Chromatic Orb
Components: V, S, M (a diamond worth at least 50 gp)

You hurl a 4-inch-diameter sphere of energy at a creature that you can see within range. You choose acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder for the type of orb you create, and then make a ranged spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 3d8 damage of the type you chose.

Arcane Focus.

An arcane focus is a special item — an orb, a crystal, a rod, a specially constructed staff, a wand like length of wood, or some similar item — designed to channel the power of arcane spells. A sorcerer, warlock, or wizard can use such an item as a spellcasting focus, as described in chapter 10.

As a diamond is a crystal, can the 50 gp diamond for Chromatic Orb be used as an Arcane Focus for other spells?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should not edit your question in response to an answer to ask another question. You should comment on the answers to ask for clarification or ask a separate question, if you have a new problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Aug 8 '20 at 8:34

Not by RAW

Something can be used as a spellcasting focus if it is designated like that.

For example arcane foci from the equipment section that you cited. Other examples include the bard who can use a musical instrument as focus or the magic item ruby of the war mage.

Nowhere does it say, that any diamond can be used as focus or that it is

designed to channel the power of arcane spells

however, a diamond is still a crystal, so it fits with the examples of things that can be designed that way and it is much more expensive than those, so I see no reason, either in flavor or in balance why a GM should not allow this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Since a diamond is a crystal, I'm having a hard time seeing why the RAW answer is "No". It seems like RAW is pretty explicit about this being okay. If a crystal for a spell focus can't be a diamond, what kind of crystal is it supposed to be? Amethyst? Citrine? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8 '20 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @indigochild The problem I'm pointing out is not about diamond versus amethyst. It is the fact that random diamonds are not designated as spell foci. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Aug 8 '20 at 17:57

The diamond used in Chromatic Orb and a crystal used as an arcane focus are allowed, by RAW, to be the same thing. "Crystal" is a broad category of objects, which includes diamond. Supposing that the diamond/crystal is worth at least 50gp, it is allowed to be both.

RAW - Yes, with some limitations.

The relavent rules are cited in the question, so I won't repeat them here.

Chromatic Orb requires a diamond worth at least 50 gp. So any diamond worth at least 50 gp will work as a spell component.

A crystal "designed for the purpose of arcane spells" can be an arcane focus.

These two things are not discrete: if you have a diamond worth at least 50 gp that has been specifically designed for this purpose, then it usable both as an arcane focus and the material component for Chromatic Orb.

Notably, this doesn't mean that any crystal worth 50 gp may be an arcane focus. It must be designed for that use.



An arcane focus is a special item ... designed to channel the power of arcane spells.

A diamond is just a diamond.

Of course, you can make an arcane focus from a diamond but then it’s an arcane focus, not a diamond. In the same way that a car is not a $20,000 piece of steel.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why can't a diamond be designed to channel the power of arcane spells? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8 '20 at 4:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @indigochild: Because then it would be called "a Spell Focus Crystal", and not "a Diamond" \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8 '20 at 15:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think your edit makes the opposite argument. A car is a $20,000 piece of steel. It is also a car. These are not discrete things. Cars have to be made of something. If it wasn't a $20,000 piece of steel, what is it? A $20,000 piece of some other material! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8 '20 at 17:29

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