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Emerald Ore

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Emerald Ore
Emerald Ore.png
Emerald Ore

Solid Block







Blast resistance





An iron pickaxe or better is required to mine this block




Yes (64)



First appearances

See History


Mined: 3–7
Smelted: 1



Data value

dec: 129 hex: 81 bin: 10000001



Emerald ore is the rarest mineral block in the game, which drops emerald when mined.


The emerald ore block itself (rather than its emerald drops) can be obtained by mining it with an iron or diamond pickaxe with the Silk Touch enchantment.

Emerald Ore
Hardness 3
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 15
Wooden 7.5
Stone 3.75
Iron 0.75
Diamond 0.5625
Golden 1.25
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

Natural generation[edit]

Emerald ore is only generated in extreme hills biomes (which actually contain more emerald ore chunks than diamond ore chunks). Due to the nature of the generation algorithm, it may be found a short distance into adjacent biomes, but always within the same chunk as an extreme hills biome.[1] It attempts to generate 3-8 times per each chunk, generating anywhere between layers 4 and 32, meaning it can occur as high up as gold can.

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 0 to 2 emeralds to generate in a chunk. Found as individual blocks, rather than veins, it can be encountered more commonly than gold, which has a similar range.


Emerald ore drops 1 emerald and 3-7 experience when mined with an iron pickaxe or better. Mining with a Fortune enchanted pickaxe will increase yields to 1-4 emeralds. If mined with any other tool, it drops 5-7 experience.

Smelting ingredient[edit]

Name Ingredients Smelting recipe


Emerald Ore +
Any fuel

Emerald Ore Grid layout Furnace Progress.png Emerald
Grid layout Fire.png
CoalCharcoalOak WoodOak Wood Planks



Official release
1.3.1 12w21a On May 21, 2012, the week before the release of 12w21a, Jeb released a screenshot of himself testing the trading system.[2] At this time, what would become emerald ore was ruby ore.[3] For the release of 12w21a, the block was changed to an emerald ore. The texture for emerald ore remained unchanged, as Jeb forgot to commit the new texture in the Snapshot.[4] As this item was not announced before the Snapshot was released, most translations call emerald "diamond." Emerald Ore generates in veins of up to 10 blocks.
12w21b The texture was corrected from Removed Ruby Ore.png to Emerald Ore.png. The previous ruby texture remains as "ruby.png". Translations of emerald as diamond were also corrected. An analysis of a 500×500 Extreme Hills biome with MCedit gave the following ore distributions: The graphs show that the distribution of all ores except for lapis lazuli is even in a certain range and falls off sharply at the borders. While the total amount of emerald is with 3386, even higher than the amount of diamonds (2997), the ore is spread out over double the height range, meaning that at a certain level the chance for finding an ore was just about half of the chance of finding a diamond ore, effectively making it twice as rare when tunnel mining.
12w22a Emerald ore would have no longer generated naturally.[5] This was due to the large number of complaints by users about emerald ore's rarity, despite Jeb's wishes for it to only be a "nice find." If this change had occurred, it would have still been available in the Creative mode menu.[6] However, Jeb eventually decided against it and added emerald ore back into natural generation after more community response.[7] Jeb later decided to keep emeralds spawning as he thought it would be a "nice surprise"; Emerald ore now only generates in veins of 1. Because of this, it is much more practical to obtain emeralds through trading.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.9.0 build 1 Added emerald ore.
Console Edition
TU14 Added emerald ore.


Issues relating to "Emerald Ore" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • Emeralds are used as the core currency within villages. They can also be obtained by trading a specified item for an emerald.
  • Even though emerald ore is rarer than diamond ore, emerald ore is found more often in the extreme hills than diamond. This is because it is scattered.
  • In Pocket Edition emerald ore can be mined with a stone pickaxe.



  1. Emerald ore in Minecraft 1.3.2, generated just outside an extreme hills biome but within the same chunk as it.
  2. Snapshot 12w21a/b lang/en_US.lang: Ore