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In my current WIP series, I've got a group of Hunters that would need weaponry against supernatural species -- specifically witches, vampires, and werewolves -- and I want to go with the classic no iron for witches, and no silver for werewolves, but I wanted to do something different than wood for vamps. I read that a gold-titanium alloy would work as a sword, but would it be feasible to have multiple (about a thousand) knife sets made of these metals? And would they be good blades?

The knives would need to be strong enough to withstand fighting and sharp enough to cut through cloth and skin. They don't really need to be aerodynamic, I don't plan on them being used as projectiles. I'm assuming that silver would need to be alloyed to something like steel due to its softness, but to be honest, I failed metal shop and I don't know a good resource to consult for this.

I know I could just use suspension of disbelief and get away with it, but I like to cover my bases where I can, especially because it's set in an otherwise modern-day, accurate portrayal of Earth.

EDIT: Thank you to everyone who answered and offered great information! I'm going to go with the idea for runes and have them inlaid into the blades with the aligned metals. I just wish I'd come up with it sooner!

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    $\begingroup$ How chemically pure do the silver and gold need to be to work against supernaturals? Alternatively, do they work if there's a thin layer deposited over some other metal, as in electroplating? $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jun 18, 2023 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ The more pure the metal, the more toxic it is to them. To work at all, between a quarter and a half dependent on the age of the Supernatural (older = more power = harder to kill). I'll have to look into electroplating, I don't know much about it, but it could work as long as the blade isn't dulled in the process. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2023 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ And where on the blade the silver is can be important. Would a multi-laminate steel blade work - one where the cutting edge is high quality steel wrapped by Damascus steel alloy with mystic runes inlaid out of silver? My best tools are multi-laminate steel - Norwegian knife and Japanese chisels. $\endgroup$
    – David R
    Jun 18, 2023 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ Is there a reason for knives, and not spearheads and arrowheads, or, if they have access to guns, shotgun projectiles? $\endgroup$
    – g s
    Jun 18, 2023 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't think about doing runes, that could work! And the reason for knives specifically is for the character's personality that I'm working with. The set was gifted to her by her father and passed down through the generations, plus she just likes fighting close range. They do have bullets, arrows and the like, but because they won't be featured as strongly as the knives, I wanted to double check those first. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2023 at 13:06

2 Answers 2

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The classic silver alloy is sterling silver.

By making an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper you can make a knife that has a good enough edge to cut meat. When people talk about silverware, this is what they mean. You could make a knife out of silver, but it would quickly dull.

Titanium gold is a strong alloy, and works fine.

So long as you can afford the cost, making a thousand blades is fine.

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I recommend steel blades with mystic runes inlaid in silver.

The first question has to be whether gold-titanium blades would be good for weaponry.

There are several forms of gold-titanium alloys. The strongest requires high temperature forming the alloy into a "beta" crystal structure. The regular process forms an "alpha" crystal structure which is about as strong a titanium alone. https://phys.org/news/2016-07-lab-titanium-gold-alloy-harder-steels.html

I couldn't find enough data yet to know if that can be used for weaponry. The questions are: Can that metal be used in conjunction with other metals? How well does it hold an edge vs breakage?

Regular titanium is not recommended for weaponry because it doesn't hold an edge well, requires more hitting and more speed in the hit to accomplish the same wound. Titanium also shatters too easily. https://swordencyclopedia.com/titanium-swords/

For a set of knives that has been passed down, I would recommend good steel. My Norwegian knife is a laminate steel where a hard steel is the cutting edge and soft steel surrounds it to buffer the blow. My Japanese gouges are similar. I have seen ads for Japanese chisels where the softer steel was done in Damascus steel yielding wild patterns. The laminate steel builds a tool that doesn't break easily yet can have a far sharper edge than most western tools. (I totally broke up a Swiss steel gouge while the Japanese gouges keep on going.)

Viking swords were made of either local iron or imported steel. There are a few made of good steel with inlaid letters (and a few fakes made of local iron with inlaid letters). Inlay doesn't affect the value for weaponry (or not much).

Mystic runes add power to the blade for dealing with mystic enemies.

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  • $\begingroup$ If the gold-titanium alloy is similar to the gold-aluminum intermetallic known as purple plague, it's very hard but also very brittle (this is something that has reared its head in integrated circuits combining gold wires bonded to aluminum pads). Different metals in contact can also result in formation of various intermetallic compounds as they diffuse into each other, with volume changes that produce voids or unwanted stresses. Not saying that this is definitely an issue with these material combinations, but it's a potential problem...or maybe just a reason the blades are hard to make. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2023 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome, thank y'all so much, this has all been very helpful. I think I'm going to go with the runes idea. It makes the most sense, and would allow each blade to still be unique while maintaining the necessary properties for fighting. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2023 at 23:22

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