Take a virtual field trip with Dr. Scott to learn more about the real-world properties and uses of Minecraft ores such as Emerald, Redstone, Obsidian, and Bedrock.
A fun game is to make a scavenger hunt from your favorite ores from the game Minecraft. You can look for "patterns" in the real world. However, just like in Minecraft, some are rare finds. Minecraft emeralds are a good example. It's widely believed to be the rarest ore in Minecraft, but it's also rare in the real world. Therefore, real world emeralds are valuable, just like the Minecraft emeralds.
So you can't find emeralds or other ores in the real world? That is understandable. However, you can continue your scavenger hunt online to find minecraft ore pictures, facts and stories! Not sure where to look? Just scroll down to see Dr. To accompany Scott on a virtual field trip to the Minecraft ores.
While I've found many Minecraft Emeralds, one of my all-time favorite finds in the real world has been some Emerald Fragments. I met them in the Andes in South America. In the three photos below there are four separate emerald fragments. Two of them are green. You could say emerald green. While the other two are decidedly bluish. Can emeralds be blue? So what does emerald green even mean? argument
What is chemically interesting about emeralds is that they contain the rare element beryllium. Many people think that beryllium is responsible for the "emerald color" but that doesn't seem to apply as emeralds can obviously be blue. Traces of the elements vanadium (another rare element), chromium and/or titanium are believed to be responsible for the distinctive emerald green color. Traces of other elements can create a blue color, and without the trace elements, emeralds are seemingly clear. Like diamond.
In addition to the rare elements mentioned above, emeralds are also high in aluminium, silicon and oxygen. These three elements are very common in rocks, minerals and gemstones.
Note the distinct six-sided, hexagonal shape in cross-section. It's most evident in the last photo above with the largest, bluest of my fragments. This fragment is large and in its natural form.
The emeralds are unpolished and rough. Emeralds are difficult to polish, scoring about 8 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. A high hardness means they are difficult to polish and grind, as the polishing and grinding must be done from an even harder material. Such as diamond, which has a 10 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Steeped in lore and legend, emeralds are the birthstone of May and the astrological gem of Cancer, while Minecraft emeralds can be enchanted for a multitude of downright practical uses. Especially help find more minecraft emeralds. Etc.
You can see pictures ofThe largest emeralds in the world here on Wikipedia(at the end of the page). Disclaimer: I don't own any of these personally as I'm extremely happy with the four Emerald Fragments I found haha.
The Minecraft Diamond
While I've found many Minecraft emeralds, I've never found a diamond in the real world. At least not in a store. I thought maybe I could get one with the Mohs hardness scale test kit I ordered from Amazon.com, but as you can see it doesn't work that way.*
Anyway, at least I have proof that diamond really is a 10 out of 10... the hardest substance on earth! This means it can cut and abrade any other substance. Hence the popularity of diamond tipped cutting tools such as drills or saw blades in the real world. A bit like the diamond pickaxe is the best for mining in Minecraft as you dig up the layers of the world all the way down to bedrock.
One more thing about harshness. Diamonds are the hardest material, but they can and will break. Actually quite simple. Note that the Mohs hardness scale indicates the ability of substances to cut and grind. The ability to not break, called durability or toughness, is something else entirely. In fact, steel, an extremely tough and durable building material, only scores around a 5 on the Mohs scale. It's tough but not super hard, and it will bend and not crack or shatter like a diamond, which is hard but brittle.
* (Diamonds are not included, silly. It's only $20.)
Not even the diamond pickaxe can slice through bedrock in Minecraft. How can that be? Is "bedrock" harder than diamond? That can not be.
First, bedrock is not a type of rock. It simply means the place where the soft, diggable earth ends and the solid rock begins as you dig down, presumably towards the center of the world. Bedrock can be any type of rock and is often classified as igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary. In the real world, people routinely dig into bedrock...when creating a solid foundation for a heavy building that would otherwise slowly sink over time.
So Minecraft bedrock is not a specific type of ore or mineral. It just represents the bottom layer. Because the game has to stop... eventually. Well, we all know some bedrock blasting tricks and mods, right?
