Most discussions on Goldsmithing I've seen started with older recipes and have a long tradition. (See Goldsmithing Guide by Sarchar) Although it provides a good path for most people, one must learn to read your individual server's trends and prices. I am against putting prices into my guide because of server differences. One must be cautious though, Goldsmithing is expensive.
My philosophy is to recommend the best level ranges of the recipes that I found to be the most beneficial. There are some recipes that I will give lower level ranges. The purpose of this is that there is a lower loss per synthesis for a previous recipe than the one listed. Although this does not follow common leveling thought, you will be able to get more synthesises done which in turn gives you a higher chance to skill.
One thing you will not see me doing is using Advance Guild support for my recipes. Goldsmithing has enough gap recipes to not warrant spending money on it and you want to be within 5 levels of the skill cap to gain skill off a broken synth. I've done a stack of Muscle Belts at 82 +2 (GP Items) +3 (Goldsmith belt and Advance Support) and never got a single skill off a break. During this test, I also did not get a single skill above 0.1.
One goal I tried to achieve was to minimize the total amount of gil it cost me to level. One avenue I did take was to take recipes that were pure loss because it allowed me to do more synths with the same amount of gil. The theory of leveling a craft is all dependent on the random number generator in this game. There is no way of determining how you will skill. You will only find methods to best improve your chances.
One concern with selling on the AH is that you need to add the listing fee as part of your skilling. Later on, this fee becomes substantial so a pure-loss recipe was cheaper once all the factors were calculated.
Like many of the guilds, the key items that allow you make items are useless. I personally have them all but that is because I wanted them in the off-chance Square decides to make them useful.
I did however get the Shaded Spectacles, Goldsmith's Apron and Fool's Gold as soon as I could. These help your leveling and your ability to make money by allowing you to clear High Quality tiers much sooner. One caveat that I should mention, I'm currently unsure if these items really allow you to clear the tiers much faster than before. I was lucky enough to reach 84+2 when the ToAU levelers were hitting lvl 14 and wanting to buy the rings and earrings. I found my HQ rate to be much higher for the earrings than the rings. Although this should not be the case because I break tier 3 on both synths.
Once I got a natural 86, my HQ rate was equal to that of my earrings. Therefore, it is my belief that something is wrong with the Guild Point Items and HQ tiers.
Since I created this guide, SE has nuked a substantial amount of gil. I caution you to look at the prices carefully. FFXIAH.com is great for crafters if you are willing to look at the numbers in depth.
Additionally, the Ashu Talif BC from ToAU has killed off my primary money maker from 70 > 80. This does make 90 > 95 much cheaper but it does not generate as much income as it once did.
Although basic knowledge, most people want a guide spoon fed to them. Please do not become one of the "but the guide told me to do this" lackeys.
This is the fun section of Goldsmithing. You can level the first few levels with spare crystals that you get off of monsters. Unless you want to power through it, you can take it slow here without much competition.
This recipe is best done if you have airship access. All the airship terminals in the starter cities have unlimited and cheap copper ore. This recipe can be a money maker due to the excess time needed to make each copper ingot. Higher level crafters may buy these ingots from you to do a later recipe.
Recommend that all ingots are sold on the Al Zahbi / Jeuno Auction House
This is your first synth / desynth recipe. Due to the expensive nature of lightning crystals, this recipe may not be the best for someone on a low budget. The advantage of this recipe is that at low levels desynthesis has a high chance of providing skill.
An alternative recipe is the brass ingot recipe. This path is preferred since the materials can be sold to offset some of the leveling cost. The best spot to do this recipe is Bastok. You will need to fight the Tenshodo Fame levelers for the zinc ore but this spot has the most zinc and ready access to copper ore
Please take the Goldsmithing test when you can. One mistake that I caught myself doing was to continue skilling when I reached level 10. It took me a few minutes to realize that I needed to take the test to continue.
