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Wikipedia article

Adamantine metal itself is considered 'the king of metals', light as silk, hard as diamond and capable of being sharpened to a near-atomic edge. It is processed from raw adamantine which is formed of clumps of razor-sharp strands that must be carefully extracted from the stone.

Processing adamantine requires separate labors, adamantine extraction and adamantine working, to be enabled under a dwarf's v-p-l menu, all of which do not actually appear until you have discovered raw adamantine. Like craftsworking, adamantine processing is actually made up of a variety of skills:

Adamantine can be used to build any item you could build out of any other material (excluding, oddly, beds), including furniture, bins, mechanisms, shirts, shoes, etc. Adamantine wafers can also be used to build bridges over magma.

Adamantine items are incredibly light; in addition, every dwarf loves adamantine items. Forging the actual item is very fast (even if making the wafers and hauling them to the workshop takes weeks), and doesn't require fuel. Due to their incredible value, adamantine items cannot be decorated or traded.

Adamantine strands are worth 1800☼ each.

Adamantine cloth is worth 2100☼ each. You need three for a shirt, two for shoes, four for pants. Clothes woven from adamantine will never wear out, but your dwarves will never wear them (presumably, they believe them to be too valuable to wear); if you bring a Dwarven adventurer to the fortress (after its eventual destruction or abandonment), you will be able to wear them indefinitely.

Adamantine wafers are worth 1500☼ and take much longer than bars of other metals to make, so it is recommended that you set your fastest dwarves to learn the trade. A battle axe needs four wafers, and a set of plate mail needs nine. A full set of plate mail, boots, gauntlets, greaves and helm takes 21 wafers.