For centuries, bronze has been prized for its toughness, and there is a lot of proof for it. One such proof is the bronze bell from the ill-fated HMS Erebus, a Royal Navy ship that went missing, along with the HMS Terror, almost 170 years ago while trying to find the fabled Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Discovered last September 2014 and subsequently recovered a couple of months later, the bell was among the few artifacts from the HMS Erebus wreck that was found perfectly intact after the ship went missing back in 1845—its exact fate never known, until today. Aside from a few amounts of coral on its surface, the bell remains whole and its distinguishing marks are perfectly legible: a broad arrow symbol representing Royal Navy ownership, and the date 1845 (the year the expedition set sail).
The durability of bronze stretches far beyond bells. Modern preservation techniques aside, various bronze sculptures hundreds and thousands of years old have survived until this day, and are now being adored in museums around the world. Among these is Bronze David by the Renaissance artisan Donatello, made in the 1440s, which looks no less different than the way it did centuries ago.
There are numerous metals that can last, but apparently nothing can match bronze in terms of longevity. So for sculptors and artisans looking to craft a piece that would stand the test of time, durable bronze sheets from suppliers are the best materials.