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It has previously been shown that mining for diamonds with a diamond pickaxe will cause you to run out of diamonds - you don't mine as many as you use up.

However now that diamond pickaxes can be bought (for 10 emeralds), is mining for emerald ore with a diamond pickaxe sustainable?

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Wait a minute... Your own answer to the linked question suggests it is sustainable to mine for diamonds with a diamond pickaxe, as well as the accepted answer and my answer. I'm confused... =( –  gnovice May 25 '12 at 14:47

2 Answers 2

The first answer in the link you posted tells otherwise, mining with a diamond pickaxe for diamonds works,

1563*4*0.12% = 7.5

and you only need 3 for a pickaxe. The second poster didn't involve the fact that for each block you mine you can see 3-4 new blocks, which just might be diamonds. What he did was calculating the chance if you are mining quarry style and mine all blocks and not only the ones you need to see what all blocks contain.

BTW to improve your diamond mining I would suggest you get yourself a fortune diamond/gold pickaxe and only use it for diamonds.

Also mining for Emeralds is not worth it:

1563*4*0.12%/40 = 0.18756 Emeralds per Diamond pickaxe

Emerald Ore is approximately 1/40 as common as Diamond Ore (40 times more rare then Diamond) (174 Emerald Ore in 2382 chunks, compared to 6637 Diamond Ore). Source

And you need 10 to 11 of them. So you need around 53 pickaxes...

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Good point about fortune. However, this is an answer to the linked question, not this one! –  fredley May 25 '12 at 13:27
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Not really. As you have appareantly used the second answer and not the first (accepted) answer. Since that one clearly states that you won't run out of diamonds, while you wrote: "It has previously been shown that mining for diamonds with a diamond pickaxe will cause you to run out of diamonds - you don't mine as many as you use up." So it was more of a correction of your statement. –  cedi May 25 '12 at 14:03
    
Your answer doesn't mention emeralds at all! –  fredley May 25 '12 at 14:06
    
Now it does.... –  cedi May 25 '12 at 14:12
up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, it is not. Emerald ore is 1/40th as common as diamond ore, and you need more than three times as much.

Trading for emeralds is probably a better bet though, since some items that villagers will buy can be farmed fully automatically (sugar cane -> paper, or mob drops). These can be accumulated very rapidly and traded to earn emeralds to exchange for diamond pickaxes.

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