This photo shows the bedrock layer or solid rock beneath the overlying layers of earth.
This bedrock is not very deep because it is a mountain peak. This is usually a mountain - bedrock that is being pushed up much higher than normal. And rainwater erodes much of the earth and soil on the mountaintop, leaving bedrock all but exposed at the surface. I found it with just a few feet (about a meter) of digging.
The soil is soft and degradable and consists of loosely packed soil, sand, pebbles, roots, sticks, ants, etc. The bedrock is solid rock. But the bedrock is sandstone and shale, both soft and brittle rocks, and I can break the bedrock with my bare hands. Some bedrock is hard, some isn't, but it's only the bottom rock layer below where the soil ends.
Obsidian is a fun Minecraft addition.
Obsidian comes from volcanoes. B. the lava hardness. That's the scientific explanation for why it's so great. Technically it is known as volcanic glass.
Like glass, obsidian is quite hard but brittle and can fracture to create very sharp edges. Before the days of metal and even before the days of Minecraft, tribes around the world used obsidian for important cutting tools. Like kitchen knives, hunting implements and edged weapons.
Obsidian can be black, brown, red, and possibly other colors. It is glassy and sharp in its rough, natural form. The image below shows a highly polished obsidian sphere.
Obsidian occurs near volcanic regions, such as the erupting Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City, shown below. Millions of pre-Hispanic and pre-Columbian explorers of the Americas used this source of obsidian. And obsidian was also used for decorations and imbued with their beliefs.
For example, the Aztecs (or Mexican culture) worshiped Tezcatlipoca, the god of the night. He has always been depicted with an obsidian mirror that served as a portal to other dimensions, timelines, and locations.
The Aztecs apparently knew how to use common quartz, Mohs hardness 7, to polish and smooth obsidian, Mohs hardness 5. That is, they understood how to use relatively harder materials to shape relatively softer materials. How else could they have come up with such a useful invention as the highly polished obsidian mirror? Please portal me into the Nether so we can find more quartz to polish more obsidian mirrors... and so on.
Minecraft Quartz can be found in the dangerous Nether, but it's really, really common stuff here on planet Earth.
Quartz can appear as large clear crystals (first images below). Purple quartz is called amethyst (middle photo). Quartz can also be white, like the layer of quartz in the rock in the penultimate photo. There's also a lot of quartz below me in the last photo, with the shark's tooth...so much sand in the world contains a lot of quartz that has been pulverized into small crystals by the waves over time.
Minecraft quartz can give your favorite base or building an attractive appearance, similar to how tall buildings in the real world are covered with glass windows. In fact, glass is made from quartz, which is found in sand. Can you see that the clear quartz, especially in the first photo, is completely transparent, just like glass?
Super high purity quartz is also used to make computer chips, which are printed on pure silicon. Silica sand is made up of just two elements, silicon and oxygen, and we sometimes call this sand "silica". At unbelievably high temperatures, the pure silicon is dissolved from the silicic acid (sand). So you could say that quartz is an important ore in the modern world... silicon ore.
Minecraft iron, copper and gold ore
Minecraft metal ores must be smelted to release the pure metal from the ore, which contains the metal but also contains impurities.
The first photo shows ferrous lava rock. You can tell iron is there because it's red, and it's also attracted to a magnet. The iron was mixed into the lava deep within the earth where iron is plentiful. The eruption then brought it to the surface. However, this would not be very good iron ore in practice. It's just fun to play with lava... but not the liquid kind ;)
The middle photo is an old copper ore. Copper ore is green, and there are various green rocks that contain fusible copper. This cut cube is called malachite. We have better and less beautiful copper ores in the modern world.
I fooled you, the last one isn't gold, haha. Pyrite, or fool's gold, is actually iron and sulfur. Not gold. So maybe it really could be an iron ore?
