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Adamantine is by far the most rare and valuable material in the game. The raw ore, raw adamantine, can only be found in mountainous areas, and only in small amounts.
Although usually referred to as a metal, it also has some properties of a cloth - it is truly unique among materials.
Adamantine metal has a material multiplier of x300 (raw adamantine has a multiplier of x250).
Adamantine can serve as a metal or a "fabric" - adamantine cloaks are amazingly protective and valuable (if also, to some players, an amazingly extravagant waste of this ultimate material!). Raw adamantine may also be processed into stone goods in the same way as other economic stone.
Adamantine items are incredibly light: they weigh about 2.5% as much as an equivalent article crafted from iron. Weapons and armor made from adamantine are 5 times stronger/more deadly than equivalent iron objects, and almost 4x that of steel.*
- (* It's not clear if this matters as much for weapons as much as for armor, especially in the hands of a hero or champion - if an *exceptional steel axe* is lopping off heads and limbs with every stroke, there's not much more you can do - gone is gone. Megabeasts may be the obvious exception to this unproven theory. However, for armor, there is no upper limit to how much damage you want to avoid.)
Adamantine is one of the few magma-safe materials. Raw adamantine is the only stone, aside from bauxite, that can be used to make magma-safe mechanisms. (To do this, you must lift the restrictions on its use via the Stone submenu of the status screen.) Mechanisms can also be made from three adamantine wafers at a forge or magma forge (under "trap components") by a mechanic - though this cannot be done with any other metal, it is far more efficient to use the raw stone.
Raw Adamantine is stored in stone stockpiles with "Raw Adamantine" enabled in that stockpile's 'other stone' category.
However once strands are extracted, they are stored in a cloth pile. It is unfortunately impossible to directly segregate adamantine from plant fiber and silk cloth, because all cloth apparently counts as non-plant/animal products as far as the game is concerned, and adamantine does not appear as a thread/cloth type in the cloth custom stockpile menu. To create a stockpile for adamantine strands designate a cloth stockpile set to accept no types of thread or cloth and tell this stockpile to take from all other cloth stockpiles.
Wafers are stored in bar/block piles with adamantine enabled. All other goods can be stored in any stockpile with the adamantine metal enabled.
Adamantine strands are extracted from raw adamantine at a craftsdwarf's workshop. The strand extraction labor must be enabled for a dwarf to perform the extraction. The process is extremely slow for an unskilled laborer. Adamantine strands are worth 1800☼ each, while the raw adamantine is worth 750. 1 ore => 1 strand => 1 wafer.
Subsequent processing of the strands requires no adamantine-specific skills or labor permissions. Adamantine strands are processed into adamantine wafers at any smelter. Adamantine wafers are worth 1500☼ each - curiously, less than the strands they are smelted from. Adamantine wafers are treated much like bars of other metal, and can be forged into a variety of useful items. Adamantine strands may also be woven into cloth using the Weave Metal Cloth task in a loom. The cloth needed varies by article of clothing: 6 cloth is required for a robe, 5 for a cloak or a dress, 3 for trousers or a shirt, 2 for a vest or hood, but 1 cloth produces a pair of gloves, mittens, socks or shoes. No matter what the cost to make, all adamantine clothing seems to be worth 36000☼ for masterwork, 15000 and 12000 for the next grades down. Surprisingly, adamantine clothing does wear out and lose its value over time like other clothing. Adamantine strands may be dyed for a very small increase in value, but if they are melted into wafers they will return to their normal color and value.
Forging things out of adamantine requires a number of wafers equal to item's MATERIAL_SIZE. This is usually about three times as many as are needed for constructions with bars of other metals, since one metal bar counts for 3 MATERIAL_SIZE. For instance, plate mail has [MATERIAL_SIZE:9] and normally requires three metal bars to forge; adamantine plate mail requires nine adamantine wafers. Helm has [MATERIAL_SIZE:2] and normally requires one metal bar to forge; adamantine helm requires two adamantine wafers. Large furniture takes 9 full wafers and small furniture (buckets, animal traps) takes 3 full wafers (compare to 3 bars and 1 bar respectively for other metals), though there are some exceptions - chains, blocks, and ballista arrow heads require 4 wafers, despite requiring either 1 (for chains and blocks) or 3 (for ballista arrow heads) metal bars. Miscellaneous craft items are only 1 wafer, and you still get a full set of 3 goblets. This makes goblets far and away the best option if you want to maximize your adamantine wealth, even moreso than in other materials.
Note that if you try to melt down adamantine objects, you recover wafers at the same rate that you would normally recover bars, so trying to melt down lower-quality adamantine items to reforge them gets prohibitively expensive in a hurry - adamantine plate mail takes 9 wafers to forge and yields slightly less than a single wafer when melted for scrap.
Engravings in adamantine are not exceptionally valuable, increasing Architecture created wealth by 120 for masterwork or 50 for exceptional quality.
used bronze [MATGLOSS_METAL:ADAMANTINE] [NAME:adamantine][ADJ:adamantine][COLOR:3:3:1] [VALUE:300] [SPEC_HEAT:7500] [MELTING_POINT:25000] [BOILING_POINT:50000] [WEAPON][WEAPON_RANGED][AMMO][DIGGER][ARMOR][ANVIL][ANY_USE] [WAFERS] [DAMAGE_PERC:500] [BLOCK_PERC:500] [SOLID_DENSITY:200] [DEEP]
Billon • Bismuth bronze • Black bronze • Brass • Bronze • Electrum • Fine pewter • Lay pewter • Nickel silver • Pig iron • Rose gold • Steel • Sterling silver • Trifle pewter