Ever bagged yourself a chest of gems on Duolingo?
Perhaps you’re swimming in a pool of lingots?
Maybe you’re wondering what they are and why Duolingo has two different currencies?!
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Gems and lingots are all the rage on Duolingo. There are lots of ways you can earn them and a bunch of different things you can spend them on.
In this guide, I’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know!
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So, what are Duolingo gems?
Gems are the virtual currency on the Duolingo mobile app.
If you use Duolingo on your iPhone, iPad or Android device, you’ll find yourself earning chests of gems.
If you use Duolingo on the desktop site, however, then you need to be aware of…
A lingot is pretty much the same as a gem.
The only difference is that lingots are the virtual currency on the Duolingo desktop site.
You earn them in essentially the same way.
Duolingo gems vs lingots
You’d be forgiven for wondering what the difference is between gems and lingots.
For the most part, gems and lingots are basically the same.
The main difference is you can only earn gems on mobile devices, whereas you can only earn lingots on the desktop site.
Oh, and the colour. Gems are blue, whereas lingots are red!
Converting lingots to gems
But wait: what if you like to use the mobile app AND the desktop site?
Can you convert your lingots to gems and vice versa?
The short answer is: no.
Back in the day, lingots were the one and only virtual currency. So whether you were using Duolingo on mobile or desktop, you only had lingots — and the totals were exactly the same on both.
Then Duolingo decided to switch things up.
In 2017, all mobile users had their lingots converted to gems.
Despite the similarities, the two currencies aren’t interchangeable. So if you use Duolingo on desktop and mobile, then you’ll probably have completely different lingot and gem totals.
There isn’t a clear exchange rate either. Generally Duolingo dish out a lot more gems than they do lingots, and so prices on mobile are generally higher than they are on desktop.
For instance, a double-or-nothing wager costs 50 gems on mobile, whereas it costs 5 lingots on desktop.
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How to get gems in Duolingo
So how do you get gems in Duolingo?
There are currently several ways:
hit daily xp goal
The easiest way to earn gems is to hit your daily XP goal.
For example, if you set your daily XP goal to 10 XP, then you’ll earn a chest of gems after you complete your first lesson of the day.
Another cool way to earn gems is to complete quests.
Currently, these are split into two different categories: daily quests and friends quests.
Completing daily quests is probably the easiest way to rack up gems in the short term.
You can find them in your challenges section of the mobile app.
Basically every day you’ll be set 3 easy challenges.
These could include earning XP, completing a couple of lessons, listening to a certain number of exercises etc.
You’ll earn a chest of gems for each challenge you complete.
As of March 2023, daily quests are split into 3 different chest types: bronze, silver and gold.
The bronze chest has the lowest number of gems, while the gold chest has the highest.
As for friends quests, these take place once every week.
As the name suggests, you complete friends quests with one of your Duolingo friends. You’ll get a few days to complete the task.
If you manage to complete it before the time runs out, you’ll both receive a chest — inside which will be an XP Boost and up to 100 gems!
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a gambling type, then you’ll probably be interested in a gem wager!
Simply head over to the Duolingo shop and select the wager option.
There’s only one wager — a double-or-nothing for 50 gems.
The goal is to maintain a 7-day streak.
If you manage it, you’ll get your 50-gem wager back, plus an additional 50 gems!
Note however that this isn’t always available, so there’s a good chance it might not be showing in your shop.
Completing achievements is another cool way of bagging yourself some gems.
You can find your list of achievements at the bottom of your Duolingo profile.
Depending on your device and whether Duolingo are doing any A/B testing, you should have up to 17 achievements to work through.
Some of the achievements have tiers. Whenever you complete a tier or an achievement in its entirety, you’ll earn roughly 25 gems.
Obviously, there’s a bit of a limit to this as you can only earn an achievement once. But if you’ve still got some to work through, then this is definitely a good way of pumping your gem total!
Last but not least…
If you’re *that* desperate for gems, you can buy them with real money from the Duolingo shop.
In the UK, the cheapest chest costs £4.49, and this will get you 1200 gems.
The most expensive costs £17.99, and this will get you a wagon of 6500 gems!
How to get lingots in Duolingo
The way to earn lingots is pretty much exactly the same as earning gems.
You just have to do the above on the desktop site.
Well, some of the above.
Hitting your daily XP goal, completing a double-or-nothing wager and unlocking achievements will bag you some lingots.
However, as of March 2023, the desktop site doesn’t have daily quests, and I haven’t been able to find any way of buying lingots with real money either.
What are gems and lingots for?
So what’s the point of Duolingo’s virtual currencies? What can you actually do with them?
The Duolingo shop is the go-to place for spending your hard-earned gems and lingots.
Sadly, there isn’t much you can spend them on.
But don’t worry; the shelves aren’t totally bare!
The main things you can buy with your gems and lingots include:
- Streak Freezes
- Bonus skills (depending on the language course)
- Timer Boosts (for timed challenges)
This one only applies if you’re a mobile user.
If you’re a serial heart-breaker, then you can use your gems to replenish your reserves.
