Here you are, sitting at your computer late at night, fingers hurting from clicking. Going through endless amounts of stone and dirt, falling into caves – or worse, lava… looking for that glint of blue within the dark depths. And when you finally find some and think Oh my god!! – all (well, at least most) excitement evaporates in a second when you see that it’s only 1 block. That’s just the agony so many players face everyday while mining for the ultimate reward: diamonds.

There are worse scenarios, of course. For example, finding them, then falling into lava (a common sight within the Minecraft world, considering that diamonds usually spawn near lava). Or not finding any at all. Or falling into lava and losing everything having not even found any. The list is endless. So my question today is – what are diamonds? A fighter’s worthy protector… or a miner’s worst nightmare?

Well, they are both. Here’s why…

Firstly, as mentioned before, there’s the case of finding them. I’m sure most of you know the pain. And ok, you can find diamonds in chests in villages, mineshafts etc – But that can be hard too! So basically, either way you’re in for (Minecraft!) days of exploring. And, no, cheating your way to diamonds doesn’t count! Ha, you thought I wouldn’t say that..! You can, of course, be on a server that might, for example, give you diamonds in reward for something. But that’s kind of cheating in a way, so let’s stick to normal survival, shall we?

Anyway, what if you already have the gems – Is it worth it? Some would call this a stupid question, but consider this: the time and resources needed to find a single ore, the risks, dangers… And not just the risk of dying in the mine with the ores in your inventory – and losing all your other precious iron pickaxes, torches etc. But also the danger you face in your apparently invincible diamond armour, slashing with your powerful diamond sword. Because one day, even that won’t be enough – and the durability or, worse, your health could go down and down… So don’t show off in your new armor too much! And if it does go wrong, or you’re one of those people  who don’t want to risk it, even for the biscuit, then iron armor and weapon are just as good! Well, best ones out there except for diamond anyway.

In the end, here’s what I think.

Am I trying to say that diamonds are useless? Of course not (but it’s up to you what you think)! But the question is not if they’re worth getting, but if you can afford to do so. Diamonds are (or can be, if you’re not very lucky) a hard and time-consuming business, but the pictured outcome of every underground expedition is what keeps the miners pouring in. So I’d say you should go for it, try to find the light blue ore – if you can. If you’re prepared. Because if you do happen to gather enough for a whole set of armour and tools, then it was obviously worth it. But it depends on many factors, including your knowledge! Well, kind of – see below.

Here are a few tips, in case you might need them.

Firstly, please don’t be one of those players who’ve only just spawned and are is already getting their fingers dirty mining. Again, unless you’re lucky or in the right place, it doesn’t really work. From my experience I can tell you that the saying “forewarned is forearmed” is completely right. Every miner should have those few essentials on them at all times: a pickaxe (duh!), plenty of torches and food, a sword and armour to fend off monsters. A crafting table and wood, bucket, and bed can come in handy too – depending on how long you’ll be mining for. Anything else, such as a furnace or chest, you should be able to make yourself with the resources you took or gathered.

Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.

Wise, and true, quote by Miguel de Cervantes. Moving on. Make sure to have the right pickaxe – you need an iron one to mine diamonds. Sorry, a wooden one doesn’t work! And if iron is scarce, use a stone pickaxe for mining, and the iron one only for rare ores. You’ll be surprised how quickly it’ll be gone otherwise!

And that’s all I’ll say – I don’t want to repeat myself. I gave plenty of useful tips in an older post, as well as sharing my mining story, so check that out here for more. And next time you’re down in that mine, consider the things outlined here, and in the older post, if you’re into reading it. Because believe me, you do not want to end up in lava with your most treasured pickaxe Barry, sword called Jeff, and all your other items – whatever..! Or worse, lose your precious lone diamond, Mr Shiny! And good luck to any future diamond-clad fighters… Or unlucky miners. Fingers crossed (Unless they hurt too much from all the clicking!)

Diamonds: a survivor’s friend or foe?
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