Lithium hardly feels like metal when you hold it. I mean, it certainly looks like metal but you'd think you were holding popcorn. Not that it would stay looking metallic for long. Within seconds it turns black and in a few minutes after that start falling apart into a dusty mess. Make the mistake of tossing it in water and you'll see it catch on fire and make a hiss as if the damn thing's screaming at being on fire!
You see, lithium just isn't very happy in this oxygen-rich planet of ours so it has few chances of staying a metal. We try our best here by coating it in mineral oil and an inert stiff gel which is sufficient to stabilize it and mount it for display.
Now also comes in a worry-free ampule that ensures the sample is kept free of oxides.