The jewelcrafting shuffle used to be an incredibly lucrative way to make money. It was simple: You went to the Auction House, bought out the stock of ore, and then hit your prospecting key as fast as you could. You'd craft what was profitable to craft; you'd vendor the raw gems that weren't otherwise useful. And because the vendor value of the raw gems was almost always more than the value of the Elementium or Obsidium Ore prospected to get those gems, we had a no-lose situation. A jewelcrafter's risk was 0; the profit potential limited only by the amount of time you had to waste doing the "shuffle."
Of course, that was prior to patch 4.2. After the patch, each green gem (for example, Zephyrite) saw its vendor value slashed to a mere 50 silver. The days of the jewelcrafting shuffle were over. But still, the days of profitable jewelcrafting still live on.
This past week, my Gold Capped tag-team partner Basil opined that patch 4.3 will bring epic gems. He's probably right, but that doesn't mean you have to bide your time, stockpiling Pyrite Ore until patch 4.3 to make some serious money as a JC. Let's take a second look at the old jewelcrafting shuffle and see if we can still find profit hiding in the jewelcrafting profession.