The first is by digging them up out of the ground. Emerald ore is found only in extreme hills biomes, and it's pretty rare so good luck with that. The second is by finding them in chests – emeralds are a common reward in ruins, igloos, villages, shipwrecks, jungle and desert temples, End cities, and more.Is emerald ore rarer than diamonds? ›
If you thought diamonds were the only rare and expensive gemstones, then here is a fact to change your thinking. At approximately 20 times rarer than diamonds, emeralds cost more in price.Why is emerald ore so rare in Minecraft? ›
Emerald Ore is a rare ore in Minecraft due to its single-biome and single-vein spawning mechanics. It drops 1 Emerald when mined with an Iron Pickaxe or higher (1-4 if the Fortune enchantment is used). Emerald Ore only occurs in Extreme Hills or Extreme Hills Edge biomes.Are emeralds the rarest ore in Minecraft? ›
As of Minecraft version 1.16, emerald ore is the rarest ore in Minecraft, despite tons of newer ores being added. Emerald ore is thirty times more rare than diamonds, and they only spawn in one-block veins, meaning players cannot find multiple emeralds grouped together, unlike other ores.What biome is best for emeralds? ›
Head over to a mountains biome.
This is the only biome where emeralds will be found. Mountain biomes are fairly common, so you won't have to go very far.
Emerald ore is found only in extreme hills biomes, and it's pretty rare so good luck with that. The second is by finding them in chests – emeralds are a common reward in ruins, igloos, villages, shipwrecks, jungle and desert temples, End cities, and more.Is emerald rarer than Netherite? ›
While 2 ancient debris spawn per chunk, but although they usually don't spawn together. If you're thinking by quantity then emeralds are more rare.What is the hardest ore to find in Minecraft? ›
Yes, you guessed it (probably by reading the title) - it's diamond ore! The ultimate endgame resource, diamond ore is one of the most valuable and hard-to-locate blocks in Minecraft. It's found right at the bottom of the world, below Y-level 16, in veins of one to ten blocks that give experience when you mine them.What is the rarest ore I found in Minecraft? ›
Emerald Ore is the rarest ore to date in Minecraft (25 times more so than Diamond Ore, while almost always spawning in only one-block veins). When mined (with an Iron Pickaxe or higher), it drops an Emerald; the only implemented use of Emeralds to date is for trading with Villagers.How rare is a 2 vein of emerald? ›
Emerald ore can be found extremely rarely in two-block veins, but usually appears as small, single-block ores. Emerald ore is about 30 times rarer than Diamonds, mostly because they are only available in Extreme Hills biome.
Deepslate emerald ore is the rarest ore in Minecraft, rarer than normal emerald ore and ancient debris.What biome is best for diamonds? ›
Diamonds Are More Common in Deserts, Savannas, and Mesas.What is the 2 rarest ore in Minecraft? ›
- Lapis Lazuli ore (Image via Mojang)
- Gold ore (Image via Mojang)
- Diamond ore (Image via Mojang)
- Emerald ore (Image via Mojang)
- Ancient Debris (Image via Mojang)
Despite ancient debris' rarity, emerald ore is actually rarer; emerald ore has a lower spawn chance per chunk, and while ancient debris can appear in blobs as large as five in any Nether biome, emerald ore generates only as individual ore blocks in mountain biomes.Are dark or light emeralds better? ›
The most desirable emerald colors are bluish green to pure green, with vivid color saturation and tone that's not too dark. The most-prized emeralds are highly transparent. Their color is evenly distributed, with no eye-visible color zoning.What is the rarest emerald type? ›
Trapiche Emeralds. The Trapiche Emerald is the rarest type of emerald. While there is plenty of information out there regarding emeralds, their various hues, places of origin, and possible inclusions; there is not much out there about this unusual variety of emerald.What is a SWAT emerald? ›
Swat Emerald. Swat Emerald called Zamurd (locally) is highly praised throughout the world for its exceptional transparency, vibrant deep green color, and natural hexagonal crystal formations. The Fizagat Swat emerald mine is estimated to hold 70 million carats of deposits.Why were rubies removed from Minecraft? ›
Rubies were originally planned to be added as part of Minecraft Java Edition 1.3 as a currency for trading with villagers, but were abandoned at the last minute in favor of emeralds due to the developer "Dinnerbone" being red-green colorblind and therefore having a hard time spotting the difference between redstone ore ...What is the best Y level for emeralds? ›
Players can find emerald ore generating from Y level -16 all the way to Y level 320. As with all other ores and resources, there is a height level at which the mineral is found in the largest quantity. For emeralds, that height is Y level 256.What are the chances of finding emerald ore? ›
In Minecraft, Emerald ore is thirty times more rare than diamonds, and they only spawn in one-block veins. So you've got somewhere around a 0.0025% chance of finding emeralds.
