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.
Black coating uses either ruthenium or TIN cobalt black to give a piece of jewelry a light black or completely black appearance. It is very durable and resistant to scratches. Black plating gives the jewelry piece a sense of masculinity and high-tech.