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Fantasy Metals

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Wait, palladium isn't real?note 
In Real Life, a metal is an element of the periodic table which belongs to one of certain groups/columns and has a specific type crystal lattice with free electrons.note  In fiction, especially fantasy, a metal is shiny stuff with wonderful properties like super strength, lightness, magic resistance and so on, often not resembling any of the metals found in the periodic table. Metals that are brittle, soft, flammable, react violently with water or air or are otherwise useless for smithing swords and shields from them never appear in fantasy, despite there being a lot of these in Real Life. This trope (a supertrope to Mithril and Orichalcum) describes the "shiny and wondrous" kind of metals.

Note that this is mostly a Fantasy trope. Science-fiction examples are only good if they are from a work that is "science" in name only (such as four-color comics or space fantasy like Star Wars or Warhammer 40,000); harder-science materials actually explained as high-tech alloys with some verisimilitude aren't. In a nutshell, Wolverine's adamantium and Boba Fett's Mandalorian iron are examples of this trope, but a composite of titanium around a carbon nanotube matrix isn't.

Real Life examples are only allowed if they are in fact occult superstitions (like hard mercury) or well-known hoaxes (like red mercury).

The most often-encountered types of fantasy metal are:

  • Mithril (variously spelled mithral, mythral or mythril): a lightweight, very strong, silvery metal, similar to the real-world metal titanium. The name is Sindarin for "silvery glitter". Appeared in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings as an Infinity Plus One Metal, but in later (post-Tolkien) examples it's a mid-level miracle metal only, above steel but below adamantium.
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  • Orichalcum (variously spelled orichalcon, orihalcon or orichalc): a metal first appearing in Plato's version of the Atlantis myth, where its main feature is being almost, but not quite, as valuable as gold. The name means "mountain copper" in Greek, and it, indeed, often appears the color of copper or bronze. Orichalcum's properties vary heavily from source to source: sometimes its schtick is strength, sometimes high value, sometimes magic resistance, sometimes room-temperature superconductivity. Sometimes it floats.
  • Adamantium (variously spelled adamantine, adamantite or adamant): the name comes from Greek "adamas", diamond. And, indeed, this metal is diamond-hard and much more strong and resilient than diamond to boot. It tends to be even stronger than mithril, although it is usually rather heavy compared to mithril's supernatural lightness. If adamantium isn't of the maaagic! level of indestructibility and is given more down-to-earth properties, then it resembles the real-world metals tungsten and rhenium.
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  • Meteoric iron (variously called sky iron, thunderbolt iron, star iron, and so on) is a real alloy, but its depiction in fantasy is very often a very different metal than it is in reality. The typical "miraculous" meteoric iron is a jet-black metal that is much stronger than regular iron and often has magical properties as well. Real Life meteoric iron, on the other hand, mostly resembles a low-grade stainless steel, because that's what it effectively is — it's a natural alloy of iron, nickel, sometimes chromium and some other trace elements.
  • Cold Iron (variously called cold steel, wrought iron, magnetic iron and so on) is the traditional bane of The Fair Folk. Precisely what constitutes cold iron varies from source to source, such as being forged without heat, forged by hand, being ferromagnetic, possessing trace amounts of iridium, literally being cold, and so on.
  • Hihi'irokane (variously translated as crimson ore, scarletite and similar names) is a material which first appeared in the pseudohistorical Takenouchi Documents in the 1930s, where it was more or less the Japanese equivalent of Orichalcum. Its name is Japanese for "flame-colored metal" or "brilliant scarlet metal". In most depictions it's rustproof, ultra-hard, and an excellent conductor of both heat and spiritual energy (sometimes to the point of being warm to the touch).

Silver is a real metal, but fiction and folklore treat it as fantastic. Electrum also exists in Real Life, but can also be magic.

The list of fantasy metals is much longer than that, but most examples are work-specific and should go in the examples list.

A fantasy-specific subtrope of Unobtainium. See also Parodic Table of the Elements, Elemental Crafting (which ranks these and other normal metals and materials by usefulness).

