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This quest begins when you find an Unusual Gem.
Speak to Vex at the Thieves' Guild about the gem and she will tell you that it is a Stone of Barenziah, but a single stone by itself is worthless. However there are 23 more stones, and together they are worth quite a bit.
Recover the Stones of Barenziah (24)
You will already have at least one of the stones by now, but below is a complete list:
- Ansilvund, in Eastmarch, contains a stone near where you encounter Fjori and Holgeir inside the burial chambers.
- Black-Briar Lodge, outside Riften, the master bedroom.
- College of Winterhold on the shelves in the Arch-Mage's Quarters.
- Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, look in Astrid's room for the stone. This stone can only be found while completing the “With Friends Like These…” or “Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!” quests.
- Dead Crone Rock, south-west of Markarth. The stone can be found on an altar near a Word Wall at the top.
- Fellglow Keep, can be found east-north-east of Whiterun. Look on the counters of the workroom to find this stone.
- Hob's Fall Cave. The stone is inside the Necromancer's sleeping area.
- Markarth, the Treasury House, search the master bedroom to find the stone.
- Markarth, in the Dwemer Museum. The stone will be inside, on a table behind a locked door.
- Pinewatch, a farm north-east of Falkreath. Inside the farmhouse, look for a secret entrance into an underground cave. Inside the Bandit Sanctuary, look for a locked door. Lockpick the door, inside you will find the stone on a bookshelf.
- Rannveig's Fast, north-east of Rorikstead and south-east of Morthal. Look for a prison area, and search the table with the Alchemy Lab for the stone.
- Riften, Mistveil Keep, the Jarl's Quarters.
- Solitude, just outside town, on The Dainty Sload, a boat. Look in the Captain's Quarters, on the table.
- Solitude, in Proudspire Manor. You will find the stone in the master bedroom.
- Solitude, in the Blue Palace. Look in the Jarl's quarters, on one of his shelves.
- Stony Creek Cave, can be found north of Ansilvund, south-east of Windhelm. Look in the area where you encounter the Bandit Wizard.
- Sunderstone Gorge south of Gjukar's Monument and north of Moss Mother Cavern, in Falkreath. You will find a Word Wall inside, with the added bonus of a nearby stone.
- Thalmor Embassy, look in Elenwen's Solar while completing the "Diplomatic Immunity" quest for Delphine in Riverwood. Or in the Reeking Cave on the way out.
- Whiterun, in Dragonsreach, explore the Jarl's bedroom to find a stone.
- Whiterun, Kodlak's room in Jorrvaskr .
- Whiterun, Hall of the Dead, check the wall crypts to find another stone.
- Windhelm, House of Clan Shatter-Shield, simply search the first upstairs bedroom to your left to find the stone.
- Windhelm, Palace of the Kings, look on the table in Wuunferth the Unliving's Quarters.
- Yngvild, a cave north of Winterhold and east of Dawnstar. Search behind the throne to find a bed chamber containing the stone.
Speak to Vex
Recover the Crown of Barenziah
Proceed to the cave and retrieve the crown that is in a part of Tolvald's Crossing, in the south-east of the caves, that specifically becomes accessible during this quest.
Beware of the trolls, and even more so of the hordes of Falmer! A Dunmer Ghost stands near the crown, but does not react to the Dragonborn.
Return to Vex
The Dragonborn is rewarded with an active effect called Prowler's Profit.