Everything you need to know about diamonds in Minecraft

Minecraft diamonds - Steve holds up a diamond in a pile of diamond blocks
(Image credit: Mojang)

Where can you find a diamond in Minecraft? Diamonds are the cornerstone of Minecraft’s resources, critical in the blocky sandbox for one simple reason: they are the second-most-durable material (formerly first—sorry, diamonds) for crafting tools and weapons. Fortunately, diamonds are a rare, but not impossible, resource to dig up. 

Before you can mine for diamonds in Minecraft you’ll need to secure the right tools. A plain iron pickaxe will do, but springing for Minecraft enchantments will help you get more diamonds out of each ore block. The most important—but expensive—is the Fortune enchantment. This will yield you double or even as much as quadruple the diamonds per block, so it’s well worth the work

Here's everything else you need to know about getting your hands on Minecraft diamonds. That includes where you’ll find diamonds, what pickaxe type you’ll need, and even some handy seeds that have a surplus of them ready to roll off the pickaxe and into your pack.

Which Minecraft diamond level do you need to descend to?

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Minecraf 1.18 key art

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The best diamond mining level is -53, since it avoids all the biggest annoyances of going deeper while still giving you the best chance to find diamond ore. With the big rework to caves in Minecraft’s 1.18 update, diamonds got shuffled around along with all the other gems and ores. 

Nowadays you can obtain diamonds anywhere below layer 16, but diamonds get more and more common the further down you go, peaking between layers -50 and -64, with -58 and -59 being the best to mine out to avoid unbreakable bedrock, and -53 letting you avoid the lava layer that starts at -54. In addition, diamond ore now also appears in deep slate, so you can still find diamonds in blobs inside both tuff and deep slate. The Minecraft diamond ore blocks—in both stone and deep slate—are speckled with small white and blue square sparkles, surrounded by gray or dark gray stone. You can check your current layer by accessing the debug screen by pressing F3. 

There are several different methods for mining, but always follow one simple rule: don't dig straight down. Here are some techniques you can try: 

  • Caving: find yourself a cave at the correct depth and wander it in search of riches, just be careful of all the mobs that can spawn.
  • Staircase: dig the earth into steps that allow you to descend and ascend easily, if you’re fancy you can even add actual cobblestone stairs.
  • Mine shaft: construct a vertical shaft down to a base and use a ladder to go up and down.
  • Branch mining: make 2x2 level tunnels that branch out in the directions you need.

What Minecraft diamond pickaxe to use

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Once you’re faced with your newfound riches, you’ve got to dig them up. First, make sure to secure the area—so you don’t lose your newfound wealth before you’ve really claimed it. Clear the area of mobs and make sure it’s well lit. Then, you’ll want to mine away all the surrounding blocks to expose the full vein of diamond ore. Make sure there’s no lava present either, or douse it with a water bucket, as nothing is more sad than freshly mined diamonds getting torched by a dip in lava. Once everything is safe, you’ll need a trusty pickaxe that’s at least made of iron—or better materials like diamond or netherite—since weaker pickaxes will just break the block and give you nothing at all.  

How to craft a Minecraft diamond sword

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Now that you’ve secured the goodies, it's time to start enjoying them, which means crafting with them. Diamonds are used to craft lots of useful—and useless—items, but the first one everyone needs is the diamond pickaxe because it lets you mine obsidian. You’ll need a pair of sticks and three diamonds, just like every other pickaxe, but a lot more sparkly.

The second item to craft is the diamond sword, durable and powerful, the only stronger blade is one made of netherite in the game. Craft one by placing one stick and two diamonds into the grid—the diamond sword should appear on the right of your screen. Just click on it and drag it into your inventory and you can get to chopping.

How else can you get diamonds?

It can take a toll on you being deep underground for so long in search of treasure. But it’s hard to resist the lure and usefulness of diamonds, so what about other ways to acquire diamonds besides mining? Thankfully, Minecraft has a few other methods to nab some diamonds: 

  • Check inside chests in villages, where there’s a small chance to find diamonds.
  • You’ll have a great chance to find diamonds inside the chests in desert and jungle temples, abandoned mineshafts, shipwrecks, and other naturally spawning structures.
  • A treasure map can lead you to buried treasure that includes diamonds.
  • You can trade emeralds to villagers to get certain diamond items.

Check out these diamond-rich seeds

If you want to walk down easy street for your diamonds, you’ll want to get one of the many good Minecraft seeds out there that come with wealthy stashes of the shiniest goods. If you’re new to Minecraft, seeds are a string of numbers you use when creating a new world that will generate the same world each time, and they’re very handy for rare and unusual biomes, structures, or just getting rich quick. Here’s some of the better seeds for diamonds:  

Rachel Watts

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.

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