Everybody wants gold. Why? Because it will buy you a fabulous new enchanted bow from The Drunken Huntsman.
Or with a big purse of gold, you could get yourself a lovely new house. However, spending gold isn’t its only use, however, and you will learn from this guide that shiny gold ingots are a lot more useful than just for making rings and selling to greedy merchants.
You may think that gold ingots are hard to come by, but you can quickly build up a stash of gold ingots that would make even Smaug blush with the proper knowledge. Gold ingots can be created by smelting two pieces of gold ore. Or can be found as treasure and stolen from blacksmiths.
Key Gold Ingot Information
- Travel to Halted Stream Camp and acquire the Transmute spell, to morph iron ore into gold ore.
- Visit gold mines every ten days to harvest gold ore or every 30 days if the mine’s status is cleared.
- Gold ingots cannot be purchased from blacksmiths.
- Gold ingots cannot be used to craft Septims but can be sold to blacksmiths and merchants.
- Kolskeggr Mine is the only dedicated gold mine in the game. However, 78 gold ore veins can be found scattered around Skyrim’s landscape.
- There are 48 gold ingots and gold ores to find in the game.
From Iron to Gold
It may sound like some scam you may read in your emails, but it’s true. With the transmute alteration spell, you can turn your crummy iron ore into gold ore! You can acquire this spell at the Halted Stream Camp, a bandit camp located just north of Whiterun.
Halted Stream Camp is a significant location in Skyrim that houses many items such as the unique Poachers Axe and is used for many miscellaneous quests.
The Camp is an old iron mine taken over by bandits and repurposed as a base for mammoth poaching. The bandits have an extra trick up their sleeve for making money to fund their devious plans. Fighting your way through the mine, you will finally reach the main room, home to a dead mammoth, forge, grindstone, and some bandit treasure. You will find a rare alteration spell called “Transmute.” Using this spell, you can turn your iron ore into silver and gold ore.
Using this method, gold ingots will become a standard item to acquire. I recommend using this method in the smithing of jewelry, notably gold rings, as these offer more value for money over gold necklaces. The Transmute spell is an adept level alteration spell meaning that nonmagic users with low mana pools will be slower to cast the spell. However, using the waiting mechanic is quick to replenish your Magicka.
The Best Gold Mine in Skyrim
Although I’ve mentioned, the incredibly overpowered transmute spell that practically turns all iron ore mines into easy free money. There are numerous gold mines dotted around Skyrim to make use of to increase your bag of gold ingots.
However, Kolskeggr Mine, located outside of Markarth, takes the cake. With 17 gold ore veins, Kolskeggr Mine includes the most significant number of gold ore veins in the game.
If you visit Markarth, you will visit Left-Hand Mine due to its proximity to the city gates. In your first visit, you are met by a gathering of miners discussing how the nearby gold mine Kolskeggr Mine has been overrun by Forsworn bandits. With only a handful of lucky miners surviving the raid, you are naturally given the task of clearing the mine of attackers.
However, this is no easy task as Forsworn bandits are dangerously underestimated. Forsworn bandits favor ambush tactics by utilizing the rocky landscape to their advantage. Coupled with a combination of magic and swords and their co-existence with Hagravens makes them a formidable fight.
As a result, lower-level characters will struggle with clearing the mine, so make sure to bring a follower for extra pockets to haul all the ore back and tank the damage. Along with 17 gold ore veins, additional gold ingots can be found throughout the mine and outside the entrance in the cart by Pavo’s house.
What to Do With All That Gold?
Now that you are practically swimming in gold ingots, you can put it all to good use. Gold ingots are probably one of the least valuable ingots in the game. Its high value is its only selling point as it cannot be used to craft weapons or armor.
Unless you have the Saints & Seducers add-on installed, which is included in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, It can, however, be used to craft rings and necklaces. I highly recommend this as you will be able to increase the worth of your gold ingots by a lot!
There are two types of jewelry and variants you can create in Skyrim.
