Amethyst isn't the only new block introduced in Minecraft's Caves & Cliffs update, but it's certainly the most eye catching.
Encountering an underground geode is a genuinely breathtaking experience, but there's more to these purple stones than just their good looks. They can also be used to craft a few select but unique items.
- Where to find amethyst in Minecraft
- Types of amethyst in Minecraft
- Crafting with amethyst in Minecraft
Where to find amethyst in Minecraft
Amethysts are actually a series of mineable resources in Minecraft, but all variants spawn in the same location: geodes.
Geodes are hollow underground structures, and are surprisingly easy to spot. They're usually quite large — you can often quite comfortably walk inside one as soon as you discover it — and emit a low purple light. They also emit pleasing twinkly sounds to match their sparkly appearance.
In other words, they contrast quite sharply with the rocks around them. They can spawn in locations where they're visible from the surface, and can potentially be found in any Overworld biome.
With the new 1.17 update installed, it's possible for geodes to spawn into caves you've already explored, so finding one might be a simple case of looking around in familiar areas.
If you do go digging for one, however, there are a few signs to be on the look-out for that you're on the right track. If you're familiar with real amethyst geodes, you'll probably know that they have several different mineral layers, giving them their distinctive appearance.
Minecraft geodes are no different. Your first indication that a geode is nearby is hitting the outer layer of smooth basalt. Within that is a layer of calcite. Get through that and you'll hit the amethyst.
Types of amethyst in Minecraft
There's no single resource called amethyst in Minecraft. Instead, amethyst comes in several forms with slightly different appearances and uses.
- Budding Amethyst: This block is recognisable by the subtle cross-shape on its sides. It drops nothing when mined.
- Amethyst Bud: The juvenile form of the amethyst cluster. They have three growth stages prior to becoming fully grown. They drop nothing when mined.
- Amethyst Block: Can be obtained by mining it with a diamond, iron, or netherite pickaxe.
- Amethyst Cluster: The fully grown version of an Amethyst Bud. Can be obtained by mining it with any pickaxe using the Silk Touch enchantment.
- Amethyst Shard: Mined from Amethyst Clusters, this is the form of amethyst used for crafting. Mining yield will depend on the tool you use: a standard tool or item will drop two shards; diamond, iron, or netherite pickaxes will drop four; while tools with Fortune enchantments have the chance to drop up to 16 shards. A Silk Touch-enabled tool will drop the cluster itself rather than shards.
Crafting with amethyst in Minecraft
There are currently three crafting recipes which require amethysts as ingredients:
- Block of Amethyst: A decorative block made from four amethyst shards. Basically you're sticking a bunch of shards back together to recreate the interior layer of the geode. Nice if you want to recreate a geode cave for aesthetic purposes (they are very pretty).
- Tinted Glass: Combining four amethyst shards with one piece of glass yields two tinted glass blocks. These are visually opaque but behave in-game as though they are completely light-proof. They are not airtight, unlike regular glass.
- Spyglass: Combining an amethyst shard with two copper ingots creates a Spyglass. This item can be used to view and zoom in on far-away locations. There are three Advancements associated with this item, granted for looking at a Parrot, a Ghast, and an Ender Dragon through the spyglass.
Curious about what else is new in Caves & Cliffs? Why not have a look at our guide to taming axolotls, one of the cute new mobs in the update.
For more Minecraft, check out our guide to the best world seeds you can play right now.
Or if you’re interested in customising your game, you might like our guide to the best Minecraft mods in 2021.