- “Sun beaming down in a nice, non-fatal way. It's very exciting, I can't wait to find out if I freckle.”
According to Rupert Giles, there was a great deal of interest in the Gem of Amara during the 10th century. Questing vampires combed the Earth seeking its location, but no one found it, and it was concluded that the Gem had never existed. Although, the Watcher found a book that referred to the artifact as resided in the “valley of the sun”, in a sealed underground crypt.
In 1999, the vampire Spike returned in secrecy to Sunnydale, and assembled a group of vampires to find the Gem. After several excavations that caused severe damage on roads and property, Harmony Kendall, Spike’s girlfriend at the time, found a ring within a tomb filled with treasures, and wore it while the two of them attempted to identify which jewelry contained the gem. In a moment of anger, Spike staked Harmony and watched, much to his surprise, her chest immediately regenerated from the wound. To be certain, he also tested the effects of a cross on her, to which she was also invulnerable.
Spike took the Gem of Amara and attempted to assassinate Buffy Summers, the Slayer, in broad daylight. While fighting, the vampire also demonstrated invulnerability when the Slayer staked him. Buffy then managed to take the ring from him, forcing Spike to retreat into a nearby sewer to escape the sunlight. Afterwards, while Giles thought of destroying the Gem, Buffy decided to send the ring to her ex-boyfriend Angel. Oz, who had a gig in Los Angeles, offered to take the ring to him.
Spike followed Oz to LA where he attempted to regain custody of the ring. At first he tried to retrieve it directly by attacking Angel, believing he would be wearing the ring. After discovering that Angel had, in fact, hidden the Gem, Spike hired the services of master torturer Marcus, himself a vampire, in order to obtain the location of the Gem. However, Angel resisted the torture, much to Spike’s impatience. Tired of waiting, Spike approached Cordelia Chase and Allen Francis Doyle and offered to exchange Angel for the Gem of Amara.
Oz, Doyle and Cordelia went to the warehouse in which Angel was being tortured and gave up the Gem, though they threw on it an area touched by direct sunlight. In the ensuing fight, Marcus took the Gem for himself; Spike had mistaken Marcus’ behavior for disinterest. However, the possibility of hunting unharmed in broad daylight was too tempting even for the usually cool-headed Marcus.
With the Gem of Amara in his power, Marcus took the chance to seek out his prey of choice — namely young children. He attempted to attack a group of boy scouts at a pier, though the Angel Investigations staff went after him. Already weakened by the torture, Angel charged Marcus despite bursting into flames. The two vampires fell on the sea, which extinguished the flames from Angel’s body. Below the pier, covered in shadows, the two vampires fought until Angel managed to impale Marcus through the heart to one of the pier’s columns, using a piece of wood. Then, Angel merely took the ring off Marcus’ finger and watched as he turned to dust
After the day ended, Angel, who had remained doubtful about keeping the ring or not, decided to destroy it, understanding that if he kept the ring he would be in danger of forgetting about his mission; while the Gem would allow Angel to help people in daylight, they already had help from the rest of the world, and it was his duty to protect those in the dark who could not ask for help themselves. Angel smashed the ring with a brick, which caused a green light to flash, destroying the Gem of Amara.
Both Giles and Doyle claimed that wearing the Gem would make the vampire who wear it essentially unkillable. The ring granted the wearer enhanced regenerative powers, allowing them to survive staking — which would traditionally kill a normal vampire — as the wound would close and they would not dust. However, its most notable effect was granting immunity to harmful effects of sunlight, thus allowing the vampire to hunt in broad daylight. It also rendered vampires immune to crosses and fire, although the consequences if an opponent attempted to decapitate the vampire wearing the Gem were never specified.
Behind the scenes
- A licensed “Gem of Amara Ring” prop replica was produced by GenkiWear in 2001.
- The jewelry's design notably resembles a real 19th century pendant made by Marcus and Co., composed of an oval cabochon turquoise in a cage of yellow gold as an imitation scarab.
- "The Harsh Light of Day"
- "In the Dark"
- "Heartthrob" (Only mentioned)
- "Spike: Lost and Found"
- "New School Nightmare"