<i>One interesting ingredient for our alloy might include cobalt (the name means 'goblin' in German), which is the only metal found in a vitamin (B-12). Other metals for consideration should include palladium, osmium, rhodium, indium, iridium, selenium, ruthenium, antimony, nickel, chromium, iron, arsenic, copper, lead, and sulfur. These all occur in minerals that are hard with metallic lustre described as grey, silvery, steel, white, and/or bright.</i><BR><BR>Of these, selenium, arsenic and sulfur are not metals and most of the others (except iron) are either too dense or too soft. Mithril was mined in Moria, so it must be an elemental metal, as you don't get ores of alloys. Alloys are mixtures of metals with very specific compositions. Minerals are rocks containing a pure compound and ores are minerals which contain a metal.<BR><BR>There is a lot more to sword making than hardness. The following comes from the book, THE JAPANESE SWORD, by Kanzan Sato.<BR><BR><b>The uniqueness of the Japanese sword lies in the technical innovations devised by the Japanese in an effort to resolve the three conflicting practical requirements of a sword: unbreakability, rigidity, and cutting power. Unbreakability implies a soft but tough metal, such as iron, which will not snap with a sudden blow, while rigidity and cutting power are best achieved by the use of hard steel. The Japanese have combined these features in ways which have given their swords a very distinctive character.<BR><BR>First of all, most Japanese blades are made up of two different metals: a soft and durable iron core is enveloped in a hard outer skin of steel which has been forged and reforged many times in order to produce a complex and close-knit crystalline structure. Secondly, the cross-section, widening from the back to a ridge on both sides, then narrowing to a very acute angle at the edge, combines the virtues of thickness for strength and thinness for cutting power. Third and most important of all, a highly tempered edge is formed by covering the rest of the blade with a special heat-resistant clay and heating and quenching only the part left exposed. The result is a steel which is even harder then the rest of the outer skin and can take a razor-sharp edge.</b><BR><BR>I don't think mithril would be suitable for a sword blade, although it was obviously hard enough for a mail shirt. I repeat: we cannot find mithril by looking at modern elements.