For fantasy-based metal music, see Heavy Mithril. See also Fantastic Plastic.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Delicious in Dungeon:
    • Senshi's cooking pot is made of adamant. It was originally a family heirloom shield; but having no use for it and being more interested in cooking, he turned it into a pot, much to his fellow dwarf Namari's chagrin. Apparently it can withstand dragon's breath and the party even uses it to trap an angry undine in one chapter, whose water jets could drill holes through solid stone. It also spreads heat evenly when cooking. Which means that while it does, in fact, block dragon fire, Convection Schmonvection is rapidly averted.
    • Senshi's kitchen knife is made of mithril. It can even slice through dragon scales, though it doesn't have much effect since it's only the size of a regular knife.
  • In the Dragonball Z universe, there's katchin metal, which is super-strong, and served as a plot device when it broke an Infinity +1 Sword that was thought to be unbreakable (the Z Sword's legend never actually says it's unbreakable, everyone just assumed it was because it's a legendary magic sword).
    • Katchin is one-upped in Dragon Ball Super, where the multiversal arena is made of katchi katchin, said to be even stronger than regular katchin. Of course, the fighters manage to demolish it anyway.
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, the Magic Knights' special weapons are made from "Escudo", a material that grows with its wielder. Amusingly when the Ultimate Blacksmith tells them that she needs a special metal, Fuu suggests Mithril; but that doesn't exist in Cephiro.
  • Digimon has Chrome Digizoid, the strongest metal known in the Digital World. It's typically seen used by Digimon of Ultimate or Mega tier.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has a number of these:
    • Magisteel is metal forged from magic ore, which itself is created when the metal ore is exposed to high concentrations of magicules over a period of time, with the amount of time exposed and the concentration levels determining the grade of the magic ore. This material is very durable and heat resistant. In comparison to other rare metals that have at most a melting point around 5,000 degrees Celsius, Magisteel can withstand temperatures close to 10,000 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, it has a self-repairing trait and is exceptional at inducting Magical Power, enabling any objects made from Magisteel to "grow" with their user. All these properties make Magisteel highly desirable for making high quality equipment with magical properties. It can be effectively considered the setting equivalent of adamantium, and appropriately expensive: a chunk of Magisteel can run at nearly twenty times its weight in gold.
    • Mithril is created from fusing Magisteel with silver, creating a blessed metal that is particularly effective against various kinds of The Undead.
    • Orichalcum is made from infusing gold with Magisteel. It is superior to Magisteel in all aspects, including thermal properties, toughness and magical properties, and a weapon made of this can be easily considered Legendary-class.
    • Dragonite is a unique metal that was discovered when Veldora Tempest exposed Magisteel to a massive quantity of his personal magicules as an experiment, transforming it into a similar material to Orichalcum and giving it some of his own magical properties.
    • Hihi'irokane (also called Crimson Steel) is formed after exposing Magisteel to concentrated magicules for thousands of years (or special conditions like Rimuru's stomach), this is the material of Mythical/God-class equipment. Weapons made of Hihi'irokane only respond to magic power from the owner it recognizes, and they're among the most powerful beings in the whole setting.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe has a number of these:
    • Their version of adamantium is a super-metal designed to present threats to invulnerable superheroes. (The second X-Men movie states that it's synthesized in liquid form and a "hot chain" must be maintained to keep it usable.) Wolverine is well known for having a whole skeleton and a set of six claws bonded with adamantium.
      • A sub-type is carbonadium, which is a cheaper, but more malleable form of adamantium. Wolverine nemesis Omega Red is known to have tentacles made from the stuff. It's also toxic. Omega Red can survive it thanks to a Healing Factor, but few other people can use it without harm.
      • There is also "secondary adamantium", supposedly created to address reader confusion/rage over depictions of "adamantium" constructs being destroyed. If it was shown being damaged it's "secondary adamantium" full stop.
    • Vibranium is another, unusual in that it's not super-strong or super-light (though it's not bad at either) but because it absorbs kinetic energy (and other types of energy, Depending on the Writer) far better than ordinary substances. If that sounds like a handy substance to put between yourself and a super-strong punch, well, that's the idea. Captain America's shield is famously made from Vibranium mixed with a few other things.
      • There are two forms of Vibranium: the Wakandan variety absorbs kinetic and other energy, while Antarctic Vibranium or "Anti-Metal" causes all other metals nearby to dissolve.
    • Then there's uru, which is used by the Asgardians in forging certain magical weapons. It absorbs magic like a sponge, and Thor's hammer Mjolnir is made from it.
  • The DCU
    • Their own version of Promethium is an alloy of fused titanium and vanadium that becomes a near indestructible metal.
    • Supermanium, on the other hand, is indestructible, forged by Superman out of the heart of a star.
    • DC also has Nth Metal which can, depending on the current continuity, allow anti-gravity, disrupt magic, hit ghosts, and punch out Cthulhu. It's supposedly common on Thanagar and commonly used by characters from there.
    • Inertron is a nigh indestructible metal with anti-gravity capacities. It is almost exclusively used in stories set in the 31st century, like the Legion of Super-Heroes.
    • Amazonium and Feminum are names that have been given at different times for the indestructible metal used to construct Wonder Woman's Bracelets of Submission.
    • Valorium is an alloy made using Nth Metal. It is used in the construction of Legion flight rings.
  • Locke & Key has what's called Whispering Iron, the substance used to forge the enchanted keys and their paraphernalia used throughout the series. It's actually the bodies of eldritch beings from another dimension that cross over without possessing a human host, and gets its name from the fact that they can still communicate with nearby people to tempt them with power. A non-canon story from an anthology series by the same author has the stuff used to create a computer chip, suggested to be the basis for all advanced computer chips everyone uses in common electronics like smart phones.
  • Heavy Liquid has the titular substance, which is liquid at room temperature, quite heavy (like the name implies), highly corrosive, and only known about by a select few. It can be made into a potent explosive or alloyed into a stable form, can be turned into a drug simply by heating it up (whereupon it turns into a substance that resembles black milk), and is also a vehicle for a bodiless alien visiting Earth.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has the classic Marvel Universe examples of adamantium, uru, and vibranium, as well as the Harry Potter example of goblin-silver, which is implied to be Mithril (Tolkien having been given a tour of the Nine Realms by Loki and having picked up more than was probably good for him). Additionally, Vibranium not only has its traditional kinetic energy absorbent properties, but the less well-known property of being able to absorb and amplify magical energies, with Wakandan wands and magical staves being noted in passing as having vibranium in their composition.
    • Mithril appears in the sequel, in a vast deposit mixed in with vibranium, created by Doctor Strange with the Philosopher's Stone for a number of reasons, the immediate one being that Mithril and vibranium have a very high thermal load (i.e. they require a lot of energy to melt) to stymie the Elder Wyrm's attempt at creating a super-volcano.
    • An unnamed alloy of uru and vibranium was used by the Alliance of Realms (the founders of the Nine Realms) to create Ván, a sword that when properly enchanted, was capable of pulling a No-Sell on freaking Phoenix fire.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Adamantine appears to be entirely indestructible, and only the dwarfs know the secret of how to work it. Ami eventually learns that it's essentially the physical remains of a dead god.
  • The Triptych Continuum goes into some detail on the thaumic properties of various metals. Silver is an efficient conductor for unicorn magic, and gold even more so. Copper is the primary conductor for pegasus magic. And then there's platinum. Platinum will amplify the effects of any form of magic (unicorn, Pegasus, or earth pony) channeled through it. This means that it can be used to make magical items which will run literally forever without needing recharging. But unlike other metals, platinum has zero margin for error. If you get even the slightest thing wrong, the amplified magic will be unable to discharge, and will simply build up until it exceeds the metal's ability to hold energy and all that stored power is released. There's a reason that all sales of platinum require the buyer to sign extensive waivers and provide emergency contact information.
    • Later on in the series, we're introduced to argentium. It's described as a silvery metal, which does not tarnish or corrode under normal circumstances, and evidently has some interesting thaumic properties. However, it was created as a byproduct of Discord's magic, and as such is almost nonexistent in the modern era.
  • In Son of the Western Sea every Pantheon has access to their own. Apart from the Celestial Bronze, Imperial Gold and Stygian Iron of the Olympians, there is the Tuatha de Danann's Blessed Iron and the Jewel Steel used by the Shinto kami. The Celestial Bureaucracy, on the other hand, uses Heavenly Jade instead of a metal.
  • With This Ring: Atlantis has items made of mithril, lighter and stronger than titanium, but actually making it is a lost art. Paul is later delighted to learn that Themyscira is able to manufacture both mithril and orichalcum (heavier than mithril but even stronger). He's even more excited when he learns about jovium, which is soft, malleable, and a completely perfect conductor. However, since magic is involved, it's quite difficult to industrialise the process, so he turns to Hephaestus and Vulcan to see if they can help. In the process, they start tinkering and come up with gromril, which is quite heavy but even stronger than any of the others.

  • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Scotty acquires material for the whales' tank by bartering the formula for transparent aluminum. (Surely you didn't think all those windows were made of glass?) Transparent aluminum (or more formally, aluminum oxynitride) actually exists. But it didn't when the film was made. It's not a metal in sensu stricto, though, but a ceramic.

  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • J. R. R. Tolkien's Arda has, beyond mithril, a jet-black metal called galvorn. Galvorn, even stronger than mithril, is invented by Eöl the Dark Elf and the secret of its making was lost when he and his son Maeglin, who also had the know-how, died.
    • The Book of Lost Tales, Tolkien's very early draft for The Silmarillion, also gives us tilkal, an Infinity Plus One Metal that can only be made by Aulë, the god of blacksmiths. Its name is an acronym of Quenya names for iron, copper, silver, gold, tin and lead, the six naturally occurring metals known to the Elves, used as its ingredients.
  • Animorphs has a metal called Ramonite, one of several "living metals", which could among others be stretched thin as to be invisible, negating the need for built-it windows.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has Valyrian steel, and the unnamed white meteoritic metal of the late Arthur Dayne's sword Dawn.
  • The Darkangel Trilogy features a blade made of Adamant.
  • Inheritance Cycle has Brightsteel, which was metal obtained from fallen meteorites and most well-known for being used to forge the blades of the Drago Riders.
  • Whatever the bounty hunter Moose's armor in the Inferno books is made of is probably this, as it is ultra-light, super-strong, and seemingly unheard of in the world.
  • Many artifacts of the Mi-Go, Yith, and other Starfish Aliens from H. P. Lovecraft's works were crafted from metals unknown to human metallurgy.
  • The Cosmere: When a Shard's power is pulled through into the Physical Realm, it will manifest as a metallic substance with unique physical and magical properties. These are referred to as "God metals".
    • Mistborn:
      • Atium, the power of Ruin, is useless for making anything out of (it's leadlike and chemically fragile), but grants powerful precognitive abilities to an allomancer who consumes it. It's valuable enough that the Final Empire's currency is backed by the atium standard, a secret cache which Ruin is very intent on getting its hands on.
      • Lerasium, the power of Preservation, is vanishingly rare, but permanently Super Empowers anybody who consumes it.
      • "Ettmetal", introduced in Wax and Wayne, is vital to South Scadrian Magitek for its ability to reproduce the effects of nearby allomantic or feruchemic magic in a controllable way. However, it's extremely volatile, due to Harmony being a Yin-Yang Bomb Fusion of Ruin and Preservation.
    • The Stormlight Archive:
      • Raysium, the power of Odium, is described as a very pale golden metal, extremely light, with the unique ability to easily conduct Investiture. The Fused use raysium inlays to craft the spears that drain power from Radiants, along with their soul-stealing daggers.
      • The series also has Tanavastium (the metal of Honor), and Koravellium (the power of Cultivation). We know little about the properties of either, but what we do know is that the ten Honorblades were made of pure Tanavastium, while Shardblades and Shardplate are made of an alloy of the two metals. These are the closest to the standard form of this trope thus far, being supernaturally light and durable.
    • To a lesser degree, there is also aluminum, which is uniquely Investiture-inert and thus interacts oddly with most Invested Arts. It cannot be pushed or pulled by Allomancy, cut by a Shardblade, or Forged. Additionally, an aluminum-foil hat will shield you from emotional allomancy, aluminum foil can be used to partially decouple conjoined fabrials, and an aluminum-lined room will render most forms of Investiture undetectable.
  • Discworld:
    • Octiron is a dark metal that both emits magic and has innate Anti-Magic, similar to depleted uranium's relationship with radiation. It's used to contain powerful magic, to forge bells that ring with pure silence, and to make compasses.
    • The black metal stygium is popular for Assassin jewellery, since it says "I'm rich, I wear black, and I don't expect to be out in the daylight much" — the latter because it becomes white-hot in sunlight. The Patrician, naturally, owns a stygium signet ring.
    • Sorortanium alloy has the unexplained ability to reflect physical impacts, making it invaluable in "micromail" armour whose wearer won't even feel incoming blows. By Raising Steam, it's being used in a nigh-indestructible train engine.
  • In The Darksword Trilogy, darkstone is an ore with Anti-Magic properties. When weaponised and placed in the hands of the Dead (i.e. an Un-Sorcerer), it furthermore grants Energy Absorption abilities.
  • The Witcher has Dimeritium. Its Anti-Magic properties make it useful for making shackles to bind sorcerers.
  • In Dreadnought!, part of what makes Star Empire, the titular dreadnought, so powerful is that its hull is made of an experimental alloy that is much stronger than the materials normally used for starship hulls, allowing it to withstand a pounding that would destroy other ships.
  • The Dreamside Road has Cobalt Nine, a metal that can be used to make assorted energized objects, can produce alloys with other metals, and is the instrument of a government experiment in ESP.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has three magical metals that can hurt monsters, while simultaneously being harmless to mortals (since Demigods aren't really supposed to kill humans).
    • Celestial Bronze is used by greek demigods, and originates from Olympus itself.
    • Imperial Gold is used by roman demigods, and is (presumably an alloy of) gold that has been consecrated in the Temple to Jupiter in Rome.
    • Stygian Steel originates in the underworld, had the unique property of absorbing monster essence, and is only used by Hades and his kin.
  • City of Bones by Martha Wells has mythenin, a silvery metal only found in relics from The Beforetimes. Unusually for the trope, it's only valuable for its historic significance; it has no useful properties that contemporary smiths know of, and none of the surviving Magitek is usable or replicable, so people leave it as-is or use it to forge more valuable relics.
  • The Dresden Files has Titanic bronze: an alloy of Olympian bronze, itself a fantasy metal of unknown properties, and Mordite, solidified anti-life summoned from Outside the multiverse. It can only be crafted by the Hecatoncheires; it's impervious to everything except Divine power; and only one piece is known to exist: the Greater-Scope Villain's armor.
  • Fablehaven has adamant, a superstrong, super light metal which is extremely rare and impenetrable. The protagonists find a breastplate and several weapons made from it or edged with it. The breastplate in particular comes in handy. And the weapons can hurt or kill demons and other dangerous creatures.
