons for Warrior, Monk, Necromancer and Mesmer skill gems are now used for Titan, Stygian, Torment and Margonite Gemstones, respectively. The inventory icon of the Elementalist skill gem is currently used for the Enslavement Stone, while its discharged version is used for the Arcane Crystal Shard icon. Also, the discharged version of the Ranger gem is currently used for the Spectral Crystal. The Stone of the Elements also uses the Monk skill gem icon.