This is a pure loss recipe but in comparison to other recipes in this level range, this is the cheapest loss per synth. The other recipes in this range will have low price HQs because they are in tier 2/3 for higher end Goldsmithers. These 2 recipes have an overlapping level range because its better to do the brass ingot recipe and just power to the scale.
Alternatively, you can convert a good number (my recommendation is 2 or 3 stacks) of brass ingots to sheets and then convert these sheets to scales.
This is the first bridging recipe of the list. The sole purpose of this is to get you to lvl 13. If you hit an unlucky streak in the sheets and scales, you can resort to this recipe but it is not recommended.
Although this is an expensive recipe, silver ingots move at a decent pace. The loss of buying the materials will be offset by the people who do not want to make ingots.
This recipe warrants its own listing because of server differences. If silver beastcoins are too expensive, then move to this recipe as soon as you can. All 3 goldsmithing guilds in Vana'diel have a decent supply of silver ore. If they are not bought out before, you can use this ready supply of ore to make additional ingots.
This is where the leveling path changes a great deal. It is very dependent on your goals and other skills. If you decide to take Goldsmithing as a main craft, stop now and read the entire guide. Break Synthing is very important to save money in the 70s. Read over that section before you decide what path you take for this part.
If you have alchemy at a high level, I would recommend this synthesis. Rangers use bullets often and this is one of the few consumables goldsmithing has. If you decide to level goldsmithing as a main craft, I would skip leveling alchemy until a later point. It helps a great deal during Gold Hell.
In Lower Jeuno, there is a small jewelry shop Gems by Kshama. This little store is great for this push. Both components can be bought from NPCs and only costs 3,000 per try. NPC value is low at about 110 gil each. You may want to try desynthesis at this point in hopes of getting the more valuable silver ingots.
This is a bridging recipe so you can do a push towards the next recipe. You can take it to the skill cap of 27 but I do not recommend it. The next recipe is another goldsmithing consumable.
This is not a commonly used ninjutsu used by ninjas but it is common enough that some will buy them. You will be making a great deal of them so you may want to bag them for easier storage.
Edit: I found that making Lady Bells (Fire Crystal, Brass Ingot x1, Lauan Lumber x1) is a MUCH cheaper alternative to making Hiraishin, if you're looking to skill up quickly without waiting for the Ninja Tools to sell. --Rosalie 11:27, December 9, 2009 (UTC)
At level 28 (after you take the goldsmithing test), you may want to start saving Goldsmithing Guild Points. This is a long road and it's best to start early if you want the Goldsmithing Shades.
Back to that little store in Jeuno. This is by far the cheapest recipe in this level range. You will make a lot of these rings so you can either sell or try desynthesis again. If hiraishin are making you money, cap out on the money maker and then move onto this recipe.
Some people say that you can make money on Goldsmithing up to this point. That is true but you will be doing a lot of lower level synths that higher crafters do not want to do at all. Personally, I'd rather spend the gil on buying overpriced copper ingot stacks than making them myself. So exploit this laziness and time needed for your own personal gain. From here on out, your expenses rise greatly.
Here's a really good chance to save yourself some gil. Grab your Thief or /thf and head to Fei'Yin. All Golems drop Mythril Ore at 28.6%+/-. Granted the skilling is a bit slower but there are 9 on the main floor that generally get you one synth per round of killing. I went as a 75 thief and of course drops vary from moon phase etc. This is much more productive than farming Mythril Coins in Yhoator tho if Stealing is your thing feel free to kill a day for a stack. At the Rate of 64k a stack on Midgard for Ingots u can turn a tidy yet slow profit. Well what are you waiting for get to Fei'Yin! Happy Hunting, Benedwin~
Once again server economies are different but the beastcoin recipe may not be the best. Choose the recipe that is the best for you. If you get lucky the Goldsmithing guilds do sell ore but due to the Guild nature, they may be expensive. Choose the best or wait a day and hope ore prices go back down.
This is a bridging recipe but this recipe actually sells well. Its used later on for hydro weapons which are a good leveling recipe. Although a small gap, its useful to do this to as a bridging recipe.
