Ore is a block type in Minecraft. Ores are primarily collected for crafting purposes, such as for tools and armor. Redstone Ore is used as a type of "wiring" that can be used to create Redstone circuits, compasses, clocks, and other items. Ore can also be combined to create a block of the material's type for iron, gold, diamond, redstone, lapis lazuli, emerald and Nether quartz. Blocks are hard to make, as they require nine pieces of material to create (blocks of quartz, however, require 4 Nether quartz crystals).
In Minecraft, the following is the distribution of ores according to the altitude (layers are number of blocks above the lowest layer of bedrock). As of Beta 1.8, the highest layers that Gold, Redstone, Diamond, and Lapis Lazuli can be found on are now two layers lower. The graph on the right shows the ore distribution in 1.1. The change to the 256-block worlds in the weekly releases before 1.2 did not affect world generation, as seen in this interactive chart.
|Ore type||Most found on...||Commonly found up to...||Rare on layers...||None at or above...||Pickaxe needed for drop||Found in...|
|Coal||Layers 5-52||Layer 128||Layer 129-131||Layer 132||Any pickaxe||Overworld|
|Iron||Layers 5-54||Layer 64||Layer 65-67||Layer 68||Stone, Iron or Diamond||Overworld|
|Lapis Lazuli||Layers 14-16 [note 1]||Layer 23||Layer 31-33||Layer 34||Stone, Iron or Diamond||Overworld|
|Gold||Layers 5-29||Layer 29||Layer 31-33||Layer 34||Iron or Diamond||Overworld|
|Diamond||Layers 5-12||Layer 12||Layer 13-15||Layer 16||Iron or Diamond||Overworld|
|Redstone||Layers 5-12||Layer 12||Layer 13-15||Layer 16||Iron or Diamond||Overworld|
|Emerald[note 2]||Layers 5-29||Layer 29||Layer 30-32||Layer 33||Iron or Diamond||Overworld, only the Extreme Hills biome|
|Nether Quartz[note 3]||Layers 15-120||Layer 120||Layer 124-125||Layer 126||Any pickaxe||Nether|
Unlike other ores, lapis lazuli's frequency peaks around layer 15, and slowly tapers off above and below.
Instead of multi-block veins, emerald ore is placed in scattered blocks.
Quartz spawns equally in all parts of the nether. (Not counting lava and bedrock.)
Redstone has the same layer and line-size statistics as Diamond, but is generated 8 times per chunk as opposed to 1.
In chunks generated prior to Beta 1.6, ore also varies depending on the section of the map it is generated in due to a bug (fixed in 1.6) in the spawning algorithm. In the quadrant southwest of the point (0,0), ore spawns approximately 50% more than in the quadrant northeast of the point (0,0). The quadrants northwest and southeast of the point (0,0) split the difference between the extremes. (See image below) Any chunks generated after Beta 1.6 do not show this disparity as the spawning algorithm has been fixed. The bug fix did not modify any already existing chunks.
 Ore varieties
 Finished raw materials
 Craftable blocks
|Classic||The player could only find exposed Coal, Gold, and Iron in amounts ranging from roughly 10 to 30 in a vein. Since there is the lack of a crafting system, these can only be mined for fun and will not yield any useful materials.|
|0.31||Diamond Ore was added to the game.|
|1.0.1||Redstone Ore was added to the game.|
|1.2||Lapis Lazuli Ore was added to the game.|
|1.6||Bug fixed where ore was more or less common depending on the quadrant.|
|1.8||The highest layer for some ores was lowered by 2.|
|1.9pre4||Coal, Diamond, Redstone, and Lapis Lazuli can now also drop as ore blocks with Silk Touch.|
|1.3.1||12w21a||Emerald Ore was added to the game. The Emeralds it yields can be used to trade with villagers.|
|12w22a||All ores except Gold and Iron drop experience points when mined.|
|Emerald ore spawns by itself, instead of in veins.|
|1.5||13w01a||Nether Quartz Ore was added to the game.|
- Iron and Gold are the only ores that drop the actual ore block when mined without the Silk Touch Enchantment. All of the other ores drop the usable item when mined.
- Ore veins do not pass through chunk borders.
- Lapis Lazuli, Nether Quartz, and Emerald are the only ores that do not have the same texture as the other ores. All of the other ores have the same texture, but with a different color.
- Gold ore is the only ore that can't be mined by its own pickaxe.
- Iron, Gold and Diamond are the ores that can be used to make a tool.
- Coal is the only ore that cannot be crafted into a placeable block in 1.5. But as of snapshot 13w18a, coal can be crafted into a placeable block.
- Nether Quartz is the only ore whose texture does not resemble stone, as it is the only ore found in the Nether.
- Nether Quartz Ore is the only ore where 4 items make a block instead of 9, and it is the only ore where its block can't be crafted back into the item.
- In the code, dirt and gravel are ores.
- Fortune adds drops to Redstone Ore, but it multiplies Lapis Lazuli Ore drops.