Gems appear in the game as sparkly coins that are either blue, orange, green, purple, or pink. In advertisements and games like Four Gem however, they have a wavy pattern on them and appear in additional colors such as yellow and red.
Gems can be earned from Games, Adventures, the Safety Quiz, the Daily Spin and Member Spin, and by recycling items. In addition, Jammers can purchase Gems using Diamonds at the Diamond Exchange. There are also certain codes that can be used to reward Gems when Jammers login, but these can only be used once per player.
Jammers can purchase a Gems Gift Certificate from Animal Jam Outfitters that will reward them with bonus Gems in the game. These are available in amounts of 10,000 Gems, 25,000 Gems, and 100,000 Gems. Animal Jam Outfitters also sells membership and gift packs that may reward varying amounts of Gems.
Many membership deals come with a different amount of Gems depending on the length of the membership. Purchasing a membership directly from the main website offers choices of 1 month with 1,500 Gems and 5 diamonds, 6 months with 9,000 Gems and 35 Diamonds, and 12 months with 25,000 Gems and 90 Diamonds. Jammers can also purchase Membership Gift Certificates, much like the Gems Gift Certificate, from Animal Jam Outfitters; these membership certificates include a 3-month membership with 6,000 Gems and 10 Diamonds, an offer that is not available from the main website. Also, most of the retail membership gift cards include some form of Gems bonus. For example, the Lion, Arctic Wolf, and Snow Leopard promotional retail gift cards provided a 15,000 Gems bonus.
Gems are almost always used to purchase something in the game. Most items bought in the various shops for clothing and furniture can range between 100 to 800 Gems on average, with a few outliers such as the deleted Skully, which had cost 10 Gems when it was available, and the Three Horned Armor, which costs 1,500 Gems. On Rare Item Mondays, the rare items in question normally cost 700 Gems or more. Epic Wonders items usually cost much more than the items sold in the other shops: between 1,250 and 2,500 Gems, although some items cost much more such as the Gold Brick that costs 10,000 Gems (making it the most expensive item in the game).
Animals generally cost 1,000 Gems to create; if an animal is purchased from the Diamond Shop, additional animals of that type can be created at the regular Gems price. Pets generally cost 400 Gems to create; just like the animals, if a pet is purchased from the Diamond Shop, additional pets of that type can be created at the regular Gems price. Many of the regular Dens cost between 2,000 to 7,500 Gems; however, unlike the pets and animals, dens purchased from the Diamond Shop cannot be purchased again for Gems. In the Summer Carnival, Jammers can buy Tickets (the currency of the carnival) using their Gems. In the Conservation Museum, Jammers can donate gems to help animals in real life. These animals change sometimes (e.g. only polar bear donations), but they are usually lions, cheetahs, and tigers.
- 2,500 gems are given to New Jammers to spend during the tutorial for joining Animal Jam.
- Most items purchased with Gems can be recycled for three-tenths (3/10) of their original purchase price.
- Diamond Shop items typically recycle for 300 Gems and items with rare tags often recycle for just 25 Gems less than their original purchase price.
- The maximum number of Gems one can have is 98,765,432.
- There is evidence of an actively evolving economy in Jamaa surrounding Gems (i.e. the gradual inflation of item prices in Jam Mart Clothing and Jam Mart Furniture).
- In the spin-off apps of Animal Jam, AJ Jump, Tunnel Town, and Play Wild, Gems are also the main currency.
- Players can randomly receive a pop-up saying "YAY! You have been granted 1,500 gems!" This will give the player 1,500 gems.