The lustrous shining metal also known as Truesilver or Mithril was a remarkable metal that the Dwarves discovered in the mines of Khazad-dum. There are indications that it was also found in Numenor and in Aman. It was supple and easy to work with and could be polished to shimmer like silver that never tarnished. It was stronger than steel.
Although legend said that this metal had been mined in Numenor, in Middle-earth it was found only in the mines beneath the Mountains of Moria. The Elves called it Mithril, and the Dwarves, who valued it most of all, had their own secret name for it. Like ordinary silver, it was easily malleable and could be polished to a brilliant shine, but it was also harder than the hardest steel.
Moria Silver was always valuable, but after the Dwarves were driven out of Khazad-dum and mining ceased, it became precious almost beyond calculation. In Numenor, King Tar-Telemmaite became so greedy for Mithril that it gave him his name - Telemmaite meaning "silverhand."
In Middle-earth, the Dwarves' discovery of Mithril drew the Noldor to found the kingdom of Eregion in the lands west of their mines. As the years passed, the seams beneath Khazad-dum began to be worked out, and the Dwarves dug deeper and deeper. It was their deep mining for Mithril that would awaken the Balrog, Durin's Bane, and bring about the downfall of their kingdom. Of all the Mithril artifacts, the most famous is surely the coat of mail given to Bilbo Baggins by Thorin Oakenshield, that was held for a while in the Michel Delving mathom-house before being worn by Frodo during the Quest of Mount Doom.
Many other of the World's most important items were also made of Mithril. The symbol of High Kingship worn by Elendil and Isildur was the Elendiimir, a diamond bound to the brow by a Mithril fillet, and Nenya, one of the Three Rings of the Elves, was also made of the metal, again bearing a diamond. Greatest of all, according to legend, was the ship of Earendil in which he sailed into the sky, making the gleam of Truesilver visible to the world as the Evening and Morning Star.