philosopher's stone

AlexRosewater 03-03-2006 07:45 PM
My question is do you think one was ever made back in the western Alchemy era.?

Here's a defintion and info on it.

The philosopher's stone, in Latin lapis philosophorum, is a mythical substance that supposedly could turn inexpensive metals into gold and/or create an elixir that would make humans younger, thus delaying death. It was a longtime "holy grail" of Western alchemy. In the mystic view of alchemy, making the philosopher's stone would bring enlightenment upon the maker and conclude the Great Work. It is also known by several other names, such as materia prima.

The concept apparently originated from the theories of the 8th century Islamic alchemist Geber. He analyzed each Aristotelian element in terms of four basic qualities of hotness, coldness, dryness, and moistness. Thus, fire was both hot and dry, earth cold and dry, water cold and moist, and air hot and moist. He further theorized that every metal was a combination of these four principles, two of them interior and two exterior.

From this premise, it was reasoned that the transmutation of one metal into another could be effected by the rearrangement of its basic qualities. This change would presumably be mediated by a substance, which came to be called al-iksir in Arabic (from which comes the Western term "elixir"). It was often imagined as a dry powder, made from a mythical stone — the "philosopher's stone". The stone was believed to have been composed of a substance called carmot.

Geber's theory and the concept of the philosopher's stone may have been inspired by the knowledge that metals like gold and silver could be hidden in alloys and ores, from which they could be recovered by the appropriate chemical treatment. Geber himself is believed to be the inventor of aqua regia, a mixture of muriatic and nitric acids, which is one of the few substances that can dissolve gold (and is still often used for gold recovery and purification).


Specifically, Kelley claimed that he had acquired in England small amounts of two powders, one white and one red, which had allegedly been found in Wales, in the raided tomb of a Bishop. From these two powders, Kelley would prepare a red "tincture", one drop of which could turn a larger quantity of heated mercury into gold. There are reports that he performed this feat several times, once even in the presence of Rudolf's court officials, and the gold was later tested and found to be genuine. He is also reported as sending to queen Elizabeth I of England a copper bed warmer which had been partly transmuted into gold.