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Moonstone Ore
Refined Moonstone
Moonstone Vein

Elven weapons and light armor are medium-quality items that are made using the mineral moonstone. The weapons and some of the armor require quicksilver as well as moonstone. Elven forging techniques were developed by the Altmer and were originally a closely guarded secret (see Light Armor Forging).


Name ID Weight Value
SR-icon-ore-Moonstone Ore.png Moonstone Ore 0005ace0 1 30
SR-icon-ingot-Refined Moonstone.png Refined Moonstone 0005ad9f 1 75
  • Three moonstone ores are obtained by mining moonstone ore veins.
  • One refined moonstone is obtained by smelting two moonstone ores.
  • Elven Smithing requires 30 or greater Smithing skill.
  • Elven armor is level 12 light armor, made from refined moonstone, iron ingots, leather, and leather strips.
  • Elven weapons are level 19 weapons, made from refined moonstone, quicksilver ingots, iron ingots, and leather strips.
  • Refined moonstone is also used when forging glass weapons and armor.

Mineral Sources

In addition to the following guaranteed sources, the best random locations are:

  • Refined moonstone may be sold by blacksmiths starting at level 6 and general goods merchants starting at level 4.
  • Moonstone ore may be sold by blacksmiths and general goods merchants starting at level 10.
  • Moonstone ore may be randomly found in Falmer loot starting at level 7.

There are a total of 44 veins, 6 ores, and 9 ingots at guaranteed locations. Some individual veins that are located outside and are not near any landmarks have been left out of the following list. The Moonstone Veins category also provides a list of locations containing veins, and all exterior ore veins are shown on (map).

Region Location Veins Ores Ingots Details
The Reach Soljund's Sinkhole 5 3 2
Eastmarch Mzulft 7 Must start Revealing the Unseen to gain access to ore veins
Falkreath Hold Southfringe Sanctum 3 (map)
Winterhold The Midden 4
The Pale Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon 1 2 (map); must complete Pieces of the Past to gain access
Winterhold Blackreach 2
The Reach Darkfall CaveDG 2
Eastmarch Kagrenzel 2
Whiterun Hold Silent Moons Camp 2 (map)
Eastmarch Stony Creek Cave 2
SolstheimDB Altar of Thrond 1
Eastmarch Cronvangr Hall 1
The Rift Crystaldrift Cave 1
The Rift Last VigilDB 1
Winterhold Ironbind Barrow 1
The Reach Nchuand-Zel 1
The Pale Nightcaller Temple 1
Falkreath Hold North Skybound Watch 1 (map)
The Rift Northwind Summit 1 (map)
The Pale Raldbthar 1 (map)
Haafingar Shadowgreen Cavern 1
The Rift Tolvald's Cave 1
Winterhold Winterhold Imperial Camp 1 (map)
Haafingar Wolfskull Cave 1
The Reach Blind Cliff Cave 1
The Reach Fort Sungard 2
The Pale Brinehammer 1

Elven Smithing

Elven Smithing is the first perk in the Light Armor branch of the Smithing skill's perk tree. Unlocking it requires a Smithing skill of at least 30, and the Steel Smithing perk must have already been unlocked. Elven Smithing allows elven armor, elven gilded armor, and elven weapons to be crafted.

The Elven Smithing perk also causes tempering of elven weapons and armor (including elven gilded armor and elven light armor) to be twice as effective. This perk applies to both unenchanted elven gear and enchanted gear (generic armor, generic weapons, or custom), as long as the Arcane Blacksmith perk has been unlocked. Tempering of several other items is also improved by Elven Smithing, namely: Borvir's Dagger, Firiniel's End, Herebane's Courage, Herebane's Fortress, and Auriel's BowDG.

Elven Armor

Elven armor is a medium-quality armor with several variants.

  • Standard elven armor is better quality than leather, but lower quality than scaled. However, it is also the lightest set of armor in the game. It appears in leveled lists starting at level 12 (enchanted varieties at level 13).
  • Elven gilded armor is an improved version of the cuirass that is also unlocked by the Elven Smithing perk, but is created using quicksilver in place of leather. Its armor rating is 6 points higher, making it better than scaled armor, but has the same weight as standard. However, a full set of elven armor when equipped with the elven gilded armor has the same total armor rating as a full set of scaled armor. It appears in leveled lists starting at level 27 (enchanted varieties at level 28).
  • Elven light armor is a variant worn by the Thalmor that includes boots, cuirass, gauntlets, and helmet, but no shield. It cannot be crafted by the player, and does not appear in leveled lists. Despite its name, it does not weigh any less than standard elven armor, but is of lower overall quality (with the same armor rating as leather armor).

All versions of elven armor can be tempered using one refined moonstone, with the exception of elven gilded armor which is tempered using one quicksilver ingot. Having the Elven Smithing perk doubles the quality improvement.

Any combination of elven and elven light armor qualifies for the Matching Set perk. However, elven gilded armor does not match any of the other pieces. Therefore, for characters who have unlocked the Matching Set bonus, the elven gilded armor cuirass is effectively of lower quality than elven armor cuirass.

