Chrysopodium is a substance manufactured by the Gudersnipe Foundation. While initially discovered during the Second Age, the material did not go in to industrial manufacture until the Age of the New Day.
Chrysopodium is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. It is physically and chemically indistinguishable from gold. This is due mainly to it being synthetic gold, but labeled otherwise for legal reasons.
The material is used in a wide variety of industrial applications, and is manufactured specifically for this purpose. A small amount is diverted to other applications.
The process for production of Chrysopodium was first developed during the early Second Age, primarily as a thought experiment but mostly to prove that it was possible. While no application for the material existed at the time, a white paper was produced detailing the process and laying out steps to produce the material somewhat cheaply on an industrial level, using then-new Giga Collider facilities.
When the dust settled at the beginning of the New Day, the Gudersnipe Foundation found itself heavily indebted to the Trans-Draconic Federation(though the Federation was equally indebted to the Foundation in other ways). As a show of good faith, and in order to erase the debt at a fraction of it's true monetary value, the Foundation gave ownership of most of it's active and speculative gold mines to the Federation. The stipulation held that only Foundation-employed workers would be allowed to work the mines for the next century, and that the Federation would pay them for their time and equipment costs, while receiving the full output of the mines' gold. If any other valuable minerals were extracted, the Foundation would have first rights to purchase them at a little bellow market price. The total expected output of the mines over the next century was estimated at less than a third of the Foundation's over-all debt to the dragons, but still agreed upon as fair by both parties. The dragons valued gold substantially over mere currency, while also recognizing that the industrial and intellectual contributions made by the Foundation at the beginning of the Age were difficult to pin a direct price tag on.
While the Foundation was free to discover new mines, in the short term this agreement was to place a tremendous burden on the demand for gold for industrial uses(something which the Foundation relied very heavily upon). The solution(which had been explored and deemed acceptable before the agreement was discussed), was to begin producing Chrysopodium in industrial quantities. While it ultimately costs around twice as much to produce Chrysopodium as it does to mine gold, it has one very important key advantage: since it is synthetic, the dragons view it as having no value. Chrysopodium, then, on the primary and even secondary market, has become a mainstay in industrial capacity, to the point where actual gold is often passed off as it to command a higher selling price.
Chrysopodium production had another interesting and unintended side effect. Because the material is worth significantly more than gold, the recycling of electronics to recover the material is more economically viable.