Animal Crossing New Leaf

Gem Rock

In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, there is a new type of rock, dubbed the ‘gem rock’. Each day a new rock will appear somewhere around town, and if you hit it with your shovel/axe, a gem (ore) will appear. Unlike the money rock, the gem rock randomly spawns for that day, and isn’t one of the stationary, permanent rocks in your town.
There are 6 types of gems you can obtain from this method;
Ruby (red) - sells for 2,000 bells
Sapphire (blue) - sells for 2,000 bells 
Emerald (green) - sells for 2,000 bells 
Amethyst (pink/purple) - sells for 2,000 bells
Silver (gray) - sells for 3,000 bells 
Gold (yellow) - sells for 4,000 bells 

Typically, you’ll only be able to obtain one gem per day, but once you unlock the museum shop and buy the silver shovel (available for purchase after you have donated 30 fossils), instead of getting  money from the money rock, you may find that you will receive gems instead.

Gems can be used for aesthetic purposes, sold for bells, and even used to make gold furniture (explained here), jazz up your piggy bank, or even your furniture - this is further explained in the Re-Tail post.
NB: not all furniture series can be customized via gems

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