  • This was fixed by the Official Skyrim Patch v1.9. Any combination of elven, elven light and gilded armor now benefits from the Matching Set perk.
A female Imperial wearing elven armor
A male Nord wearing elven armor
Name (ID) Weight Value Rating Raw Materials Delta Ratio
SR-icon-ingot-Refined Moonstone.png Moonstone SR-icon-ingot-Iron Ingot.png Iron SR-icon-misc-Leather.png Leather SR-icon-misc-LeatherStrips.png Strips Weight Value Weight Value
SR-icon-armor-ElvenArmor.png Elven Armor
4 225 29 4 1 1 3 -3.3 -101 0.55 0.69
SR-icon-armor-ElvenBoots.png Elven Boots
1 45 8 2 1 1 2 -4.2 -128 0.19 0.26
SR-icon-armor-ElvenGauntlets.png Elven Gauntlets
1 45 8 1 1 1 2 -3.2 -53 0.24 0.46
SR-icon-armor-ElvenHelmet.png Elven Helmet
1 110 13 2 1 1 1 -4.1 -60 0.20 0.65
SR-icon-armor-ElvenShield.png Elven Shield
4 115 21 4 1 0 2 -1.2 -198 0.77 0.37
Totals (with shield): 11 540 79 13 5 4 10
Totals (without shield): 7 425 58 9 4 4 8
Name (ID) Weight Value Rating Raw Materials Delta Ratio
SR-icon-ingot-Refined Moonstone.png Moonstone SR-icon-ingot-Quicksilver Ingot.png Quicksilver SR-icon-ingot-Iron Ingot.png Iron SR-icon-misc-LeatherStrips.png Strips Weight Value Weight Value
SR-icon-armor-ElvenArmor.png Elven Gilded Armor
4 550 35 4 1 1 3 -2.3 174 0.63 1.46

Elven Weapons

Elven weapons are medium-quality weapons that are better than the weapons associated with medium-quality heavy armor, (Dwarven and Orcish), but not as good as glass or ebony. They appear in leveled lists starting at level 19 (enchanted varieties at level 20). All items except ammunition can be tempered using one refined moonstone, and having the Elven Smithing perk doubles the quality improvement. Arrows can only be smithed if the Dawnguard add-on has been installed.

Name (ID) Weight Value Damage Crit.
Critical Damage
Speed Reach Raw Materials Delta Ratio
SR-icon-ingot-Refined Moonstone.png Moonstone SR-icon-ingot-Quicksilver Ingot.png Quicksilver SR-icon-ingot-Iron Ingot.png Iron SR-icon-misc-LeatherStrips.png Strips Weight Value Weight Value
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenDagger.png Elven Dagger
4 95 8 4 1.3 0.7 1 1 1 1 0.9 -50 1.29 0.66
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenSword.png Elven Sword
13 235 11 5 1 1 1 1 1 1 9.9 90 4.19 1.62
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenWarAxe.png Elven War Axe
15 280 12 6 0.9 1 1 1 1 2 11.8 132 4.69 1.89
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenMace.png Elven Mace
17 330 13 6 0.8 1 2 1 1 1 12.9 110 4.15 1.50
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenGreatsword.png Elven Greatsword
20 470 20 10 0.7 1.3 2 1 2 3 14.7 237 3.77 2.02
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenBattleaxe.png Elven Battleaxe
24 520 21 10 0.7 1.3 2 1 2 2 18.8 290 4.62 2.26
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenWarhammer.png Elven Warhammer
28 565 23 11 0.6 1.3 2 1 2 3 22.7 332 5.28 2.42
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenBow.png Elven Bow
12 470 13 6 0.69 1 2 1 0 0 9 260 4.00 2.24
SR-icon-weapon-ElvenArrows.png Elven Arrow
0 5 16 N/A 1 Moonstone + 1 Firewood =
24 Elven ArrowsDG
-6 40 0.00 1.50

The base gold value used for all generic enchanted versions of the elven bow is 165 instead of 470. This means that the enchanted weapons are 305 gold cheaper than they should be, and in several cases are cheaper than the unenchanted bow. This bug is shared by several types of bow in the game.


  • Elven armor can be a better overall choice than light armors made from higher quality materials: with sufficient Smithing and Light Armor skill levels and perks, elven armor can be improved well past the Armor Cap of 567, at which point there is no advantage to upgrading to scaled, glass, or dragonscale armors. In fact, there would be a disadvantage due to the increased weight of those armor types, unless you have perks negating the weight of worn armor.
  • If you are carrying an elven sword, guards may ask, "Why the Elven blade, hmm? Nord steel not good enough for you?"
  • Moonstone jewelry can be found in random loot (i.e., Copper and Moonstone Circlet and Silver and Moonstone Circlet) but cannot be crafted by you.
  • Moonstone (ore or ingot) is one of four items needed at the Atronach Forge to create a Staff of the Frost Atronach.
  • Moonstone ore can be sold to Perth for the quest Mine Ore.
  • Ore veins (all types) sometimes do not respawn normally. See Mining (Bugs) and elsewhere on that article and its talk page.
  • Temper recipes are found[verification needed — Where?] for elven gilded boots, gauntlets, helm and shield, meaning they may have been planned at some point during development.