As you can see, the value of gold necklaces is higher than gold rings; however, because two rings are created when you forge gold rings, the total value is thirty gold higher than a necklace. Rings also take up half the weight of necklaces weighing at 0.25, making them significantly easier to haul around. Therefore I recommend forging rings over necklaces to maximize value from your gold ingots.
However, if you have managed to pick up some flawless gemstones such as rubies, amethysts, or diamonds, use these to craft gemstone necklaces. As these gems cannot be used in crafting gold rings, only emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds can be used to create gold rings.
In addition, the chances of acquiring flawless gems are pretty low compared to uncovering regular precious gems, making gold rings a superior item to craft than necklaces. While gold ingots can’t be used to create any weapons or armor in the base game, they can be used to upgrade the dragon priest mask, Konahrik. The Daedric Smithing perk doubles the mask’s improvement.
Prowler’s Profit and Precious Gems
You can acquire precious gems by mining any ore vein. They can also be found in treasure chests and sometimes seen as loot on enemies.
However, obtaining the “Prowler’s Profit” ability by completing the “No Stone Unturned” quest is one of the best ways to increase the number of precious gems you uncover. The “Prowler’s Profit” ability increases the chances of finding extra precious gems within containers but does not affect how many gems are uncovered through mining.
Suppose you have explored the depths of caves, dungeons, and even shipwrecks that dot the northern coast of Skyrim. Then you have probably stumbled upon “Unusual Gems” these gems have a distinct magical look and are easily spotted by their bright pinkish-red color as they hover within a small opened jewelry box. There are 24 “Unusual Gems to discover in Skyrim, and you will have to travel to each corner of the province to find them all.
Saints & Seducers Add-On
The Saints & Seducers add-on is a lore-friendly mod from the creation club and is included in the Skyrim Special Edition. The mod adds hundreds of new items and locations, enemies, pets, and a wide range of content based on the Shivering Isle.
The mod makes new weapons and armor available to the player. Retrieving Joften’s notes found in a chest under a bridge located at Half-Moon Mill bridge will give you access to crafting Gold and Dark equipment. However, you will need the Daedric Smithing perk to craft gold equipment.
Although Golden Saints armor requires the Daedric Smithing perk to be crafted, the stats of the armor set are disappointingly only equal to Orcish armor. Therefore I recommend only using the Golden Saints armor dropped from the Saints & Seducers bandits.
Note that you will need a Daedric Heart to craft each piece of the armor. Thats five Daedric Hearts to complete a full set of armor. As a result, I suggest saving the Daedric Hearts for crafting Daedric armor as this is one of the most powerful armor sets in the game, and over double the stats of the Golden Saints armor and looks better, in my opinion.
On the other hand, the Golden Saints weapons are of more value than the armor set. Fitting somewhere between Orcish and Glass weapons makes the Golden Saints weapons a good choice in combat. However, the requirement of a Daedric Heart for crafting these weapons once again significantly lowers their value as Daedric Hearts are a rare ingredient that can be used to craft much better items.
Key Gold Ingot Locations
You may not be able to purchase gold ingots of merchants and blacksmiths, but you can find them on your travels. There are 48 gold ingots dotted around Skyrim; some locations only feature a sole ingot. However, there are notable locations that house multiple gold ingots.
Dead Man’s Treasure (Unmarked)
Dead Man’s Treasure is a strange unmarked location on an island North of “Wreck of the Winter War.” At first, the island looks like a barren, frozen land with bits of wreckage found sunken on its shores. However, traveling north of the island will reveal that a survivor of a shipwreck managed to haul their belongings and treasure from the disastrous event.
Evidence shows that the survivor built a makeshift flag in a cry for help to be spotted by passing ships. Luckily for you, they weren’t spotted, and now only their skeleton remains. Next to the skeleton, you will find an enchanted iron dagger of dismay and the pickpocket skill book “Beggar.” As well as six gold ingots!
Items in this location do not spawn back, but it’s worth visiting. The area is creepy, and there is little information on who the skeleton used to be. It should be noted that playing on survival mode will make reaching this unmarked location a lot more tricky.
