Happy 2011 everyone, I hope it's great for all of you so far.
Let's look at a new chance to make some old gold: Thorium Ores
Thorium ores was implemented before Jewelcrafting as a profession, and thus will not give you uncommon quality "cuttable" gems when prospected. However, leveling Jewelcrafting from 280 skill points to 300 can be quite expensive. Arcane Crystals, Azerothian Diamonds and all those higher end gems are expensive, and also obtained through Thorium Ore prospects.
Let's say that you buy a stack for 40g. Ores are still fairly expensive in later expansions, so a higher price is not uncommon. That 40g will net you 4 prospecting casts. The chance at one of the "expensive" gems (Large Opal, Blue Sapphire, Azerothian Diamond, and Arcane Crystal) is about 30% each, and the Star Ruby chance is around 16%.
Each one of the "expensive" gems usually nets me about 20g, depending on the day. The Star Rubies usually go for around 5g. SO, assuming that we only get 1 gem per prospect, and 3/4 are the "expensive" gems, that's 65g (3 "expensive" gems at 20g, and 1 Star Ruby for 5g). Less then 40g we spent on the stack leaves us with a profit of 25g.
This probably isn't the way you're going to reach the gold cap in less than 3 months, but if you're someone like me who likes to have their hands in a little bit of everything, it's a nice source of extra income.
Happy New Year again, everyone, and I hope 2011 is just as good (if not better) than 2010.