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This article is about the block. For the terrain feature that is made up of ores, see Ore (feature). For the blackstone block mistakenly called an ore, see Gilded Blackstone. For the mineral commonly mistaken as an ore, see Amethyst Shard. For the terrain feature that has iron or copper ores, see Ore vein.
All of the current ores as of the Caves & Cliffs update
Ores isolated down to bedrock
The figures show the ore distribution by layer in Java Edition 1.18.2
This graph shows the actual amount of ancient debris found in a relatively small but untapped world as of Java Edition 20w06a
Ore distribution introduced in 1.18

An ore is any uncommon rock-type block used to obtain specific resources.


Ore blocks are primarily collected for crafting purposes, such as for tools, weapons, armor, and redstone circuits. Refined ore can also be combined to create a block of the material's type.

Most ores drop their resource when mined, and require a Silk Touch pickaxe to drop themselves.

Smelting ingredient

Ingredients Smelting recipe
Any ore + Any fuel
Raw Iron or
Raw Copper or
Raw Gold +
Any fuel


Ores can be smelted faster using a blast furnace.

It is not efficient to mine with Silk Touch and then smelt an ore block that normally drops multiple pieces of its resource, because smelting these ores yields less experience and only 1 piece of the resource. Nether gold ore is the only exception, as each ore block drops an average of 8.8 gold nuggets even when mined with Fortune III, which is less than a guaranteed gold ingot obtained from smelting the ore obtained using Silk Touch.

Note Blocks

All types of ores can be placed under note blocks to produce "bass drum" sounds.


The following is the distribution of ores according to the altitude (layers are number of blocks above the lowest layer of bedrock) in the Overworld and the Nether.


For the pre-1.17 ore distribution, see Ore/Pre-1.17 distribution.
For the 1.17 ore distribution, see Ore/Pre-1.18 distribution.
Coal[a] Copper Lapis Lazuli Iron Gold Redstone Diamond Emerald[b]
Stone variant Coal Ore JE5.png Copper Ore JE2.png Lapis Lazuli Ore JE3.png Iron Ore JE6.png Gold Ore JE5.png Redstone Ore JE4.png Diamond Ore JE5.png Emerald Ore JE4 BE3.png
Deepslate variant[c] Deepslate Coal Ore JE1.png Deepslate Copper Ore JE1.png Deepslate Lapis Lazuli Ore JE2.png Deepslate Iron Ore JE2.png Deepslate Gold Ore JE2.png Deepslate Redstone Ore JE2.png Deepslate Diamond Ore JE2.png Deepslate Emerald Ore JE1.png
Raw resource Coal.png Raw Copper.png Lapis Lazuli.png Raw Iron.png Raw Gold.png Redstone Dust.png Diamond.png Emerald.png
Refined resource Copper Ingot.png Iron Ingot.png Gold Ingot.png
Manufactured product - - Blue Dye.png Iron Nugget.png Gold Nugget.png - - -
Mineral block Block of Coal.png Block of Copper.png Lapis Lazuli Block.png Block of Iron.png Block of Gold.png Block of Redstone.png Block of Diamond.png Block of Emerald.png
Raw mineral block Block of Raw Copper.png Block of Raw Iron.png Block of Raw Gold.png
Minimum pickaxe tier required Wooden Stone Iron
Found in biome Any Dripstone
Any Badlands[e] Any Mountains
Windswept Hills
Abundance Very common Common Very common Uncommon Common Rare Common Uncommon Rare Uncommon
Total range 0 to 320 -16 to 112 -64 to 64 -64 to 320 -64 to 32 -64 to 256 -64 to 16 -16 to 320
Most found in layers 95 and 136 48 -1 15 and 232 -16 32 to 256 -59 236
None at layers -64 to -1 -64 to -17 and 113 to 320 65 to 320 73 to 79 33 to 320 257 to 320 15 to 320 16 to 320 -64 to -17
Generation attempts per chunk 20 (0 to 192),

30 (136 to 320)