Painite : Not just the rarest gemstone, but also the rarest mineral on earth, Painite holds the Guinness World Record for it.Which is rarer Deepslate emerald or coal? ›
Some players might be shocked to know that deepslate coal ore is rarer than deepslate emerald ore. While rare, emerald ore can generate just a little below Y 0.Is ancient debris rarer than diamonds? ›
Ancient debris is one of Minecraft's most valuable, useful, and rarest resources. Ancient Debris is a special block because it is very difficult to destroy, even we can't destroy it with explosions can't be burned by lava or fire and even it cannot be blown up. It is 12 times as rare as a diamond.What is the weakest ore in the world? ›
|Birefringence||δ = 0.103|
|Pleochroism||Pleochroic haloes have been observed. Dichroic in yellow, green, red, brown, usually weak, or absent, but strong at times|
- Copper - 15 Power and 16 Durability.
- Bronze - 20 Power and 22 Durability.
- Iron - 25 Power and 28 Durability.
- Steel - 30 Power and 34 Durability.
- Gold - 35 Power and 40 Durability.
- Crystal - 40 Power and 46 Durability.
Making armor sets, tools, and weapons is something iron, gold, diamond, and netherite share. However, gold is often called the weakest out of all the ores in the game.What is the rarest ore in Nether? ›
Ancient debris is a rare ore found in the Nether, and is the main source of netherite scraps. Its high blast resistance makes it immune to normal explosions. In item form, it floats on lava and cannot be burned by any form of fire.What is the most famous ore in Minecraft? ›
Diamond is the most popular ore, and it now only generates below Y=16 world height in Minecraft 1.18. 1. And the diamond ore is further maximized at the height of Y= -64 or the bedrock layer. So, the deeper you go, the higher are your chances to find diamonds in the game.What was the first ore in Minecraft? ›
Iron ore was one of the earliest materials added to the game - way back in version 0.0. 14a_01 on 28 May 2009, alongside gold and coal ores.Is emerald Crystal rare? ›
Emeralds are rarer and often more expensive than diamonds
When it comes to rare and expensive gemstones, most of us immediately think of diamonds, but, in fact, emeralds are more than 20 times rarer than diamonds and, therefore, often command a higher price.
Emerald: Like sapphires and rubies, emeralds are among the rarest of all gemstones. They are rarer than sapphires but not quite as rare as rubies.What is rarer than an emerald? ›
A cousin of emerald, aquamarine, and morganite, the red variety of beryl contains manganese, which imparts a bright red hue. Once called bixbite, red beryl is one of the rarest and most desirable gems.
6) Deepslate copper ore
Several other ores are found there, but copper is one of the most common. However, copper becomes far more scarce when players get to the deepslate level, which is below Y level 0. Finding deepslate copper ore is a rare occurrence.
Emerald Armor is a suit of armor that can worn by the player. Requiring 24 Emeralds to craft it, it provides the same amount of resistance as regular Minecraft Diamond armor. Emerald Armor can also be used in the recipes of the Hulk and the Abomination.Which is the rarest diamond? ›
Red diamonds are the rarest of the colored diamonds, with only 20-30 existing in the entire world. They get their beautiful red color from a rare process during their formation, which changes the crystal structure of the diamond and causes light to pass through it differently than colorless diamonds.What biome is best for Netherite? ›
Best Biomes for Netherite
Basalt Deltas: Leaving the dangerous terrain aside, this biome has a low spawn rate for hostile mobs other than magma cubes. So, you can freely look for Netherite without getting attacked. Nether Wastes: This is the most common biome of the Nether.
