Celebrimbor was born in Valinor, the son of Curufin, fifth son of Fëanor (son of Finwë and his first wife Miriel) and Nerdanel. His unnamed mother remained in Valinor. He followed his grandfather into exile, though little is said of his deeds during the First Age. He probably fled to Nargothrond after the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame). However, he took no part in the deeds of Curufin and Celegorm regarding Lúthien, Beren, and Finrod. He even repudiated his father's deeds and did not follow him when the two brothers were expelled from Nargothrond. Celebrimbor survived the First Age and was probably was forced, due to the Doom of Mandos, to remain in Middle-earth rather than return to Valinor, but perhaps freely elected to remain.
He settled in Eregion in the Second Age and started dealing with the dwarves of the realm of Khazad-dûm . In SA 1500 an entity who called himself Annatar befriended the Ñoldor of Eregion. He claimed to be an emissary of the Valar specially Aule and started to teach them the art of ringmaking. Galadriel and Gil-Galad distrusted him but Celebrimbor was decieved. Under the guidance and instruction of Annatar Celebrimbor openly made sixteen rings : seven for the dwarves, and nine for men. But secretly, without Annatar's knowledge, Celebrimbor created the three Rings of the Elves, the greatest and fairest of the Rings of Power. These rings were thus free of Annatar's corrupting influence. Celebrimbor named the rings Vilya, Narya and Nenya after the principal Middle-earth elements of air, fire and water, respectively. According to the dwarves, the chief Dwarven Ring of Power was also made free of Sauron's influence and given to a dwarf personally by Celebrimbor. Though dwarves' lore and possibly true, it may not have any credibility. However, it would add more of an elemental sense to Celebrimbor's rings ("elemental" referring to the four basic originally-thought elements of fire, water, air, and earth), being as dwarves are known for prowess with stone and rock, it would not be much of a stretch of the imagination for it to have represented the ring of earth.
At this time, Annatar was secretly forging the One Ring which he designed to enable him to rule Middle Earth via its influence over the other rings. Annatar reassumed his role as the Dark Lord Sauron and placed the One Ring on his finger, claiming dominance over all the Rings of Power and their bearers. Celebrimbor and the Elves of Eregion defied Sauron by withholding the other rings from him. He sent the three rings away for safekeeping: Vilya and Narya to Gil-galad in Lindon (according to some versions he gave Narya directly to Cirdan), and Nenya to Galadriel in Lothlórien. Sauron retaliated by attacking Eregion, laying waste to the realm. Celebrimbor was captured in the sack and was forced under torture to disclose where the Nine and the Seven were held, but he would not reveal the whereabouts of the three elvish rings. Sauron captured the lesser rings and used them as instruments of evil in later years, particularly against men. Celebrimbor died from his torment, the last direct descendant of the line of Fëanor (save perhaps for his father's brother Maglor, whose fate is unknown and is said by some legends to still wander the shores of the Sea). His body was used as a banner by Sauron.
Celebrimbor was one of the most skilled smiths of Middle Earth. He forged some of the most important artifacts of Middle Earth. Amongst these are:The Three Rings, The Seven Rings (With the help of Sauron), The Nine Rings (With the help of Sauron), The Doors of Durin in Khazad-dûm (with the help of the dwarf Narvi). According to some versions of the stories he made a version of the Elessar as a gift to Galadriel who he loved.
- The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
- The Lord of the Rings
- The Complete Guide to Middle-earth