16 (-16 to 112) 2 (-32 to 32),

4 (-64 to 64)

90 (80 to 384),

10 (-24 to 56), 10 (-64 to 72)

4 (-64 to 32),

1 per 2 chunks (-64 to -48), 50 (32 to 256) (badlands)

4 (-64 to 15),

8 (-96 to -32)

7 (small blobs), 4 (midsize blobs), 1 per 9 chunks (large blobs) (-144 to 16) 100 (-16 to 480)
Air exposure reduced exposure by 50% full exposure no exposure on some attempts full exposure reduced exposure on some attempts by 50% full exposure reduced exposure by 70% full exposure
Can replace[f]



The Nether

Nether Quartz Nether Gold Ancient Debris
Ore block Nether Quartz Ore.png Nether Gold Ore.png Ancient Debris.png
Raw resource Nether Quartz.png Gold Nugget.png
Refined resource Gold Ingot.png Netherite Scrap.png
Manufactured - Gold Nugget.png Netherite Ingot.png
Mineral block Block of Quartz.png Block of Gold.png Block of Netherite.png
Minimum pickaxe
tier required
Wooden Diamond
Found in biome Any Nether
Abundance Very Common Common Very Rare
Most found in layers 10-114 15 13-17[g]
Commonly up to layers 120 95 23
Rare on layers 123-125 96-116 22-119
None at or above 128 117 120
Can replace Netherrack


  1. This refers to coal ore blocks spawned in blobs and not as parts of fossils or mansion forges.
  2. Instead of multi-block blobs, emerald ore is placed in scattered blocks.
  3. Deepslate variants only generate in the deepslate under layer 0.
  4. Copper ore blobs generate in larger sizes in this biome.
  5. Gold ore has increased frequency in this biome.
  6. Deepslate variants replace only deepslate and tuff.
  7. Unlike most other ores, ancient debris' frequency peaks at layer 15, and quickly tapers off above and below.


