How to Find Diamonds in Minecraft

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Diamonds are rare in Minecraft, but it isn’t that difficult to find them. They only spawn at the deepest levels, so you need to grab your best gear and delve deep. You can branch mine or spelunk natural caves, but you have to dig deep to find diamonds in Minecraft one way or another.

Where to Find Diamonds in Minecraft

Minecraft worlds only allow you to dig so deep before you hit unbreakable Bedrock. That level is also known as Y=0 because it’s the bottom of the vertical Y scale in Minecraft coordinates. Diamonds only appear naturally between Y=1 and Y=16, exactly 16 blocks up from the bedrock level.

Diamonds are more abundant the lower you go, so you’re more likely to run into them at Y=5 than Y=16, for example. However, the lowest levels are also more dangerous, as lava lakes frequently spawn between Y=4 and Y=10. So you can drop down to Y=5 if you want a great chance to find diamonds, but there’s a good chance you’ll have lava pour through the ceiling as you mine. If you brave those depths, pack a few fire protection potions just in case.

If you want a good mix between safety and good odds to find diamonds, do your mining at Y=11. This puts you within the range where diamonds can spawn, but lava will typically be found at floor level and won’t flood your mine shafts.

What You Need to Mine For Diamonds in Minecraft

Before you can mine for diamonds, you need to have some gear. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time underground, and you’ll be so deep, it’s a good idea to assemble everything you need before you go hunting. Diamonds are rare; you might be down there for a while.

Here’s a good list of things to gather before you go diamond hunting in Minecraft:

  • Several iron or gold pickaxes.
  • Plenty of torches.
  • Ladders for constructing your vertical mine shaft.
  • Chests to store materials that you mine.

You can enchant your pickaxes at an anvil to yield more diamonds. If you get a good one, do most of your mining with a regular pickaxe, then swap to the enchanted one when you find a vein of diamonds.

How to Find Diamonds in Minecraft

Once you have your gear together, it’s time to go diamond hunting. The easiest option is to pick a spot and start digging down. If you want, you can even start from inside your house for easy access and add a door or trap door and plenty of lighting to keep mobs from getting inside.

Here’s how to find diamonds in Minecraft:

Digging straight down is dangerous, as you may fall into the lava. As a general rule, you never want to mine the block that you are standing on directly.

  1. Pick a spot and start digging.

    A vertical mine shaft in Minecraft.

    If you start digging at the bottom of a ravine, you won’t have to dig as far. Or, if you start from the basement of your house, you'll always have convenient access to your mine.

  2. Dig down to Y=11.

    A mineshaft in Minecraft.

    If you’re playing Java Edition, press F3 to see your coordinates. You can also dig down to bedrock, then count 11 blocks up from there.

  3. As you dig, place torches and ladder segments to light the shaft and provide a way back up.

    A mine shaft in Minecraft.
  4. At the base of your mine shaft, start digging a horizontal shaft.

    A mine shaft in Minecraft.
  5. If you don’t find any diamonds, return to the location you started out.

    Gold in Minecraft.

    You can use short shafts to avoid getting too far from your house or dig as far as you like.

  6. Dig out four blocks at a right angle from your first tunnel.

    Expanding a mine in Minecraft.
  7. Start a new horizontal mine shaft that runs parallel to the first one.

    Parallel mineshafts in Minecraft.

    The wall between parallel shafts should be two blocks thick. A three-block wall also works, but there’s a chance you could miss diamonds.

  8. If you don’t find any diamonds, return to the starting location.

    Parallel mineshafts in Minecraft.
  9. Dig additional parallel horizontal mine shafts until you find diamonds.

    Diamonds in Minecraft.

    If you brought chests with you, place them near your vertical mineshaft and fill them with the ore you gather while looking for diamonds. You'll quickly gain stacks of cobblestone along with redstone, coal, iron, gold, and more.

  10. When you find a vein of diamonds, mine them using an iron or better pickaxe.

    Diamonds in Minecraft.

    If you have a pickaxe with a good enchantment, use it to mine the diamonds.

Where Else Can You Get Diamonds in Minecraft?

While branch mining is the fastest, most foolproof way to find diamonds in Minecraft, it isn’t your only option. If the thought of mindlessly digging endless parallel shafts to find a vein of diamonds bores you to death, you might want to try a different option. These options take longer and aren’t guaranteed to pay off, but they do provide some variety.

Here are the other ways to get diamonds in Minecraft:

  • Spelunk natural caves: Look for natural caves, and traverse them. If a natural cave goes deep enough, you may find veins of diamonds there.
  • Explore abandoned mines: Chests in abandoned mines sometimes contain diamonds in addition to tons of other great loot.
  • Look for villages: Chests in villages can also contain diamonds, so check them if you find them.
  • Go exploring: Several other biomes and unique locations can have chests with diamonds in them. Look for Bastion Remnants, Desert Temples, Jungle Temples, Shipwrecks, and Strongholds. If you’re further in the game, you can also look in Nether Fortresses and End Cities.
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