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The tiara has been described as tarnished so I'm assuming it's some sort of silver. We've previously seen that Auntie Muriel's tiara is also made of goblin silver so is it safe to assume that a lot of wizarding ornaments are goblin made? It's quite possible Ravenclaw wanted the diadem to be long lasting, and we know goblin silver is pretty strong stuff in that sense.

38

Doubtful

You see, goblin-made silver does not tarnish. As the unpleasant but knowledgeable Phineas Nigellus informs us:

Phineas Nigellus paused again in his struggles to free his eyes and sniggered.

“Muggle-borns,” he said. “Goblin-made armor does not require cleaning, simple girl. Goblins’ silver repels mundane dirt, imbibing only that which strengthens it.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If it doesn't require cleaning, it doesn't tarnish.

We know that the tiara was tarnished, since it is described as "discolored":

There it was, right ahead, the blistered old cupboard in which he had hidden his old Potions book, and on top of it, the pockmarked stone warlock wearing a dusty old wig and what looked like an ancient, discolored tiara.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

While it could possibly have been discolored because of some magical effect too strong for the diadem to repel, it seems most likely that it was just tarnished. It was also described as "battered," another quality that goblins presumably would not want in their creations. By contrast, the sword of Gryffindor (or of Ragnuk the first, depending on how one sees things) apparently survived unharmed for a similar length of time.

As such, the diadem was probably not goblin-made silver.

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    I did remember that goblin silver repels dirt, but tarnishing isn't really the same as getting dirty so I was confused a bit there. Thanks for clarifying! – Reya May 4 '17 at 6:16
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    Considering the Diadem was a Horcrux, I think it's entirely possible that it was Goblin Silver tainted by incredibly powerful Dark Magic. – DisturbedNeo May 4 '17 at 9:16
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    However, would this dark magic be enough to physically batter it? The locket wasn't particularly affected, and though it did contain the soul of a Slytherin descendant, I'm not entirely sure that would make the metal resistant to such Dark magic. The cup, though, had no such problem so can we assume that just the dark magic wouldn't have such an effect? – Reya May 4 '17 at 15:12
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    In addition the tiara is explicitly described as tarnished in Half-Blood Prince – Au101 May 4 '17 at 15:54
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    @DisturbedNeo - the effect of the spells placed on the Horcruxes is to preserve, not to damage. Many harmful spells are considered dark magic, but there is no evidence that such magic damages objects. – Adamant May 4 '17 at 17:11

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