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All the revive spells say in their material requirement that they need "A diamond worth at least X gp, which the spell consumes". My question is what counts as a diamond? Does it need to be a clear diamond or can it be any other gem like ruby or garnet?

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It must be an actual diamond, not some other gem.

Such spells specify that the item must be a diamond, i.e. a transparent shiny crystal made of carbon (or whatever it might be in a D&D world).

Rubies and garnets are very different from diamonds, both in real life and D&D. If it's acceptable for a spell to use any gem, it will say so specifically. For example, the Minimus Containment version of the Imprisonment spell uses the following language:

The special component for this version of the spell is a large, transparent gemstone, such as a corundum, diamond, or ruby.

Because the come-back-from-the-dead spells do not have this language, and specify "diamond," you must use a diamond.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Might be worth mentioning that it needs a single diamond as well. Diamond dust won't cut it. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Jun 21 '17 at 13:08

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