Coal Ore is the most common ore, with the largest vein, in Minecraft, and it can be found on the surface in caves and cliffs while it can also be found anywhere underground from the dirt layer to Bedrock. On the surface, they are usually found in veins of 3 or 4, but they can have as many as 24 per vein and is extremely common underground. Coal looks like stone (as seen below) but with black marks in it, so it is easier to distinguish from the surrounding stone blocks. Its block ID is 16.
Coal is one of the most important resources in Minecraft (despite being extremely common, and also able to spawn in veins of 40 or more), and it is essential for a player's first days in a World, as coal can be placed on top of a stick in a crafting table to make torches, which will prevent monsters from spawning in a player's house and help a player see in a cave.
Coal, similar to Redstone, cannot be compressed into an ore block without the help of the Silk Touch enchantment on a pickaxe. Coal is also the fourth longest-lasting fuel for furnaces after lava buckets, blocks of coal, and Blaze Rods, respectively, with each piece of coal one able to smelt 8 items and lasting for 80 seconds before burning out. Since lava buckets are hard to obtain and require 3 iron, and acquiring blaze rods requires a player to kill Blazes, coal is the most efficient fuel to use to smelt items.
- In Minecraft Indev, when it was destroyed without a pickaxe, it would drop a single piece of coal, and three when mined with a pickaxe. Now, destroying coal ore without a pickaxe yields nothing, while destroying it with a pickaxe yields 1 piece of coal.
- If obtained in the inventory, coal ore can not be smelted in a furnace.
- Coal can come in veins of over 20, and with the Fortune enchantment, can yield up to 2–3 stacks from these large veins.
- When mined, coal ore has a chance to give Experience to a player.
- In Minecraft Classic and Survival Test, a player got Stone Slabs by mining the coal ore. This might happened because coal did not exist in Minecraft Classic, and stone slabs were a placeholder.