Edit by Ente: A recently added item, Gold Dust, will work very well from 41 all the way to its cap at 47. The recipe is one Brass Ingot and one Copper Ingot, which are both very cheap on almost all servers. One synth will get you a full stack of gold dust, which will sell at NPCs for nearly 400 gil. You will get back most, if not ALL of the gil you spent to synth this. All the materials are common on the Auction House and you don't have to wait for your dust to sell. I highly recommend this to anyone in this skill range. --Enternius 11:25, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
This is a painful level. Mythril chains aren't used in many recipes and they don't sell at all but it is the cheapest recipe to bridge yourself to the rings.
These two recipes are the most common recipes used at this stage. When I was on this stage, mythril rings were much cheaper in comparison to Silver Bangles. Rings do sell to higher level crafters trying to HQ the lvl 36 rings so this may be better for you. Once again check the AH and costs.
From the frying pan and into the fire. Time to move on to the Gold ingot stage of Goldsmithing. Level 50 also causes the paradigm of crafting to change. Before lvl 50, you would get skill on a majority of your synths. Once you hit 50, the rate at which you gain levels decreases drastically. The number of synths required to gain a level in my opinion triples. This is not a hard number but that is the feeling I get once you've reached the level 50 plateau.
At level 48 and after the goldsmithing test, you can purchase the Shaded Spectacles for an additional +1 Skill.
This recipe is expensive and can result in more of a loss if you break the beastcoins but if you do not break anything the loss should be much cheaper. These beastcoins can be stolen from higher tier beastman. Stealing may be worthwhile for you depending on the time required and the effort you want to put into it.
This recipe caps higher than the 4 gold ore recipe and should be cheaper. Hard part is to get the gold nuggets. If your server does not have many nuggets, you may be able to do what I was able to do. I struck a deal with a leveling alchemist. I would provide her with the basic materials to make the Panacea and she would guarantee the results all the way to the nuggets. If you are able to find an alchemist in this leveling range, the alchemist I believe would take this opportunity to level for free.
In the end, I dumped 3-4M worth of recycled gil into her alchemy levels and got my Goldsmithing to 54.
Alternatively, you can try to grow the gold nuggets but gardening has never been my forte.
I am not an advocate of this recipe but I mention it here because its a commonly used synth for people in this leveling range. Most of these synths are cheap but moving the NQ rings that you will be making is hard. You could try to desynth them to recover the ingots but do not expect to gain skill on them. HQing one of the synths will help offset some of the cost but not a great deal. Level 86 Goldsmithers will be able to tier 2 this recipe and 100+6 will will be able to tier 3 this thereby removing any true gil gain.
EDIT BY KYLI: On Kujata server at least, some of the rings are the same/or less of a loss than hydro claws, so just be aware and make sure you know your server prices and what works best for you ^^
This a great recipe IF you decide to make the claws. Buying them from the NPC is cost prohibitive even with expensive ingredients. Unless beetle jaws have quadrupled in price, its worthwhile leveling smithing so you can make this recipe. You will need smithing at a later date and you will need 38 smithing for a later synth. This is also a good synth / desynth recipe as well. No one buys hydro gear so you may as well try to go for the chance of getting replacement items to synth some more.
EDIT BY FUUUN: I could also suggest you to keep the Gold Ingot you made earlier and turn them into "Gold Hairpin" or "Gold Earring". On Leviathan you just lose 3K~ changing Ingot to Earring.
This is another alchemist area. Platinum nuggets should appear on the auction house more frequently because they are a double skill synth for alchemists. Once again, try to strike a deal with an alchemist to get your materials if you need to.
Congratulations, you've leveled gold to 60. For those of you doing it for a subcraft, your journey with me has ended and I believe your bank roll thanks you for it.
For those of you continuing forwards, I must caution you. You've only scratched the surface of Goldsmithing.
My recommendations to you now.
Once you finish Hydro Patas the cost of goldsmithing rises greatly. I took a long break once I hit 69 because I was running out of money. Once COP came out and the Shen spawn item was released I started my trek back up the slippery slope.