The freezing temperatures of this area, coupled with slaughter fish infested icy cold waters. You must make sure you have insulating clothes to keep you warm from the freezing temperatures. The Flame Cloak spell will help keep you warm for a brief period while swimming in the icy cold water.
Velehk Sain’s Treasure (Unmarked)
Like Hogwarts, the College of Winterhold features meandering corridors and secret areas just waiting for curious students to discover.
The Midden is such a location that can be explored deep in the heart of the college. Known to only a few professors and students, the Midden is a place where students and other magic wielders have used to practice magic that goes against the college’s rules. Namely, the practices of magic within the school of conjuration.
Within the Midden, you will find an odd altar with a Daedric Gauntlet balanced on top of it. While this does not trigger a quest, it will start an unmarked side quest called “Forgotten Names.” You are tasked with retrieving four rings belonging to unfortunate students who were killed practicing a ritual. You are then charged with placing these rings upon the fingers of the gauntlet.
Upon completing this, Velehk Sain, a pirate banished to Oblivion, will be released from the Daedric artifact. You’ll then be given the option to free him or kill him. To access the gold ingots, you will want to free Velehk Sain.
Following these actions, you will be given a crude treasure map that will lead you to a bounty of loot. Velehk Sain’s treasure can be found on a small island just north of the “Shrine of Talos.” Once you have discovered the treasure, you will discover six gold ingots surrounding the chest and many other valuable items! Remember that the treasure will only spawn once you have freed Velehk Sain and completed the “Forgotten Names” quest.
Question: How many Gold Rings does it take to Reach Smithing 100?
Answer:Assuming you use no enchantments, potions, or any other experience boosts for skills. Crafting nothing but gold rings for leveling your smithing takes 1352 rings and 676 gold ingots to reach level 100 smithing. It may sound like a lot, but crafting rings is one of the best forms of power leveling your smithing skill. It will also give you a considerable gold income from selling the rings to merchants.
Question: What is the point of Jewelry in Skyrim?
Answer:Jewelry can be used in Skyrim to utilize heavy and valuable materials such as silver and gold ingots to create valuable items to be sold to merchants for fast cash. However, jewelry can also be used at an arcane enchanter to apply unique enchantments that can’t be applied to regular armor and weapons.
Question: Does Smelting Ore in Skyrim provide Smithing XP?
Answer: No, you can only earn smithing XP from creating items in the forge. You gain experience based on the value of the item you craft. All other crafting stations at the forge are used to improve and create raw materials and do not affect your smithing level. But higher valued materials will result in more XP from the item you make.
Question: How to Fast Travel in Survival Mode in Skyrim?
Answer: Officially, you cannot use the fast travel feature in Skyrim while playing survival mode. However, there is a way around as sometimes exiting a location and quickly pulling up your map will allow you to fast travel to a location while in survival mode. Like regular fast travel, your character will have to be in an exterior area to be able to fast travel. If this method does not work, keep popping in and out of the location to Skyrim’s exterior, and eventually, you will be able to fast travel. This method won’t affect your achievements as this is a bug technically.
Gold Ingot Skyrim Guide: Conclusion
In conclusion, I recommend using the methods and locations shown in this guide to maximize your time in acquiring Gold ingots. I would stick to using the Transmute method to transform your raw iron ore into gold ore, as this turns gold ore into one of the easiest-to-acquire ores in the game.
This method will also add Precious Gems to your inventory from mining all that iron ore. Coupled with the “Prowler’s Profit” ability, you will become the wealthiest Dragonborn in all Tamriel. While you can sell your Gold ingots for a good price, I recommend using them to create jewelry. You will boost your Smithing level significantly and your speech skill by selling your goods to merchants.
Bear in mind, however, that merchants will only have so much gold in their inventory, meaning you will have to travel far to sell all your goods. Creating a potential issue for survival playthroughs. However, you can easily travel to major cities in Skyrim by using the transport carts located outside of all major cities.