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Are the colors really going to be red, yellow, green, and purple? Purple looks very ugly and out of place if you're only going to have 4 colors. Blue would be the right color, making it red, yellow, green, and blue. I also wouldn't mind seeing more colors because 4 feels very limited.
I prefer the WoW gem system over this current one. Red boosts the 3 primary attributes (Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence), yellow boosts your attack rate, crit chance, or dodge chance, and blue boosts your Vitality. Orange, green, and purple are mixed colors and give stats from what they're mixed with. This gives you the entire rainbow spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).
The helm bonus for Amethyst also needs to be changed, because all of the gems except Amethysts do something different on helms over other gear slots. Since the Mystic is removed, this is also an opportunity to have more interesting helm bonuses like the WoW meta gems.
Gems enhance your primary stats or life. The more gems you collect the stronger gem you can make. This makes every gem useful for someone.
Actually there's a lot o f issues with your theory here...
1) Although you can potentially upgrade the lowest gem to the highest one, you didn't see people collecting chipped and flawed gems in D2 to upgrade them, only flawless and up to make perfects, and some people collected chips because certain cube recepies used them. You need such a high number to get radiants out of chipped that it's not even worth picking up once you're higher level.
2) Some of the low-mid level gems in WoW are selling for more than the high lvl ones in the AH because nobody farms the lower ones. One clear-cut example are the pearls used for enchanting rods. I had to pay 300g for a black pearl after putting WTB in trade channel for 2 days and searching the AH.
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