Java Edition Classic
May 21, 2009Notch shows interest in adding ores.
0.0.14aMay 23, 2009Added Coal Ore, Iron Ore and Gold Ore. They can be found in veins of two hundreds in average.
releaseOres could be found exposed only in amounts ranging from roughly 10 to 30 in a blob.
0.26 SURVIVAL TESTMining an ore now gives the corresponding block of it.
Java Edition Indev
0.3120100128Added Diamond Ore.
20100201-2Ores can no longer be mined without a pickaxe.
Java Edition Infdev
20100320Random ores are now placed randomly around the world.
20100327Ores now replace stone upon a world reload.
20100330The change of replacing stone upon a world reload has been reverted.
Java Edition Alpha
v1.0.1Added Redstone Ore.
Java Edition Beta
1.2Added Lapis Lazuli Ore.
Increased the sizes of iron and diamond ore blobs.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4Coal, lapis lazuli, redstone, and diamond ore now also drop as ore blocks with Silk Touch.
May 21, 2012Jeb released a screenshot of himself testing the trading system,[1] showcasing Ruby Ore.[2]
1.3.112w21aAdded Emerald Ore, which replaced Ruby ore.
12w22aAll ores (except iron and gold) now drop experience points when mined.
1.513w01aAdded Nether Quartz Ore.
1.1620w06aAdded Ancient Debris.
20w11aAdded Nether Gold Ore.
20w12aNether gold ore now drops gold nuggets instead of itself.
October 3, 2020Copper ore is revealed at Minecraft Live 2020.
1.1720w45aAdded Copper Ore.
21w07aChanged ore distribution. See Ore/Pre-1.17 distribution for the old distribution.
February 17, 2021Henrik Kniberg showcases deepslate (then grimstone) variants of Overworld ore.
21w08aAdded Deepslate Iron Ore, Deepslate Gold Ore, Deepslate Diamond Ore, Deepslate Redstone Ore and Deepslate Lapis Lazuli Ore.
The new ore distribution has been tweaked.
21w10aAdded Deepslate Coal Ore, Deepslate Emerald Ore and Deepslate Copper Ore.
They don't generate in Survival mode as they are intended for map and datapack creators use.
Fossils that generate below Y=0 now generate with deepslate diamond ore.
Tweaked again the ore distribution.
21w13aIron ore and diamond ore distribution has been slightly tweaked.
Copper ore now generates uniformly between levels 0 and 63 instead of generating with a normal curve from 0 to 96.
21w14aIf iron, gold and copper ores are broken without Silk Touch, they will drop raw metal instead.
21w15aAll of the changes to Ore distribution made in the last few snapshots have been reverted and moved to the prototype data pack.
21w16aDeepslate emerald ore now generates naturally.
Added ore veins in the prototype data pack, which contain copper ore and deepslate iron ore.
21w17aDeepslate coal ore and Deepslate copper ore now generate naturally.
1.18Experimental Snapshot 1All previous changes to ore distribution from the prototype data pack have now been implemented into the base game.
Deepslate emerald ore and deepslate coal ore no longer generate naturally.
experimental snapshot 4Increased the size of copper ore blobs in dripstone caves.
Increased the amount of iron ore in mountains.
21w38aCopper ore now generates up to Y 95, matching the latest ore distribution chart.
Lapis lazuli ore now generates in blobs instead of being spread out.
21w40aDeepslate emerald ore can now generate naturally.
21w44aDeepslate coal ore can now generate naturally, again.
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.1.0Added Coal Ore, Iron Ore, Gold Ore, Diamond Ore, Redstone Ore and Lapis Lazuli Ore.
v0.3.0Coal ore now drops coal.
Lapis lazuli ore now drops lapis lazuli.
v0.3.2Diamond ore now drops a diamond.
Iron and gold ores are now smeltable into ingots.
v0.8.0build 2Redstone ore now drops redstone dust.
v0.9.0build 1Added Emerald Ore.
v0.12.1build 1Added Nether Quartz Ore.
Mining ores now gives experience.
Bedrock Edition
1.16.0beta Ancient Debris.
beta Nether Gold Ore.
Caves & Cliffs (experimental)beta Copper Ore.
1.16.210 releaseRemoved Caves & Cliffs toggle, which removes copper ore.
beta Copper ore.
beta ore can no longer be randomly rotated.
1.16.220 releaseRemoved Caves & Cliffs toggle, which removes copper ore again.
beta Copper ore.
1.17.0beta Deepslate Coal Ore, Deepslate Copper Ore, Deepslate Iron Ore, Deepslate Gold Ore, Deepslate Diamond Ore, Deepslate Redstone Ore, Deepslate Lapis Lazuli Ore and Deepslate Emerald Ore
Ore is generated as normal, when the ore is generated where Deepslate has been generated, deepslate ore is generated instead.
beta iron, gold and copper ores are broken without Silk Touch, they will drop raw metal instead.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU1 1.00 Patch 11.0.1Added Coal Ore, Iron Ore, Gold Ore, Diamond Ore, Redstone Ore and Lapis Lazuli Ore.
TU7All ores (except iron and gold) now drop experience points when mined.
TU14 1.04 Added Emerald Ore and Nether Quartz Ore.
TU43CU33 1.36 Patch 13
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Added Coal Ore, Iron Ore, Gold Ore, Diamond Ore, Redstone Ore, Lapis Lazuli Ore, Emerald Ore and Nether Quartz Ore.


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


  • Since it is exclusive to only two categories of overworld biomes (mountains and windswept hills), emerald ore is actually rarer than ancient debris per chunk.
  • The texture of ores were changed in 1.17 to make them distinct for color blind players.[3]


Caves and Cliffs development


  1. "... and this is why I'm playing with Testificates: (work in progress, as usual)"@jeb_ (Jens Bergensten) on Twitter, May 21, 2012
  2. snapshot 12w21a/b lang/en_US.lang: Ore
  3. "Adjusted the new ores. If you are color blind, please give feedback - and state what kind of color blindness you have :)"@JasperBoerstra (Jasper Boerstra) on Twitter, February 18, 2021