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Black equipment is weaker than Mithril, but stronger than Steel. Black armour and weapons require level 10 in Defense and Attack respectively to wield.

Black is unique among the equipment types, as there is no way to smith it. Black equipment is available only from monster drops, and from some shops, though some black items (such as the black pickaxe) do not exist. Due to this, some other black items were often mistakenly considered 'rare' when in fact obtainable through drops. Another mistaken assumption made among newcomers was that Black armour was made through smithing coal.

Because it can't be smithed, it is unknown if Black is a metal variant or another material form, though subsequently in the RuneScape 2 era it has been asserted that Black is a form of Steel.

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