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Incidentally, this isn't for a current project, just curious about an old one. When I was in High School, I started then sort of abandoned a LOTR-esque novel idea. In this world, the elves' main gimmick was that they had crystals permanently embedded in their sternums and visible from the outside. I think it was supposed to be a source of magical power, but didn't really define what it did. Mostly it was there because it's diiiiiffereeeeent. I now fully admit to this being a stupid idea.

The crystals were about the size of a thumb, of varying shapes and colors depending on the tribe; High Elves from the forest of the living goddess had white rhombuses, "Dark" Elves from the west had black, Fire Tribe had orange teardrop/flame shapes, Swamp Tribe had green circles, etc.

I imagined the elves would for their coming of age ceremony undergo a painful surgery where part of their skin is removed and the sternum is carved out to set the gem in, then it's placed with, I don't know, silver hooks? Resin? Magic? I don't know if I thought that far.

The premise of these gems is that they're a source of power but an individual needs to create an exclusive bond with a single gem and always have it both visible and securely attached to the body, hence the very difficult type of implantation.

This comes with a lot of problems:

  1. Could you have such a large gem set in without digging in to the marrow?
  2. How do you keep it clean?
  3. Would it fall out or dig around the bones under normal physical activity?
  4. If it's not feasible to put it in the sternum, then what about the forehead? Yeah probably not, but still...
  5. If it's not feasible to put it in any bone and still be visible on the outside, what's the next most permanent way to embed it in the flesh?
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    $\begingroup$ Dental fillings with inset gems as a fashion statement are not exactly common, but they do exist. Do a Google search for tooth gem. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jan 31, 2020 at 1:41
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    $\begingroup$ have you heard of gembone? $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:37
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe just wedge the gem between two ribs rather than weaken integrity of any bone? $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Jan 31, 2020 at 3:02

2 Answers 2

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Yes is is possible

You can do it without resorting to "it's magic." However, there are some issues that can be alleviated with magic.

  1. You shouldn't have to worry about marrow except in the long bones. However, the outer layer of bone is the strongest and putting any sizable break in that would create a weak spot. I wouldn't want to get punched in the center of my chest with a weak spot in my breastbone. However, if the gem was magically fused with the bone instead of surgically grafted, that would do away with some of that.

  2. Keeping it clean will be difficult for some of the more porous stones (opal, tiger eye) but solid crystal stones (ruby, diamond) will keep stuff out once the skin seals around it. It will still be an easier source for infection unless the wound is magically healed and the skin is made to seal against the stone.

  3. Once the bone healed around it it wouldn't come out without breaking the bone. Magic would help but isn't strictly necessary.

  4. The forehead would be about the same as the breastbone. Except that you are weakening the protection for your brain.

  5. I would not try to put any but the smallest of gems into any of the arm or leg bones since that would weaken their structural integrity.

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You want implanting? What you want?

Magic tooth (infortunatelly we are currently unable to bluetooth memorystick in your tooth implanted)? NO problem. I have a Zirkon one (no, they won't let you keep the transparency). You want diamond one to cut through steel? No problem. enter image description here

You know that elves have this super hearing and wear diadems? It's magic hearing diadem with special enchantmens enter image description here

And now! My favourite! A gem! In Tooth.

Mayans loved to do that https://www.elitereaders.com/ancient-mayans-dentistry/ Of course it was easier to put a gem in bare teeth but it show that the only obstacle you need to face is caring for proper treatmen of the wound. So it will scar nicely around gem without any infection. If you need a metal to hold the gem (A scarab so to speak) and attach that to the bone you just need to think about metal that is non-reacting with blood, muscles and fat. Silver or gold.

Or some elven titanium.

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