Some text from Minecraft Wiki used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0
|First Appearance||0.0.14a (2)|
|Type of Block||Solid block|
|Data Values||Hex: 10 Dec: 16|
Coal is one of the most important resources in Minecraft (despite being extremely common, being able to spawn in veins of 40 or more) and is essential for the 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 monsters from spawning in the player's house and help them see.
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 , and acquiring Blaze Rods requires you to kill Blazes , coal is the most efficient fuel to use to smelt items.