There is ~1 diamond ore vein generated per chunk.
An ore vein will have between 3 - 8 diamond ore in it. However, that vein can be overwritten by other generated structures - such structures, such as caves, can leave you with a chunk with no ore vein in it.
Ammolite. In 1981, the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) declared ammolite a new organic gem. Occurring in limited deposits in the Rocky Mountains, this gem material is much rarer than diamond.What is the useless ore in Minecraft? ›
Emerald ore is the most useless ore in Minecraft. The only thing it has going for it is its rarity. So, pick it up with a silk touch pick. You can get many more emeralds via villager trading than you will ever get from emerald ore.What is the rarest Axolotl in Minecraft? ›
Which is the Rarest Variant of Axolotl in Minecraft? As many of you might expect, the rarest variant of Axolotl in Minecraft is the blue Axolotl. As per Minecraft Wiki, this variant has a spawn chance of just 1 in 1200 (0.083%), making it one of the rarest mobs in the game.
The Fortune enchantment does not work on ancient debris, just like iron and gold ore. It also doesn't drop any experience.How far deep is Netherite? ›
To get Netherite you'll need to mine Ancient Debris first, which can only be found in the Nether. When you enter the Nether you'll need to mine until you reach Y level 8-15. Most Ancient Debris will spawn at Y level 15.How rare is Netherite? ›
How rare is netherite? Since we are comparing a 1 in 1200 chance for diamonds to a 1 in 25000 chance for ancient debris (and subsequently Netherite), players can conclude that Netherite is officially rarer than diamond by a large margin.How rare is a pink sheep? ›
Pink sheep have a rare chance (0.164%) of spawning naturally. That means for every 1,000 sheep that spawn naturally, about 1 will be pink.What is the oldest item in Minecraft? ›
Air is the most common and oldest block in Minecraft.Where is the best place to dig for emeralds? ›
Emerald Hollow Mine, Hiddenite, North Carolina
Boasted as the only emerald mine in the world open to the public for prospecting, or searching for mineral deposits through drilling and excavation, Emerald Hollow Mine sits in the foothills of North Carolina.
Emerald ore can be found extremely rarely in two-block veins, but usually appears as small, single-block ores. Emerald ore is about 30 times rarer than Diamonds, mostly because they are only available in Extreme Hills biome. It drops one emerald when mined, and is affected by fortune enchantments.What type of rock are emeralds found in? ›
In Australia, emerald is associated with granite pegmatites and metamorphosed rocks called schists. It is also sometimes associated with altered limestones or can be found embedded in calcite or quartz. A pegmatite forms when a magma cools, leaving some elements behind in the remaining fluid.Can you pan for emeralds? ›
Did you know that emeralds are more valuable than white diamonds? Though the gemstones are not too common in the United States, they can be found in a handful of mines. Emerald Hollow Mine is the only of these that is open to the public. You can dig for the gemstones on a surface mine or pan for them in the creek.What stone is light pink? ›
Rose quartz is a beautiful, light pink gem. This stone is perfect for jewelry because it is strong and inexpensive. Rose quartz jewelry isn't inherently valuable, but the versatile shade makes for many gorgeous jewelry pieces. Rose quartz is one of the most positive gemstones you will find.
Today, the rarest emeralds are found in Muzo, a mine nestled in the lush foothills of the Colombian Andes, but deposits can also be found in Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Australia, India, Austria, and Mozambique.What is the rarest ore in Minecraft? ›
Emerald Ore is the rarest ore to date in Minecraft (25 times more so than Diamond Ore, while almost always spawning in only one-block veins). When mined (with an Iron Pickaxe or higher), it drops an Emerald; the only implemented use of Emeralds to date is for trading with Villagers.How many emeralds spawn per chunk? ›
In a world there are about 0.2 Emerald ores per chunk. It will only generate in locations which would have otherwise been stone - it is thus possible for as few as 2 to 0 emeralds to generate in a chunk.