Steel; a Strong and Versatile Metal
Steel is a mixture of iron and a fraction of a percentage of carbon, which is used to strengthen it. Blacksmiths use steel as a replacement for wrought iron, which is no longer made, and because of this it is often referred to as wrought iron itself.
It is a silvery grey metal, though when heated, it forms a black scale on its surface. This is often dislodged in patches when steel is hammered, so forged steel tends to have an attractive, mottled, sometime shiny, grey-black appearance. If a more uniform finish is required, the scale can be burnished away to leave a satin pewter grey surface.
If left uncoated, steel will eventually oxidize and start to rust. This can be prevented by coating the surface, either with wax or paint, or by having the steel galvanised.