Whenever you run out of hearts, you’ll get an option to restore your hearts to their maximum capacity, allowing you to dive back into your lesson tree.
This one only applies if you’re a non-Super member.
If you’re a free member, you’ll have to pay 100 gems in order to tackle the legendary levels.
Legendary levels are optional challenges you can complete once you’ve completed a base level on your path.
Oddly enough, you can also spend gems to make your lessons harder.
Every now and then you’ll get a pop-up asking if you want to crank the difficulty up a notch.
It’ll set you back 20 gems and make the next lesson a bit harder.
If you manage to complete it, you’ll bag yourself double the usual XP!
What happens if you run out of gems on Duolingo?
If you run out of gems on Duolingo — don’t panic!
It’s definitely not as big of a deal as losing all your hearts, as you’re still able to do your lessons, complete practices, read stories etc.
If you’re a free member then it’s actually pretty common to run out of gems, as you’ll often find yourself using them to refill your hearts or doing the legendary levels.
If ever you run your gem balance down to zero, simply try out the following strategy to bring your total back up…
Duolingo gems hack
I’ll be straight with you — I don’t know how to cheat the system, so this isn’t a genuine ‘hack’. (Sorry!).
But! If you’re looking for the most effective legitimate way of earning gems fast, then keep reading…
In my opinion, the best strategy is as follows:
- Set your daily XP goal to the lowest setting. This will allow you to bag your daily chest after just one lesson.
- Complete all 3 daily quests (mobile only). These are usually pretty easy and you can earn anywhere from 5 to 15 gems per chest.
- Complete your weekly friends quest (mobile only). These can sometimes require a bit of extra work, but they’re rarely difficult. So long as both you and your friend do your bit, you can pretty much guarantee yourselves 100 gems every time.
- Take the weekly wager. So long as you maintain your streak, this will guarantee you an easy 50 gems each week.
I’m sure there are guys out there who know how to genuinely cheat the system.
However, if you want to keep it clean (which I 100% recommend) then the above is one of the best ways to go!
Have your say!
So then, what do you think of Duolingo gems and lingots?
Are you sitting on a mountain or do you find yourself running out a lot?
Let me know down below 🙂
Lingots and gems aren’t interchangeable through my Andoid app. Others have noted the same. Originally when I started using the app after spending most of my time on the web version, I calculated a conversion factor of about 20 gems per lingot, but others have noticed different rates, and my initial rate hasn’t applied to the draw-down as I’ve spent. At the moment, having drawn down my gems for streak freezes, I can’t afford another through the app, as it would cost 200 gems and I have slightly less than that, whereas I still have over 800 lingots and a streak freeze on the web costs me 10 lingots.
Good spot. For some reason my totals are identical (I’m guessing cus I don’t really use the desktop version) but you’re right the conversion rates seem to be all over the place. I’ll do some more digging and update the article, ta for pointing it out 🙂
Thanks for your research 👍. I was able to hit Claim Chest at most once every hour, they would play an ad & give me a few gems (the number varied) but I can’t get that option right now, I don’t know why. I would sometimes have to close DL, then open again, press 2nd icon from the right, wait about 5 seconds then the “Claim Chest” option appeared. I wonder if they have stopped it or will it return soon? Or maybe it’s just a glitch on my phone.
A couple things: first, I use DL on my iPhone but if I log onto DL via the Chrome app, say, I am in the PC (lingot) version, so I can switch between the two.
Second – I am only now experimenting with this, but it looks like I can buy streak wagers in the two versions at the same time, thus doubling my streak income.
Yesterday I just realized something that completely changes the gems vs lingots discussion! Also, Matt – there’s a mistake in your post – though it’s pretty understandable since Duo doesn’t make it precisely clear.
Matt, you write that every tenth day of a streak, you get a lingot. That’s true for a ten-day streak, but the number of lingots you get is actually the number of days divided by ten. So your streak income in lingots increases over time. If, like me, you just hit a 470-day streak, you will get a pile of 47 lingots – which is roughly the equivalent of 470 gems! There is nothing like this on the gem side.
This means (a) that it really is advantageous to keep that streak going and buy streak freezes because (b) if you have a good streak going you can spend the lingots on legendary levels and save your gems for things that lingots can’t buy, like timed challenges.
Cheers for that, Ted. That’s really useful. I’ll update the post when I can 🙂
Hi Matt! On the latest Duolingo updates, the levels are like a pathway rather than laid out evenly. I notice there are Mini Games beside the lessons with the characters doing different activities. In order to get the golden stars, you have to pay 100 gems, or 50 gems. That’s a lot – I’m not sure what the benefit is of giving away my hard-earned gems to play mini games?
Do the stars add up to something? Is there an extra bonus of XP or something? Do i get more gems for completing? Would love to know if you know anything!
I have 173 lingots and it seems I can’t buy anything in the “store” with them. What’s the use of lingots then?
I’m in the DuoLingo family subscription plan and I was wondering if I can share my overload of unused and growing number of gems with the others in my family?