Antique Nail

Antique Nail

Blacksmith made, these iron nails were taken from a century-old bench. In the modern era, spells calling for "coffin nails" usually do not refer to nails pulled from actual coffins but to this type of blacksmith-made, iron square nails. Not necessarily for malicious magic; you can also use them for iron purification or for "pinning" a spell to make it stick. These nails are subject to rust.

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Iron is a chemical element - symbol Fe, atomic number 26. By mass, it is the most common element on Earth, and it's produced in abundance by fusion processes in high-mass stars. In fact, it's the last element such a star will produce before going supernova and blasting shards of iron throughout space. It also makes up about 4 grams of the human body and is vital to the creation of blood proteins, bone marrow, certain enzymes, hemoglobin, and various muscles and tissues.

Iron has been in use as a worked metal since ancient times (though not as far back as copper). It's notable for being strengthened by impurities; the addition of carbon to iron creates steel which is up to 1,000 times stronger than pure iron. The word "iron"probably comes from the Celtic word "isarnon" meaning something that is holy, powerful, and strong. The oldest known words for iron are the Proto-Indo-European "ghelgh" and the Proto-Sino-Tibetan "hliek". Due to it's astral origin and also the fact that it was softer and more able to be "cold worked," the earliest forms of iron weaponry were often made from meteoric iron (which has higher concentrations of nickel than Earth iron). Typically, the time around which a people begins to smelt iron from ore for greater production of iron artifacts is called that area's "Iron Age." Cast iron was first produced in China in the 5th century BCE, but didn't become common in Europe until the middle ages. Cast iron finally began to replace wrought iron in the West due to cheaper production in the 1800s. The Mars symbol has been used to symbolize iron in chemical formulas since antiquity.

Iron has long been used as a metaphor for something or someone hard, harsh, inflexible, rigid, robust, stern, strong, sturdy, or unyielding, referring to everything from the Iron Curtain to the Iron Lady to the Iron Chef. It has also appeared widely in folklore, with cold iron such as nails, horseshoes, and weapons used to repel or contain faires, ghosts, and other malicious spirits.

Possible correspondences: blood & the human body, commonality, control, Earth, Iron Age, Mars, meteors, safety, space, stars, strength (especially strength gained by "flaws"), technological advances