  • Cradle Series: Three are mentioned; half-silver, goldsteel, and wintersteel. Half-silver has Anti-Magic properties, and is strangely common in the otherwise extremely poor Sacred Valley. It's also brittle, however, so weapons made out of it tend to break when used too much. Using it for power-dampening cuffs is more common. Goldsteel conducts madra and can treat madra as solid, making it useful for soulsmithing. Wintersteel's precise properties are unclear, but it is extremely rare and can only be shaped by direct application of willpower. Yerin's sword (which was a gift to her master from his fiance) is made entirely of wintersteel, and the box of badges Lindon finds has a wintersteel badge, which he eventually discovers is the symbol of a Sage.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: Dilithium, usually found in crystalline form, and Duranium and Tritanium which are used in building ultra-strong ship hulls. Also Latinum, one of the few materials impossible to create with a Matter Replicator, giving it value as a form of currency.
  • In Doctor Who Dalekanium is what Dalek casings were made of in the sixties and seventies. In the eighties it got retconned to a much less fantastic sounding "bonded polycarbide", though Dalekanium has sometimes been used interchangeably with the later term in New Who.
  • Nth metal has been introduced into the Arrowverse and as of season 3 of Supergirl (2015) is used in manufacturing and construction.
  • Stargate:
    • Naquadah is a do-anything Applied Phlebotinum. Pure naquadah is an extremely tough and chemically inert room-temperature superconductor, used to build the titular stargates. It also amplifies explosions. Different variants can be used as energy sources for weapons and reactors, and a particularly unstable isotope (naquadriah) can be used as the fissile material for nukes.
    • Trinium is another fictional metal. Light and extremely strong, it is thought of as "titanium on steroids". The second iris over Earth's stargate was built from it, and it is used in the construction of starship hulls.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • Classical Mythology: Greek myth has "grey adamant", from which Kronos fashioned his sickle. In addition, orichalcum makes its most famous early appearance in Plato's writings, where he states that the metal was commonly used in Atlantis. Other mentions of it do exist, however — for instance, Aphrodite was said to have adorned herself with orichalcum jewelry.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In a parody of Star Trek's ship-building materials, the hull of the Swinetrek in the "Pigs in Space!" skits on The Muppet Show is made of Porkanium alloy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The core rulebooks have adamantine (super-strong and great for Absurdly Sharp Blades), mithral (for light and maneuverable armor), cold iron (effective against fey and demons), and alchemical silver (silver alchemically bonded to steel for use against lycanthropes).
    • The Eberron campaign setting introduces byeshk (heavy purple metal useful against abominations), flametouched iron (good-aligned, for use against Evil creatures), and Riedran crysteel (psionically charged crystal bonded to iron).
    • D&D drow (until 4th edition) had their own alloy of adamantine (or mithral, depending on the writer) that gave bonuses to arms and armor, but was instantly rendered brittle and useless by exposure to sunlight.
    • Various third edition splatbooks offered some others, such as starmetal (identical to adamantine, except it also deals extra damage to extraplanar creatures), morghuth-iron (naturally poisonous) and blended quartz (an iron-quartz ore which makes armour twice as heavy, but easier to cast spells in). Obdurium is notable for being even more durable than adamantine, otherwise the standard 'hardest metal there is' throughout D&D and beyond (the main reason for its in-universe obscurity, outside cost, is that this is the only thing it has over adamantine — it doesn't provide any more protection if used as armour, it's just harder to break).
  • Pathfinder borrows Mithral (lightweight), Adamantine (super hard), Cold Iron (effective against fey and chaotic outsiders) and Alchemical Silver (effective against lycanthropes and lawful outsiders) from its parent game D&D, and adds many of its own:
    • Elysian Bronze can be used to make equipment that is especially effective against creatures classified either as Magical Beasts or as Monstrous Humanoids.
    • Items made of Living Steel slowly repair themselves over time.
    • Viridium weapons are toxic and can infect those they wound (as well as their wielder) with leprosy.
    • Finally, there are seven types of "starmetal" that come from meteorites: in addition to Adamantine, the other six are Abysium (which is essentially radioactive), Djezet (which is always liquid and can enhance spellcasting), Horacalcum (which bends time around it), Inubrix (which is soft like lead, but can pass through iron and steel), Noqual (which has a crystalline appearance, and has magic-resistant properties), and Siccatite (which comes in two varieties, either unnaturally hot or unnaturally cold)
  • Call of Cthulhu's Masks of Nyarlathotep had "The Copper From Above" (an alien metal used to make an object which was used for a spell) and alien metals with Fictional Colors used to create a rocket.
  • Warhammer features fairly classic variants of mithril and meteoric iron, called Ithilmar and Gromril respectively. Ithilmar is a light, silvery metal found in the Annulli Mountains of Ulthuan and worked by the High Elves, while Gromril, only found around the crater of the meteorite that first brought it to earth, is the preferred metal of the Dwarfs. The Lizardmen, meanwhile, tend to make weapons from a nigh-indestructible type of black stone called Obsinite.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar has sigmarite, an ultra-tough metal that Stormcast armor and weapons are forged from. And among the duardin (dwarfs), the Fyreslayers have ur-gold that they can forge into empowering runes they embed in their flesh, while the Kharadron Overlords have aether-gold (which in its raw state is actually gaseous) that they can solidify into a lighter-than-air metal that they use to fly and power their engines and weapons.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Imperium uses adamantium (an incredibly strong metal that is practically invulnerable), plasteel (a material that acts like plastic but has a tensile strength comparable to steel alloys), and ceramite (a type of ceramic that is extremely resistant to directed-energy attacks, and is the main ingredient in high-grade armors like Astartes power armor and Terminator suits). There's also armplas (which is a heat-resistant plastic and metal composite for carapace armour), true silver (a silver and iron alloy used by the Grey Knights as protection against the supernatural) and with the Adeptus Custodes playable - there's auramite (an extremely rare golden substance that's similar to ceramite but even stronger. It's only available to the Adeptus Custodes, the Primarchs and the Emperor).
