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There's a whole list of mythological and fantasy metals, but for the sake of a scenario where iron has never been used to make weapons, armor, prison bars or even construction, let's focus on just these three instead:

  1. Orichalcum: Invented in Plato's Atlantis, it's described as being bronze or copper in color. Properties vary from source to source, the most realistic being strength and high value. So, feasibly, this could be a suitable fantasy or alternate-history alternative to bronze, which dominated human culture from the third millennium BCE to only the fourth century BCE
  2. Adamantium: A very popular metal or alloy, its basic recurring property is that it is harder, stronger and more resilient than diamond.
  3. Hihi'irokane: The Japanese equivalent of orichalcum, first invented in the 1930s. Its most realistic properties are being rustproof and ultra-hard.

So with these details in mind, in a scenario in which these fantasy metals are actual alloys, what would they be made from based on the properties?

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    $\begingroup$ “it is harder, stronger and more resilient than diamond.” Your first mistake is assuming that those words describe diamond well, they don’t. $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Dec 21, 2021 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ 3 in 1 questions, hmm. Could we take it one at a time? Also be aware that the Orichalcum one might have been covered enough (or not, your choice) in this answer. $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2021 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ Orichalcum at least seems to be a known quantity. Or at least as known as can be at present. In other words, it's not a fantasy metal strictu sensu, especially if dudes like Cicero are treating it as a known thing. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Dec 21, 2021 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ I wonder if orichalcum just isn't bronze... if it's a truly ancient myth even in Plato's time, then it might originate from when bronze itself was a magical substance, harder, stronger, and sharper than anything else known. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Dec 21, 2021 at 14:52

2 Answers 2

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Orichalcum:

A gold bronze alloy, like Omega Bronze Gold which is bronzeish, valuable, and very durable.

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Adamantium:

Tungsten steel an extremely durable alloy of steel mixed with tungsten and some other materials, often used in rocket parts.

Diamond shatters pretty easily, so it isn't especially resilient. It's hard, but not very strong or resilient.

Hihi'irokane

Stainless steel. Steel is very hard, and can be made rustproof by alloying it with various metals.

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  • $\begingroup$ Don't write gold bronze alloy, bronze is already an alloy of mostly copper and a little bit of tin. According to your source their bronze gold is copper gold and small amounts of other metals, so it is mostly a copper gold alloy which happens to have a colour similar to bronze. $\endgroup$
    – quarague
    Dec 22, 2021 at 20:19
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Not quite sure if this is what you are looking for, but how about this:

  • Orichalcum: Aluminum bronze, lighter than steel, (seawater) corrosion resistant, as strong as mild steel. Good luck getting Aluminum in the bronze age, seeing that it is still rarer than silver in the Renaissance. Of course, this is AltHis we are talking about, you can say some one invent a battery early (there is the Baghdad battery, but you need a lot more juice than that)
  • Adamantium: Any of the Superhard Materials can be harder than diamond, though their actual utility is still being researched. Otherwise, use Tungsten Carbide. At least it still is a metal, and can be made into a blade to cut. At hardness 9 compare to diamond hardness 10, most non-professional cannot tell the differences.
  • Hihi'irokane: Back to Orichalcum we go?
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    $\begingroup$ (1) "Stronger than cast iron" is very low bar to clear. Victorian era engineers might have been interested in a castable material stronger than cast iron, if it was very cheap. From the beginning of the 20th century onwards, saying that a material is stronger than cast iron would be like saying that a light source is more luminous than a candle; not really a great praise. (2) Aluminium was indeed "rarer than silver" in the Renaissance, that is, silver they actually had, whereas aluminium was completely unknown. Metallic aluminium was first made in the second half of the 19th century. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 21, 2021 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ True true, just saying that Aluminum is rarer than silver as a reason for why it is unlikely to be found in Plato's time. As for the stronger than cast iron, it is because as with any alloy, its quality varied greatly depend on its composition, with cast iron is the lowest bar. I do agree to improve the answer, though $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2021 at 15:05

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