Iron is by mass the most common element on Earth, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust. Pure iron is relatively soft, but is unobtainable by smelting. The material is significantly hardened and strengthened by impurities, in particular carbon, from the smelting process. A certain proportion of carbon (between 0.002% and 2.1%) produces steel, which may be up to 1000 times harder than pure iron.
Lapis is a deep blue semi-precious stone prized since antiquity for its intense color. The intense blue color is due to the presence of the trisulfur (S3) radical anion in the crystal. Lapis lazuli is a rock whose most important mineral component is lazurite. Most lapis lazuli also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow). Lapis takes an excellent polish and can be made into jewelry, carvings, boxes, mosaics, ornaments, small statues, and vases.