When Dragon Soul came out the price of gems on every server went through the roof. On a great deal of servers it is still rather high. I can understand why some people are rolling around without gems because if you are just gearing up now it can prove to be extremely costly and an insanely repetitive task at the rate upgrades might come pouring in.
Lets say you hit 85 and get into some heroics at 329. No one expects you to have your 333s gemmed, in most cases there will not even be a gem slot. But once you start getting those 346 items the gem slots start to appear. If you are on a server like my main and you are basically any class but a tank red gems are going to be what you use 98% of the time.
They run in the range of 400-550 gold per on my server. If you gem up those 346s and get some upgrades to 353 and pug some old content for some 359s and then get some 378s and enter the raid finder for 384s and pop into a dragon soul for 397s you are talking about the possibility of gemming 6 full sets of gear in a short time.
Even for someone like me that has a fair amount of gold on all his characters it is not a very appealing process to have to gem 6 full sets of gear in what could very well be a short span of time. It could easily run you over 20K gemming and regemming per character and in some cases gemming and regemming the same slot of gear three times in one day if you get lucky with upgrades.
With this in mind I usually never complain about anyone that has anything that is ungemmed that is less than the current justice point / new heroic gear level. This means, if you are gearing up and wearing 346 and 353 and 359 gear without gems I would never even give it a second thought.
The only time I would say you should gem things of that item level is if it is only one or two pieces. We all have that one piece we just can not seem to get. Because you are unlucky does not mean you should leave it empty once you have everything else up there.
Some people are real jerks about it. They do not realize that if someone is just gearing up now it is not worth it gemming something you are only going to replace soon. I can respect that someone does not want to gem their 346 helm when they are in a HoT knowing that they could be getting a 378 any second if they get lucky. I am fine with that. It is okay not to gem something you know you will need to replace really soon.
But is it really?
Even with the insane numbers on those red gems on all servers you can easily get split gems for a song now. Or how about uncommon gems.
You do not need to spend 400 gold for a straight +40 main stat red gem. Go get some +20 main stat / +20 secondary stat gems. They are usually pretty cheap. On many servers you can easily get the split gems for less than 30 gold.
You are better off doing this, while gemming for socket bonuses even if we usually do not do that, than you would be having no gems at all.
Just look at the raw numbers. If you had 10 slots you wanted +40 main stat in you could have 400 of that main stat but you would also be out at least 4000 gold and it is understandable why you might not wish to spend that knowing that you will be replacing it as soon as you get some drops from the new heroics or raid finder or buy some pieces with justice.
If you use split gems and gem for the slot bonus you will have 200 main stat and 200 secondary stats, and if you are smart you will choose the best secondary stats for yourself. Add to that you might even come up with an additional 100 stats from the slot bonuses you just got, which could be main or secondary.
Doing it this way you might lose 200 main stats for 300 secondary stats you gain, at worst, but you are still going to have a lot of stats you would not have had otherwise and if you can get the gems for an average of 30 gold each you can do so for 300 gold total.
300 gold compared to 4000 gold is a no brainer. If it is only about the gold your excuse is gone now.
So you say that 300 gold still does not seem worth it? Well I have the solution for you.
Uncommon gems usually go for 5 gold or less on most servers now unless they are the red ones which still seem to go for 100+ because they can be transmuted, so use the split uncommon gems instead.
+15 main stat and +15 secondary stat is better then no stats at all. In the end you will end up with +150 of a main stat and +150 of secondary stats along with the slot bonuses which could be any variety of +100 stats of some sort or more. At 5 gold a piece that would run you a grand total of 50 gold to gem yourself up. 50 gold is less then the amount of gold you make for doing one random dungeon.
So in the best case scenario if you are lucky with drops, you can gem every single thing you get for less gold than the gold you made from doing one random run.
Ungemmed gear means you do not care. Low gemmed gear means you are just saving money. If someone ever where to bring it up in the random dungeon or raid finder I am sure the vast majority of people would be a lot more receptive of you if you had even uncommon gems then none. Just think about it.
"I am not gemming anything because I am waiting until I get better gear."
"I am using the cheaper versions while I am gearing up because some stats are better then no stats, I'll use the better gems when I get up to date gear."
Some jerks will still be nasty because you are not gemmed with at least rare gems but the majority of the player base, the ones that are not jerks and are going through the same thing as you, will think, hey, at least he is trying.
Trying goes a long way.
Cheap gems and split gems might not be the best but they are better than nothing, they are always better than nothing and there is no excuse for ever having anything ungemmed because of them.
The next time you see someone in the looking for raid saying they are not gemming because they do not want to waste money on gear they know they will be replacing soon you can tell them, at 50g to gem an entire set of gear with uncommon split gems the only excuse for not being gemmed is that you are a bad player that is too lazy to even try.
There is no good excuse for ever being ungemmed.