    • The Tau have fio'tak, a nano-crystalline alloy for use in standard armor, and when they need even heavier protection they make use of the ultradense metal, iridium.
    • The Necrons have necrodermis, an unexplained living metal that their bodies and all of their technology are crafted from. It can self-repair any damage done to it. Necron nobility also make use of adamantium for extra protection with the Sempiternal Weave armour, giving that Necron a resilience that rivals a Space Marine Terminator.
    • In a slightly less "metal" way, but still fantasy building material, the Eldar have wraithbone, which is essentially crystallized psychic energy that is used by "bonesingers" to make equipment.
  • Magic: The Gathering has Darksteel, which is so indestructible that it's "forged" by using Retconjuration to warp reality so it just so happens to have been in the desired shape all along.
  • Exalted features different magical materials that resonate best with different Exalt types.
    • Solars have Orichalcum (the strongest, formed from gold magically smelted in magma, heated by reflected sunlight).
    • The Lunars get Moonsilver, which is capable of changing shape.
    • The Dragon-Blooded have five flavors of elementally-based Jade — Green (Wood), Blue (Air), White (Earth), Black (Water), and Red (Fire), plus Yellow which shouldn't exist, but forms by accident.
    • The Sidereals have Starmetal, actually the physical remains of fallen gods worked into metal (or the congealed anima of Creation, depending on edition).
    • The Abyssals use Soulsteel, forged in the Underworld out of ghosts bound within the metal in eternal torment.
    • The Alchemicals have Adamant, super dense diamond that appears only in Autochthonia. (It's been long speculated that there was a type of Exalted who had Adamant as their particular affinity, since it went to the Alchemicals by default due to their Adamant Caste; Word of God for Third Edition says the Adamant affinity goes to the optional Exalted known as the Hearteaters.)
  • Rifts has MDC materials, like normal metals or plastics (and in rarer cases, wood and glass) treated through nanotech or transmuted by magic to be a thousand times stronger.
  • Mage: The Awakening:
    • The seven metals of European alchemy (gold, silver, mercury, lead, tin, iron, and copper) each have a "Perfected" equivalent that's created by distilling the metal in the Spirit World. Each is attuned to specific forms of magic and has additional mundane abilities, like perfected iron's ability to form an Absurdly Sharp Blade that always holds its edge.
    • Perfected metals can be combined, imbued with Mana, and magically transmuted to make "arcane metals". The best known is Thaumium, an alloy of perfected gold, silver, and mercury, that has powerful Anti-Magic properties.
  • Mechanical Dream is set on a planet with giant Kioux trees so large that they can house industrialized cities. As such most materials are wood-based while iron and steel are very rare, high end materials in that planet. So one compromise is a wood and iron alloy called Makka which is stronger than iron (but weaker than steel) and almost as light as wood. Then there are two mystical materials stronger than any metal alloys, "Blood" and Sastak. "Blood" is a rare, semi-crystalized bit of sap from the Kioux tree and Sastak is a golden seaweed that has been transformed by exposure to the reality-warping Dream that occurs on that world.
  • The basic material in Talislanta is black iron. After that there's the much rarer red iron which is just as strong as black iron but half the weight, it can only be mined from the Red Desert of Caratheum and the Volcanic Hills. Even rarer is blue iron, which is as strong as the other types of iron but weighs 4 times less than black iron and it can only be had by Vajra engineers melting down the metallic feathers of the ironshrike or its relative, the shrieker. Using alchemy, black iron can be combined with silver and blue diamonds to create the magical alloy, adamant. Adamant armour is so strong it offers twice normal protection while adamant weapons halve the protection of armour and more impressively, can harm physical creatures that are immune to normal weapons. Black adamant is the ultimate material and only the devil-conjuring Black Savants of Nefaratus know how to make it. Black adamant has all the properties of regular adamant but it can also affect immaterial supernatural creatures.
  • World Tree RPG: In addition to regular iron, copper, silver, gold, mercury and so on, the World Tree contains a number of fictional metals with various properties:
    • Branzinion is blue, hard as iron and much heavier. It's mostly used in blunt weapons and axes.
    • Hezarion is deep red and very ductile. It's favored by Herethroi, who use to make inlays on their exoskeletons.
    • Mnerorzion is dark purple, veined with lighter stripes that slowly shift. It's most popular as jewelry.
    • Yulexion is dark and aromatic, and mostly favored by Cani and Sleeth because they like its smell.
  • In WitchCraft, there's one unique material and that's orichalcum which came from mythical Atlantis (which actually exists in this setting). Interestingly, in a game of covens, black magic and supernatural conspiracies, the secret is that orichalcum is actually "mundane". Turns out Atlantis is a place of Advanced Ancient Humans and orichalcum is created using advanced nanotech manufacturing.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls Several forms are staples throughout the series.
    • Ebony is a dark grayish/brownish/purplish mineral with some characteristics of volcanic glass, basically the equivalent to real world Obsidian. It's extremely dense, worth more than gold when used as bullion, and forges into some of the most powerful weapons and heavy armor available in Tamriel. Lore scholars have long theorized that ebony may in fact be the petrified blood of the dead creator god Lorkhan, as it's greatest deposits are near Red Mountain where Lorkhan's heart fell from the sky. (Another theory states that his blood crystallized instead, and was collected by the Ayleids to create the Chim-el Adabal, better known as the Amulet of Kings. It too was known to have immense mystical properties.)
    • Daedric metal is a special kind of Ebony which is infused with demonic souls. It's dark gray with red veinlets, and when forged, usually comes out very "spiky." It's almost always the high-end, top of the line metal in the games.
    • Dwarven Metal is a Lost Technology alloy that looks like copper or bronze, though its exact composition (and even its proper Dwemer name) is forgotten. According to the lore, the Dwemer would bend the laws of time, physics, and nature in order to make their creations last.
