Emerald ore in Minecraft: All you need to know

Image via Minecraft
Image via Minecraft

Emerald ore has some hidden secrets that Minecraft fans might not know about.

This difficult to find block is one of the most interesting ores in Minecraft. This is partly because it is one of the rarest ores in the game, having potentially the most specific spawning circumstances of any type of ore found in Minecraft.

Emerald ore is technically even rarer than diamonds. Additionally, it is one of only a few types of ores that do not drop items that can be crafted into armor or tools.

What other secrets does this rare block hold? Here’s everything Minecraft players need to know about emerald ore.

Emerald ore in Minecraft


Image via Minecraft
Image via Minecraft

Emerald ore is very rare due to the unique circumstances that must be met in order for it to spawn when generating new terrain. Emeralds are the only type of ore that can only be found in a single biome: mountains.

This means that if a player is strip mining like usual, they are very unlikely to run into any emerald ore, unless they are lucky enough to mine underneath a mountain biome.

Additionally, emerald ore does not spawn with many neighboring ores of the same type, like iron and diamonds. Instead, they generate in blobs of only one ore, meaning that mining around an emerald is unlikely to uncover more of the same block.

Emerald ore can also spawn as deepslate emerald ore as of the 1.17 update. This type of emerald is no different than standard emerald ore, except that it is a bit harder to break and replaces different blocks than normal emerald ore does when generating.

Finally, emeralds can also only be found between y-levels of four (4) and and thirty-one (31), meaning it has a relatively limited range, even within mountain biomes.

These rare blocks usually only appear between three and eight times in a single chunk, so players have a better chance of finding emerald ore in larger mountain biomes that cover a lot of area.


Image via Minecraft
Image via Minecraft

Though emeralds can be obtained in a number of ways - including in loot chests and from villager trades - emerald ore can only be obtained via mining. Emerald ore can only be mined with a pickaxe made of iron, diamond, or netherite, and mining it with any other tool will cause the block to break without dropping anything.

Just like other types of ores in Minecraft, the silk touch enchantment is necessary if a player wishes to pick up the block of emerald ore instead of just an emerald. This makes the emerald ore block one of the rarest blocks that a player can have in their inventory or their home.

However, most players who are skilled enough to find emerald ore tend to use a different pickaxe enchantment when mining it.

If the player wants to get emeralds instead of the ore block, the fortune enchantment is a much better option than silk touch.

Emerald ores, when mined without silk touch, drop one emerald. However, with the fortune enchantment, one ore can drop up to four emeralds a piece. So, if more emeralds is what a player is looking for, the fortune enchantment is essential. Other enchantments, like efficiency, can also be useful when mining emeralds, but the player should take special care to ensure that these enchantments are on an iron, diamond, or netherite pickaxe before breaking this rare block.


Image via Minecraft
Image via Minecraft

Much like any other ore block in Minecraft, emerald ore is not incredibly useful on its own. It can be smelted into emeralds using a furnace or blast furnace, or placed under a note block to create a unique bass drum sound. Besides this, the only uses for emerald ore are decorating and impressing other Minecraft players by showing them this rare item.

However, the emeralds obtained from emerald ore have a very wide array of uses in Minecraft. They are mainly used as currency for trading with villagers and wandering traders.

Both of these mobs can offer the player very rare or otherwise useful items in exchange for emeralds which can make the game much easier.

Emeralds can also be crafted into emerald blocks, which are nice, bright green decorative blocks that can be used to spice up any build, or used to power a beacon.

Once crafted, emerald blocks can easily be uncrafted back into nine emeralds if the player changes their mind.


Image via Minecraft
Image via Minecraft

Something that many Minecraft players do not know about the emerald is that it was a last minute decision on Mojang’s part to add it to the game.

Though they were planning on introducing a new item to function as currency for villager trades, emeralds were not decided upon until very late into development.

Instead, the original idea for a villager currency was rubies. Ruby ore functioned the same as emerald ore, only instead of dropping emeralds, it dropped rubies. Rubies were essentially the same item as emeralds, however they were a brilliant red color instead of the bright green gems that can be found in Minecraft worlds today.

The reason why Minecraft developers decided against introducing the ruby and changed it to emeralds is because of how hard they would be to find when mining. There are no other green ores in Minecraft, but because of the ruby’s red color, developers thought that it would be too hard for players to differentiate between ruby ore and redstone ore. Who knows how different Minecraft would have been if emeralds were never added.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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