Diamonds can be a real pain to find, especially in larger quantities. However, there are a few tricks that could help you find diamonds a lot faster.
First it’s important to know where and how diamond ores are spawned when the world is created. Diamond ore can only be found in the bottom 17 layers of the Overworld in small chunks of 2-8 ores. However, it’s not uncommon to find just a single diamond ore, this happens when a cave, dungeons or other land mark is created over the other diamond ores that were attached to it.
By keeping this in mind, creating efficient mineshafts becomes very easy, though it could take a while before you find diamonds, which is only to be expected of such a rare block.
The first thing you want to do is dig down to layer about layer 13, you can tell you’re on layer 13 by pressing F3 in game. A lot of different information will appear on your HUD, but we want the coordinates in the left top corner. The Z coordinate indicates height, so it has to be 13. You could also count upwards from the top layer of bedrock you can find, which is layer 4.
Layer 13 will be where we start out first mineshaft branch. You can also start on layer 14 or 12, it doesn’t matter too much as, we’ll only dig on 3 different levels.
To start out mineshafts, first dig in 1 straight line for as far as you want, it doesn’t matter how far you go, it’s really depends on how much time you have and on how many pickaxes you’ve brought with you.
Once you’ve finished this main tunnel, dig a small (temporary) tunnel, about 2-3 blocks deep, in each side of this main tunnel. However, make sure you leave 3 blocks between each tunnel on the same side. Continue to do this until you’ve reached the end of the main tunnel again. We leave 3 blocks between those new tunnels, because this allows us to find the most diamonds without wasting too much time.
As you can see in the image below, I’ve recreated the tunnel system with wool. The blue wool indicates the blocks you can see while standing in a tunnel. There’s 2 on each side, 1 on top and 1 on the bottom.
Because we know diamonds spawn in at least chunks of 2, any diamond ore caught exactly in the middle (green wool) will usually have another diamond ore next to it (blue wool), which we will be able to see from our tunnel. Diamonds that could spawn out of sight are indicated by the green and red wool. However, the green wool indicates diamond ores that will most likely have another diamond ore block attached to it, which will often be in the position of the blue wool.
It’s possible for a single diamond ore to spawn directly in between your 2 tunnels, though it’s rare and generally not worth the time to try to find it. It’s much more time efficient to simply dig new tunnels and look for larger collections of diamond ore.
The red wool blocks indicate diamonds that could be overlooked, as even if they were connected to other diamond blocks next to it, we wouldn’t be able to see them from our tunnel. It’s not really worth the extra time it takes to check if there’s any diamond ore in those blind spots, simply digging longer tunnels is a lot more time efficient.
It’s also possible diamond ore spawns directly in between your two tunnels, though it’s rare and generally not worth the time to try to find it. It’s much more time efficient to simply dig new tunnels and look for larger collections of diamond ore.
Once you’ve created every tunnel to the sides, it’s time to make those longer. You can dig as far as you want, again, it all depends on how much time you have and the amount of pickaxes you’ve brought.
Once you’ve reached a distance you’re satisfied with in a first tunnel, dig to the sides, this will make sure all the other tunnels will also end up at the same distance as the first tunnel and generally speeds up the process as you don’t have to walk back and forth.
Once you’ve mined enough on level 13, dig down 4 layers to layer 9. Repeat the above steps and then do the same at level 5.
You may have noticed we’ve left a 2 block layer between each floor, this is because diamond ore can be seen from the top, bottom and sides. So if you only leave 1 layer, the floor of the top tunnels and the ceiling of the tunnels below will show the same blocks. This is a lot less efficient.
This method can also be used to dig for other ores, like gold and redstone, though they’re often found while looking for diamonds anyway.