Depending on breaks and your server economy, you may want to start Hydro Patas at 62 or the Platinum nugget recipe cap. Although this is a pure loss recipe, the overall loss per synth should be much lower than that of anything else in this level save the nugget recipe. Only problem is that you need to find a bonecrafter whose leveling on bone patas to take full advantage of this synth. Do not fret, it is a common item for bonecrafters as well. Its well known that this item will be consumed by us to further our own skill.
Once again cycle all the materials. Desynthing here is more profitable than straight NPC but once again, check your server for prices
This is a painful recipe. These ingots are somewhat rare drops off moblins in Oldton Movalpolos. There are only 3 totals spawns and 2 of them come with 3 adds. I farmed them unsuccessfully as a 75 RDM/15 THF with out a single drop. I did however find a great many of these moblumin ingots in bazaars for somewhat cheap.
You may be tempted to convert these sheets directly to Shrimp Lanterns but save them. It'll be best for you because the alternative once you cap on the sheets is much more expensive.
This is the alternative recipe. These rings are used by lvl 90+ goldsmithers so you might be able to unload them. Check your auction house to see how fast they move. Sometimes a 100+6 goldsmither will try to shoot for a lvl 72 ring HQ as well. So play the market if you can.
This is where Gold starts getting extremely expensive. This is Gold Hell. Similar to a Clothcrafter's silk road but much more painful on the pocketbook. Almost every recipe (Pre-COP) required a Gold ingot and even now Post ToAU, most of the recipes you will do in this range will require one ingot.
Once you hit level 68, do your best to get the Goldsmithing Apron. This +1 with the shades will allow you to get a tier 3 on colored rocks at level 69.
This is your first possible break synth recipe. Keep one skill 15 levels below its cap and proceed to break each synth in hopes of skill. This is the pop item for the HNM Shen. So people may want to buy it from you.
Be warned, you need to make your own moblin putty or have someone make it for you.
This is the alternative break synthing recipe. Keep your Smithing level at 38. You will break every synth but the gold ingot itself is more valuable than all the other materials combined. Also, this item is not commonly sold but is a Guild Point item. Break synthing makes this level more bearable, although you may lose a gold ingot, a successful synth does mean a lost gold ingot.
Tama-Hagane are best bought from the Tenshodo NPC Vendors. Once again there are 3 in the Vana'diel. The one in Nashmau is the least used so that may be the best spot to level your craft this time around.
Some people are prolly asking, "Gatsby why aren't you doing any of the lvl 54 rings." The HQ is rare so the NQs will sell somewhat decently. The reason is that the lvl 54 rings require 2 gold ingots. The material cost of the items is easily less than the cost of that one gold ingot. "But I can just buy a gold ring!" Yes you can buy a ring but do the math on the synthesis. Odds will heavily favor that you will lose more money per synth even if you do make the ring than break synthing this Gold Gauntlet Recipe.
Best place to make the gauntlets is to Deegis' shop in Bastok Mines. He has unlimited Leather gloves and is close to the guild if you want to do Guild Point as well. Alternatively, you could venture to South San'doria to get the gloves but in the end Bastok is cheaper due to the alchemy guild and the more likely appearance of Cermet Chunks.
This is the final level of Gold Hell. This path is what I recommended to my friends when they were leveling. Wizerd of Remora was kind enough to share some basic statistical data when he was in this range. He state that on average he was getting synths on 33% of his synths. His losses overall were not as great as mine when I did regular synthing to reach level 80. Therefore, I'd recommend greatly that you try to limit your sub crafts to do break synthing. The end loss of your gil will be much lower.
The best location to synth this is Bastok Mines in Deegis' shop's backroom. The galka there will provide you unlimited NPCable targes if Bastok is not in last place.
So ends Gold Hell, you've reached a point where you can make some money on gold leveling. Its not guaranteed and its best to find a reliable woodworker to assist but it should be much easier now.
