If you’ve read The Hobbit, or the Lord of the Rings, or played certain role playing games, you’ve probably heard of a metal called mithril. Other names for it are “truesilver,” or “silversteel.” It’s supposed to be very strong, very light, and it looks like silver.
Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim.
–The Fellowship of the Ring
“Also there is this!” said Bilbo, bringing out a parcel which seemed to be rather heavy for its size. He unwound several folds of old cloth, and held up a small shirt of mail. It was close-woven of many rings, as supple almost as linen, cold as ice, and harder than steel. It shone like moonlit silver, and was studded with white gems.
Now, it can’t be ‘beaten like copper,’ but there is a metal that looks like silver, can do all these things and also doesn’t tarnish…
So, I was pleased to be able to buy wedding rings of titanium. As far as I’m concerned, that’s about as close to mithril as we’re ever likely to get!
They are simple, look a lot like silver, and the symbolism is awesome. To me they mean purity, strength, durability, and the connection with air and spacecraft is undeniable. I also know they are never going to tarnish, react with my skin, or bend! They’re even resistant to scratching.
So there you have it – modern mithril. Personally, I can’t think of a better symbol of an enduring bond.
…to love, honor and cherish, in peace and in war, in sickness and in health, in crisis and in fortune, without reservation, come what may, until the stars themselves grow cold…