    • "Glass", like Ebony, is treated here as a metal-like mineral. It is iridescent-green in color and mined primarily in Morrowind. After most of Morrowind was rendered uninhabitable, it is since smelted artificially by melting moonstone and malachite together.
    • Stalhrim is a type of enchanted ice which can be used like a mineral to craft weapons and armor. It is found only on Solstheim, as are the only people who still know how to smith it. In the games in which it appears, it is one of the only crafting materials which can match Daedric in effectiveness.
    • Mithril is a lightweight, mid-level metal used to make armor. It's otherwise typical and fairly unremarkable.
    • Elven and Orcish steel are both stronger alloys of standard steel, with Moonstone added to create the former and orichalcum added to create the latter.
  • Dwarf Fortress has two types of fantasy metal, one well-known in the fandom, the other obscure.
    • Adamantine is the main fantasy metal, but its properties are more like mithril. The "cotton candy" nickname comes from its color, its incredibly light density, the fact that it has to be forged from fluffy thread-like "strands", and its association to the "circus" and its "clowns". It holds an unparalleled edge and an ability to endure an incredible amount of stress. Useless for blunt weapons, brilliant for armor, and lethal in bladed weapons.
    • The obscure example, found only in the little-known Vaults, are divine metals, whose appearances and names vary according to the spheres of the angels wielding them. A god of rainbows will arm their angels with "multicolored metal", while a god of disease will prefer "blistered metal", for example. This metal is a Master of All; while edged weapons and armor are somewhat inferior, overall, to adamantine, the weight allows blunt weapons made from it to be effective.
  • In Endless Legend, the planet Auriga was heavily affected from being a site of the Endless's experiments in weapon development. As a result there's only one mundane metal and that's Iron. After that new technology can make use of Auriga's more fantastic and stronger metal deposits. There's Titanium (yeah this metal is found on Earth but not like the odd geometrical outcroppings found on Auriga), Glassteel, Dust (this is the almost magical nanotech particles that permeate the planet, it automatically becomes a basic material if your technology levels are high enough), Adamantian, Palladian, Mithrite, and finally Hyperium. With the Shifters DLC enabled, you can also learn how to build equipment out of the Pearls introduced in the expansion.
  • RuneScape has several melee armors and weapons made from fantasy metals.
    • Black items and White items (Level 25, 30, and 40) are made from alloys of steel that players can't make.
    • Mithril (level 30) is a dark blue metal that is also significantly lighter than most other melee armors. It can be combined with silver to make an anti-vampire weapon the Rod of Ivandus. Adamantite (level 40) is a heavy green metal. Runite (level 50) is a cyan metal, and is the highest level armor available to free players that does not degrade over time. All three of these metals must have properties similar to iron because they all require an increasingly high amount of coal in order to smelt them from their mineral form into usable metal, just as iron requires coal to turn it into steel.
    • Dragon items (level 60) are made from a bright red colored metal. The composition of dragon metal is unknown, as it was created by the Dragonkin.
    • Tetsu Armor (level 85) is made from a metal referred to as plate (supposedly some kind of ultra high quality steel) which comes from the eastern lands.
    • Malevolent Armor (level 90) is made by combining Malevolent Energy with an item called a Reinforcing Plate.
    • Ironically, the current highest level melee weapons in the game (at level 90) are not made of metal, but are made from parts of dead bosses. Drygore Weapons are made from the chitin of the Kalphite King and the Noxious Scythe is made from a spider leg and a spider fang.
    • There also are many other types of armor and weapon in the game that can't be smithed by players whose compositions are never explained, although many based on their appearance and where they come from may be high quality, magical, or blessed steel.
    • Daemonheim is filled with strange minerals that are not found anywhere else in the game and you aren't allowed to take outside of Daemonheim. From weakest to strongest (Level 1 to Level 99) these metals are called Novite, Bathus, Marmaros, Kratonite, Fractite, Zephyrium, Argonite, Katagon, Gorgonite, Promethium, and Primal. There also are weapons made from metals called Gravite (Level 55) and Chaotic (Level 80) that you can take outside of Deamonheim as a reward.
    • There is also a purple colored metal called elemental metal that is used to make Anti-Magic armor. It can be improved by putting it through a priming process that turns it white, and then infusing it with different forms of energy, turning it other colors.
    • There is also a blue metal called blurite that is only used for decorating a ceremonial iron sword for a quest, making low level crossbows and bolts (level 16), better than iron but worse than steel, and activating a sacred forge during another quest.
  • Team Fortress 2 has Australium, a metal found only in Australia that has the power to turn people Australian. Prolonged exposure to Australium gives increased muscle mass, an awesome moustache (even for women!), and a paradoxal increase in both intelligence (you become smart enough to create a fully-functional robotic prosthetic arm) and stupidity (you chop off your own arm to replace it with said robotic arm). It gave Australia a massive technological boost, giving them 22nd century levels of technology in the late 1800s, and allowed them to develop invisibility, teleportation, and the complete spectrum of mustache sciences. The metal can fetch quite a high price both in-universe, and out.
    • Analysis of its atomic structure reveals the same electron configuration as gold, but with two tiny kangaroos boxing inside the nucleus.
  • Gemstone III: Lysaughton, Mcgrail, Platnite, Catoetine, Elrodnite, Inniculmoid, Boernerine, Neurolite, Fabrinine
  • Warcraft III has Mithril as the highest Human weapon and armor upgrade, as well as Thorium and Arcanite-forged weapons as Orc weapon and armor upgrades. Thorium is a real metal (element 90), although it may have been ascribed unrealistic properties.
  • World of Warcraft vastly expanded on the list of fantastic metals, and each expansion added additional metals. It's worth mentioning that starting from Warlords of Draenor onwards, the available ores usually don't have to be smelted onto metal ingots, which has since reduced the number of fantastic metals.
    • The original game added the old standby Mithril, as well as Truesilver and Dark Iron, and the exceedingly rare Elementium and Sulfuron. Thorium and Arcanite also returned.
