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Thanks to a heist of mixed success, I have in my possession a single diamond worth roughly 550 gold pieces. If I use this diamond to cast Revivify, will casting the spell consume the whole diamond? I know that I could also use the diamond to cast Raise Dead, but that comes with drawbacks and is a bit overkill if the target has been dead for less than 10 rounds.

In my understanding, the worth of diamonds IRL comes from their ability to refract light, so even if Revivify doesn't consume the entire diamond, would the remaining piece of rock be of significantly less value?

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    \$\begingroup\$ are you asking if you 'get change back' on this transaction? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 10 '20 at 21:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I suppose I am. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex Meuer Nov 10 '20 at 21:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 10 '20 at 21:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Personally in my games resurrection is never automatic so using a higher value diamond would aid towards lowering the DC for the resurrection to work. However as has been stated in several places my payers would not expect to get part of the diamond back anyway. However this is the kind of thing it is good to clarify with your DM and then accept that how they choose to handle it is how it will be in future. \$\endgroup\$ – Richard C Nov 23 '20 at 1:52
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RAW speaking, it wouldn't work to begin with

In the description for Revivify, it states that the material component is:

(diamonds worth 300 gp, which the spell consumes)

So you have two problems; it's stating diamonds as a plural meaning that it is expecting more than a single diamond, and it is giving an exact amount.

If you compare this with say, Raise Dead, it has a very different description:

(a diamond worth at least 500 gp, which the spell consumes)

In this case, it calls out that it must be a single diamond, but that one diamond can be worth 500 gp, or more. That "at least" wording is missing from Revivify.

That being said, I'm sure most DM's would allow some leeway against RAW, but not consume.

As a DM, I'd say that for Revivify, if you happened to have a single diamond that was worth at least 300 gp, I would allow it. But it would always consume the whole diamond. Magic doesn't give money back...

As an example, the Find Familiar spell asks for "10 gp worth of charcoal, incense, and herbs that must be consumed by fire in a brass brazier." If you put in 15 gp worth of charcoal, incense, and herbs, would you expect the extra 5 gp to not burn?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If we're going to be so strictly literal as to require more than one diamond, then both diamonds have to be worth 300 gp each. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Nov 10 '20 at 21:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was thinking about that after I posted. It could be interpreted either way. \$\endgroup\$ – MivaScott Nov 10 '20 at 22:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ As I interpreted it, it sounds like the spell expects you to have a bag of many diamonds of roughly-equal-but-low(ish) value. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex Meuer Nov 10 '20 at 22:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ And that's not even getting into the whole "how much are diamonds really worth" discussion. \$\endgroup\$ – RevenantBacon Nov 11 '20 at 13:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ The skies open and a heavenly host descends. The fanfare of trumpets crescendos then finally ceases. The booming celestial voice, backed by the will of a deity itself states "Nah mate, exact change only." \$\endgroup\$ – Studoku Nov 11 '20 at 13:52
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There are no rules for breaking down a material component into pieces

The rules do not give us much information on how a spell consumes an item. The section on material components tells us:

If a spell states that a material component is consumed by the spell, the caster must provide this component for each casting of the spell.

But since the term 'consumed' is not really defined in the rules, we look at the dictionary definition:

  1. to destroy or expend by use; use up.
  2. to eat or drink up; devour.
  3. to destroy, as by decomposition or burning: Fire consumed the forest.
  4. to spend (money, time, etc.) wastefully.

Using any of these definitions for "consumed", it seems clear that the entire component gets used up in the process. As mentioned in the question, the revivify spell has the following material component:

diamonds worth 300 gp, which the spell consumes

We will leave aside the fact that it calls for an exact value of diamonds, rather than a minimum as was brought up in MivaScott's answer. If the DM allowed this diamond to be used for revivify, the component will be consumed, nothing left behind as per our definition above.

If the diamond were able to be broken down into smaller pieces, each retaining some value, then only the pieces used in the spell would be consumed; however, there are no rules for breaking down gems or material components in the rulebook, so it would be entirely dependent on the DM's ruling in that case.

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