Iron is a lustrous, magnetic, bendable, shiny white metallic element. Iron comes from the Latin word ferrum. From ferrum its symbol became Fe. The atomic number of iron is 26, and its atomic weight is 55.845. Iron is a transition metal and is also an essential and non-toxic element. However, since iron is a trace element, it can be toxic if not taken in very small doses. The date of discovery is known to the ancient civilizations. The discoverer of iron is unknown.

Iron is the fourth most abundant element in the Earth's crust. It is the second most abundant metal after aluminum. It comprises nearly 5.6% of the Earth's crust. Because it is so common, iron has been used by human society for thousands of years. Iron was known and used for weapons in prehistoric ages, the earliest example still in existence; a group of rusty iron beads found in Egypt, dates from about 4000BC. This period in history was given the name Iron Age because it was the time when people found ways to get iron and to use it for building tools and weapons. .

Iron is the most useful of all metals. It is also the cheapest available metal. Most is used to manufacture steel. Ordinary carbon steel is an alloy of iron with carbon (about 1.5%), with small amounts of other elements. Alloy steels are carbon steels with other additives such as nickel and chromium.

The types of iron can be classified as (1) pig iron, (2) cast iron, or (3) wrought iron. Pig iron is produced in furnace blast. Cast iron is any iron alloy that contains from 2 to 4 percent carbon and wrought iron is mixed with a glasslike material. .

The related elements to iron consist of Ruthenium (Ru), Osmium (Os), and Hassium (Hs). .

Iron is an essential part of a healthy diet. Iron compounds are employed for medicinal purposes in the treatment of anemia, when the amount of hemoglobin or the number of red blood corpuscles in the blood is lowered. Iron is a component of the complex compound in red blood cells called hemoglobin.