    • Burning Crusade introduced Fel Iron, Felsteel, Eternium, Khorium, and Adamantite.
    • Wrath of the Lich King had Saronite and Titansteel, as well as two metals called Cobalt and Titanium (which, like Thorium, only tangentially resemble their real-life namesakes).
    • Cataclysm brought back Elementium while adding Obsidium, Pyrium and Truegold.
    • Mists of Pandaria had Ghost Iron, Trillium, and Living Steel.
    • Warlords of Draenor included only Truesteel (True Iron ore also exists, but only as a component of Truesteel that can't be smelted onto ingots on its own).
    • Legion includes Demonsteel, smelted from Leystone and Felslate ores.
    • Battle for Azeroth takes the recent thread even further: many items are made of Stormsteel, but it doesn't exist as a separate metal, but instead those items are created directly from Platinum and Storm Silver ores (none of them can be smelted either). It also heavily features the Mineral MacGuffin Azerite, which is the petrified blood of Azeroth.
  • Dragon Age has (in order of quality) Grey Iron, Veridium, Red Steel, Silverite and Starmetal.
    • The Awakening expansion also adds White Steel and Volcanic Aurum.
  • The Ultima games had Blackrock, which could block magic and which became permeable when electricity was passed through it. Also useful for creating portals between worlds.
  • Terraria:
    • The game has several made-up metals, such as "Meteorite," "Demonite," and "Hellstone," all of which can be melted into strong armor and weapons.
    • In 1.1, Cobalt, Mithril and Adamantite were introduced, as well as a boss-dropped metal, Hallowed. In 1.2, we were gifted with slightly stronger alternatives to each: Palladium, Orichalcum, and, strangely, Titanium. Also added was Chlorophyte, a new jungle-based ore stronger than even Hallowed, and Crimtane, an alternative ore to Demonite, found in worlds with the Crimson instead of the Corruption.
    • Later, the Chlorophyte can be refined into Shroomite using Glowing Mushrooms or Spectre bars using Ectoplasm, but that would be the last you'd see of this trope from that point up until the True Final Boss, which drops Luminite ore to be crafted into bars for getting the best-of-the-best armor.
  • ADOM has (in order from least to most impressive) mithril, adamantium and eternium. Note that eternium, though never unwelcome, isn't the ultimate final word as some prefixes and suffixes will show up only on mundane (iron) weapons.
  • Final Fantasy has Mithril (spelled Mythril), Adamantite, Hihi'irokane (usually "Scarletite" in the English translations) and Orichalcum, but some games also add Electrum and Darksteel as well. The original includes Gemsteel and maybe Magicite as well.
    • Mythril isn't nearly as wondrous in Final Fantasy, possible due to overuse. It's usually the third material or so; after wood and iron in shops. It's usually the lowest tier magic metal; and is available relatively easy almost everything except the first town.
  • Kingdom Hearts has Mythril and Orichalcum as synthesis materials. Mythril is rare and usually is limited to chests and drops from rare and difficult enemies or by using specific summons, but usually can be synthetised from other materials. Orichalcum is even rarer and is usually involved in creation of Infinity +1 Sword - this is taken Up to Eleven in Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III where you need to get Orichalcum+, which there is only a fixed number of and each piece requires a complex sidequest to be completed. Adamantite appears on occasion as well.
  • Guild Wars 2 has three common fantasy metals and three rare fantasy metals. The common are Darksteel (an alloy of platinum), Mithril, and Orichalcum. The rare are Deldrimor Steel, Cystalline, and Xunlai Electrum.
  • The Mega Man has a sci-fi example with Ceratanium, a lightweight, stronger version of titanium that's used throughout the series, such as Hard Man's body and the weapons of Cut Man and Metal Man. The more post-apocalyptic series often involve gathering samples of Ceratanium for Item Crafting or for fulfilling sidequests.
  • Minecraft generally relies only on real metals such as iron and gold, but in the 1.16 update, the first purely fantastical metal was added, a material harder (and even more difficult to get) than diamond called Netherite (which, as the name implies, is found only in the Nether). There are also plenty of mods that add their own materials. For example:
    • Botania, a magic mod themed mostly around useful flowers, which adds Mana Steel (magically-self-healing iron turned blue by a soak in a mana pool), Elementium (pink-colored elven steel), Terrasteel (a green-colored super alloy of mana steel, mana diamond, mana pearl, and raw mana), and the Gaia Spirit Ingot (a near-useless material reserved for souping-up the summonable boss monster you fight for end-game goodies).
    • The Thermal Expansion mod group, specifically the mod Thermal Foundation which adds all the base world-generation materials, and on which all the other Thermal Expansion mods are based, includes mineable ore for Mana Infused Metal (which used to be called Mithril); as well as Signalum, Lumium, and Enderium, which are all regular metals infused with magical materials (redstone, glowstone, and ender pearls, respectively). This mod used to include other fantastically-named metals, but those have since been changed to have real-world names (such as Shiny Metal becoming Platinum) without changing their use.
  • Evolve Idle has several that unlock as you progress. Mithril is unlocked once you reach space and must be crafted, costing alloy and iridium. Adamantite can be mined from Alpha Centauri by mining droids, while Orichalcum and Vitreloy are unlocked by reaching Andromeda and trading with the aliens there. Infernite can only be found in the Hell Dimension and surveyors must be protected by troop patrols so they don't get eviscerated by the demons living there.
  • Remnant: From the Ashes takes an odd approach. It's After the End and industrialization on Earth has ended for generations so steel manufacturing has become something of a Lost Technology. The "fantasy metals" for Remnant are just different grades of steel that's now referred to as Iron. There's Iron, Forged Iron, Galvanized Iron and Hardened Iron and all these are used to upgrade your weapons and armour, including the magical ones from alien worlds. Additionally there's Lumenite Crystals (these magic crystals are required to create new Weapon Mods, make Boss Weapons and also to upgrade Boss Weapons) and Simulcram, which is the primordial stuff of creation when the universe was new. Simulcram is the only material that can upgrade your Dragon Heart artifact and it's required for upgrading weapons and armour to the Level 20 maximum.
  • In Vagrant Story, your weapons and armour can be made of various real-life materials such as bronze and iron. However the best material is a unique magical alloy called Damascus which was only created in the haunted city of Lea Monde.

