Carbine Studios Product Director Mike Donatelli churned out a good-sized post on the forums this morning concerning WildStar's elder gem system and what the studio has planned for it after the game's launch. He said that what's currently in-game is "only half of the intended final system," and while the team can't get in the full deal by release, the rest will be included in the first major post-launch patch.
Elder gems are a type of currency that players will earn with XP once they hit the level cap. There's a weekly limit to the number of gems that can earned, and players can use these gems to buy gear and items from special vendors. Future plans for the system include the ability to buy amp and ability tier points that haven't been procured elsewhere and weekly and daily quests to earn more gems.