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Although Nephi’s tools were most likely made of iron or steel, bronze remains a possibility. The making of brass or bronze requires the creation of a copper alloy, and examples of such alloys are found in both the Old World and the New World. The nature of the alloys differed depending on the minerals available.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
"Epigraphic Considerations on Janne Sjodahl's Experiment with Nephite Writing,"
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Vol. 10
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/jbms/vol10/iss1/7