Here is where I break one of my preface rules. In all previous recipes, I've avoided using advance support because there are cheaper bridging recipes but this is not the case here. If you really want a bridging recipe, I will provide one but it is not recommended.
Once again this bridging recipe is not recommended but if you are paranoid enough to want to maximize skill, then do this recipe until you hit 82.
This is it. On most servers cutting the ores into beads can make you significant amounts of gil but you have to worry about breaks. This recipe is great once you get to it. Although it may be specific to my server, most woodworkers already have their own goldsmither to cut their elemental ores for them. It may be hard to cut in on this market but its worthwhile if you can.
When I was in this level range, I did instituted a replacement policy. You bring me the elemental ore and I'll guarantee the bead.
This is a seldom listed recipe on guides. Its a great recipe though because it is usually a money maker. Although the gil return rate can be decent, it is an expensive synth. Check bazaars and the auction house. You should be able to supplement your elemental bead income with orichalcum ingots.
Do watch the market though, if there are no leveling goldsmithers and/or lots of Black Mage Mercenary KS99 Operation Desert Swarm prices can shoot down quickly.
This the last cheap recipe that you will have so savor it for as long as you can. There are no other alternatives for cheap leveling. I would synth / desynth each belt you make in hopes of getting additional gold ingots.
After you reach level 88, try to get the Fool's Gold. This will help past 92 when recipes become extremely expensive and you need to spend most of one day to get the ingredients.
At this point, almost every synth that you can do is worthwhile for skill. I could list all of them but I'll do the ones that I believe are the best to try to skill on and not lose your head. One nice advantage at this level is that you can start advertising your skill through signed NQ equipment. Many of my linkshell members are wearing signed gear that I made. Many of them were are also willing to buy newly crafted items from me so I did not have to go through the hassle of the Auction House.
This is also a good time to start capping out your subskills. The offchance of getting an HQ is worthwhile since most of these recipes are tier 0 even when you are 100 and if you HQ the proper item, the demand should be rather high.
Ruby rings on my server sold very well but they were a decent loss as well. Try to cut your own rocks to help offset the cost of this stage. Angel rings may also be a good path since they are the highest NQ +Charisma rings you can get in the game. I signed many of these rings for people as well.
I would recommend capping your alchemy level before you start this synthesis. It would be even better if you were to get 60 + Cadaceus. Breaksynthing is not a viable alternative because 3 of the 4 items are expensive. Additionally, if you do HQ this synthesis while leveling selling it off can provide enough funds for almost one full level. If you do not HQ any, keep one on the auction house at all times. People who kill Genbu (most commonly killed sky god) get this abjuration so it is a somewhat fast mover.
If you have a high level smither friend, you may be able to cut a deal with them on the Darksteel Gauntlets. This may help offset the costs of making this item.
This is a monster synth in terms of price and probably loss. This is the only Koenig item that provides shield skill. With the recent changes in shield blocks, many crafters try to go for this HQ. Therefore it may not be a great item for you to skill up on. Comparably it is an expensive synth and the abjuration required drops off of Seiryu.
Once again, please try to cap smithing as well as alchemy for this synth. If you do successfully HQ this while leveling, you can charge a good price for it. Moving your NQ items will be the problem.
This is the endgame shield for PLDs but since it actually moves the supply of this shield is great. Your loss may be less than that of the cursed items above. Depending on your server, you may want to start this recipe after you cap on the lvl 72 rings. That is the choice you must make though. Many of my Linksell PLDs have requested signed Koenig Shields but the loss of synthing them has prevented me from making them.
This is a somewhat used parry sword. The demand for this weapon is not great but it is a decent bridging recipe so you can get towards making your final recipe. Although the cap is 99, the rate of sale of this item is slow so unless there is a great need on your server, stop making these swords at 97.
This is your final recipe before you cap out on gold. There are no HQs for this synth so even if you do get an HQ animation you will not get the HQ result. You will HQ one of the Orichalcum rings into Triton rings which currently is a dead end synth. Just power this slowly to 100 when you can.