    Web Comics 

  • In xkcd Randall Munroe points out that an actual element resembles a fantasy metal, remarking "For something that's real, plutonium is so unrealistic."
    Megan: How will we keep the spacecraft supplied with heat and electricity?
    Cueball: We could use a power orb. They give off thousands of watts 24/7.
    Megan: Huh? How do you recharge it?
    Cueball: You don't. It's just made of a metal that emits energy.
    Megan: OK, come on.
    Hairy: Can we please be serious here?
  • Draconia Chronicles has a metal called "zhirite," which jams magic at a touch. It's also more along the lines of tin or cobalt, since it's used as an alloy metal rather than making weapons out of it wholesale (although the more zhirite put into the blade, the longer it nullifies magic, to the point where a 50/50 mix can kill a weak dragon outright).

    Web Original 

  • In New Vindicators, there was once a meteor that when it hit the Earth, created a strange kind of tektite called mithral. While really much stronger or better than most metals, mithral is shown to be Kryptonite to Nephilim-half angels, half humans, inflicting great pain on them through touch and in some cases weakening their powers.
  • Prominent in Neopets is Maractite, a deep blue, runed, and superstrong metal which the underwater kingdom of Maraqua makes most of its weaponry out of due to its special property of moving through water as effortlessly as if it were air. However, pirates who tried to steal Maractite weapons found out the hard way that its strength comes with an equivalent weakness: it rots and crumbles when exposed to air. Notably, it's possible for a neopet to be made out of Maractite with the right paint brush.

    Western Animation 
  • One of the first story arcs in Rocky and Bullwinkle involves "Upsidasium", a metal with anti-gravity properties that could make things float in midair and even fly up into the sky. Bullwinkle's late uncle Dewlap leaves him an Upsidasium mine in Mt. Flatten to him in his will, and when they find it, they discover the entire mountain is floating hundreds of feet in the air. Meanwhile, both the U.S. Government and the Potslyvania government want to get their hands on upsidasium to build vehicles and weapons.
  • SWAT Kats gives us the high-density metal known as agricite, naturally used for armor.

    Other / Multiple Media 
  • The Star Wars universe contains some:
    • Cortosis, which is a metal hostile to the Force and also with an ability to short out lightsabers. Another famous ability of cortosis is that its ores are constantly electrified and capable of electrocuting anyone who handles them carelessly.
    • Phrik is similar to cortosis, but more tame. It doesn't short out lightsabers, but is immune to them as well.
    • Beskar (Mandalorian iron) is similar to phrik, only much stronger; it's more or less the local version of adamantium. Mandalorian armors are typically made of beskar. In The Mandalorian it also acts as a counterpart to Nazi Gold as the Empire seized much of it during their purge of the Mandalorians, and some of the protagonist's tribe take issue with him accepting payment from the Imperial Remnant in beskar ingots.
    • Glasteel or transparisteel is a transparent metal, often used to make the windows of starships.
    • Durasteel is an incredibly strong alloy of several real and fictional metals, highly resistant to physical stress and extremes of temperature and often used in making armor and spaceship hulls.

    Real Life 

  • In real-world occult alchemy, there was believed that a method exists to make mercury hard at room temperature. At least one medieval Hermetic recipe exists to make a ring of invisibility from hard mercury.
  • Red mercury was probably a hoax perpetrated by Soviet KGB. It was ascribed some miraculous properties like making simple and compact nukes; the purpose of the hoax was sting operations to catch terrorists and rogue state agents seeking easy ways to obtain compact nukes. After the fall of the Soviet Union, a red mercury craze started on its ruins.
  • Orichalcum appears to have been what we today know as brass, but Plato ascribed mystical qualities to it and described it as a natural metal mined from the mountains of Atlantis so for a long time fiction followed after him until some "orichalcum" ingots were discovered and analyzed. They were discovered to be high quality brass.
    • Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. While metallic tin (which makes bronze when alloyed with copper) was known already in the Antiquity, metallic zinc was prepared only by the Medieval alchemists, and it was the first metal discovered after the classical seven (gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, mercury and lead). While the Greeks and Romans knew brass, they did not know its composition; instead they smelted it from zinc-rich ore, adding extra mystique to it. The Greek name for zinc is Ψευδάργυρος (pseudargyros), "false silver",
    • While brass does not have magical qualities, it does not lose its shine, is resistant to corrosion and has anti-microbial properties. It is suitable for jewelry and items requiring corrosion resistance, such as marine instruments and propellers. Added bonus is it looks very much like gold.
  • Tutankhamun had a dagger, bracelet, and headrest made of meteoric iron.
  • Damascus steel acquired legends about swords made from it being able to cut through other swords. Analysis of ancient Damascus steel swords suggested that they contained carbon nanotubes, probably from plant fibers mixed into the smelt, though modern steels can be stronger.

Alternative Title(s): Fantastic Metals, Mythical Metal