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 17 per vein and are extremely common underground. Coal ore looks like stone (as seen below) but with black marks in it, so it's easier to distinguish from the surrounding stone blocks.
Coal is one of the most important resources in Minecraft (despite being extremely common, and also able to spawn in veins of 30 or more if two veins are spawned next to each other), and it's 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 mobs 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 ingots, and acquiring blaze rods requires a player to kill blazes, coal is the most efficient fuel to use to smelt items.
|Incorrect tool||Correct tool||Fortune I||Fortune II||Fortune III||Silk Touch|
|Nothing (100%)||1 Coal (100%)||1
2 Coal (33%)
2 Coal (25%)
3 Coal (25%)
2 Coal (20%)
3 Coal (20%)
4 Coal (20%)
|1 Coal Ore (100%)|
Coal Ore requires a pickaxe to harvest, otherwise it will drop nothing.
|Breaking time[note 1]|
- Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.
- 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 one piece of coal.
- If obtained in the inventory, coal ore can not be smelted in a furnace.
- Coal can come in veins of up to 17, and with the Fortune enchantment, can yield up to 1–2 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.