In every culture, since ancient times, gold has been valued for its unique beauty, as well as its unique properties. Since the beginning of time, a concept called “Alchemy” emerged, a proto-science that spread throughout the world in an attempt to convert base metals into “The King of Metals”. The idea of ​​transmutation takes as its starting point the observation of the presence of changes occurring in nature, and in them, the application of analogies and correspondences between them. The main basic theories date back to various theories of matter, which reduce the diversity of material substances to several fundamental 'elements'.

THE PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF GOLD, ITS
ALLOYS AND THEIR COMPONENTS HAVE BEEN
EXTENSIVELY RESEARCHED THROUGH THE YEARS.


The yellow metal has had an immense
influence in economic and cultural spheres
in the history of man, mainly for its
particular properties.


It is well known the value that gold can have, however, this does not lie solely in its shiny appearance, but in its properties, it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, it is the most malleable and ductile of metals, an ounce of Gold can be molded into a sheet covering 30 m2, so thin that it can transmit green light and still retain its malleability. It is one of the few metals that is found in pure composition, either as fine dispersed particles, or gold-bearing rocks in alluvial deposits. It has been seen, since ancient times, as a symbol of immortality because it does not corrode or rust. Although it is widespread in nature, it is extremely rare and represents only 0.0000005% of the Earth's crust compared to other metals. Its scarcity made gold the most prized possession of kings and nobles, and it was also used as a medium of exchange, as well as the basis of most monetary systems. The desire for its acquisition generated the impetus for numerous exploratory expeditions; from Jason's voyages, through Marco Polo's voyage to Cathay, Columbus' discovery of the new world, Spanish explorations of Central and South America, to the most recent Gold Rush series: California, Nevada, Colorado , Alaska, the Yukon Territory of Canada, Siberia, Australia and South Africa. Gold led the spread of civilization and the opening of new territories. Today South Africa is the world's leading producer of gold, followed by the USSR.


THE ART OF TRANSFORMING

'Alchemy is simple chemistry. The name has been decomposed
by the follies and purposes of the ancient alchemists'
- ISAAC ASIMOV

Alchemy has been interpreted by many writers in a restricted sense, as the alleged art of transmuting the so-called 'base metals' into 'noble metals', gold and silver; and in a broader sense, as a system of philosophy with the purpose of investigating the mystery of life, as well as the formation of inanimate substances. Alchemy arises as a mixture of primitive science, metallurgy, mysticism, philosophy, religion, astrology and various occult sciences. From the time of its appearance in Greco-Roman Egypt, approximately 2000 years ago, and until today, alchemy has evolved in various cultural and intellectual contexts, to unfold along multiple lines. Themes related to those developed in Western alchemy were also addressed in the initial investigations of the Far East (China and India).

The yellow metal has had an immense
influence in economic and cultural spheres

in the history of man, mainly for its
particular properties.


The origins of alchemy date back to ancient Egypt from the cosmopolitan and Hellenized civilization of the first centuries of the Christian era. Egypt had fallen under Greek cultural influence after Alexander's conquest. After its absorption by the Roman Empire, its main city, Alexandria, became a crossroads for cultures, people, and ideas. From this mixture of the Eastern Mediterranean, the first chemical texts come, thus giving rise to its name chymica. The smelting of metals (silver, tin, copper or lead), from their ores, had been practiced since 4000 years ago; the technique of forming alloys, such as bronze and brass, had been developed; In Egypt there was a craftsmanship, a product of the manipulation of glass, the creation of artificial gems, cosmetics and other products that reflected an already established chemistry. The first texts that scholars attribute to the history of alchemy were written in Greek on papyri in the third century AD; They were discovered in Egypt six centuries later, and are now preserved in the museums of Leiden and Stockholm, although they are not the only original documents that have survived from the Greco-Egyptian period. Many books and treatises were written in that period which are found in a compendium of fragments; They make up the Corpus alchemicum graecum, compiled by Byzantine authors. The oldest text of the Corpus is titled Physika kai mystica. Despite the title, it has no relation to what we understand by mysticism in religious thought, but rather designates the secret and hidden. Like the papyri mentioned, it is intended to imitate precious metals. The process of making gold was called chrysopoeia; It was usually accompanied by argyropoeia, or silver making.


TRANSMUTATION

Despite the various senses in which alchemy can be interpreted, its main objective is to convert 'base' metals into gold. Since many alchemists were miners and metallurgists, who apparently could turn rocks and sand into metals, they believed that they could apparently turn rocks and sand into metals, they believed that rock was actually transformed into metal, sometimes into opaque lead, sometimes into copper. reddish, sometimes in whitish silver and sometimes in yellow gold. They believed that metals believed in the earth, changing color as they matured (that idea still persists in the Philippines); where miners sowed someone else's seeds, more gold would grow from them. At the end of the 16th century, a famous miner named Calbus of Freiberg, described the growth and decay of metals, which were believed to be generated by an exhalation from a respective planet – gold (The Sun), silver (The Moon), steel (Mars), mercury (Mercury), tin (Jupiter), copper (Venus) and lead (Saturn) – and matured through exhalations, gold “the perfect metal” was obtained. However, if gold had not been considered a fruit or planetary influences, at that time it would have been considered waste due to its scarcity.


TRANSMUTE IS THE POWER TO TRANSFORM, TO CHANGE SOMETHING INTO ANOTHER THING, NOW FROM AN ALCHEMIST SENSE, IT IS THE TRANSFORMATION OF METALS, IN A MORE HUMAN SENSE, THE ART OF TRANSMUTE IS PART OF THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE BEING.

The ancient alchemists thought that the universe had a fundamental unity, a single material substance from which all things came through different transformations, so a possible material transformation of one element into another was deducible and they sought to transmute lower substances into one that would entail the maximum degree of the material scale, provided the conditions were suitable. They believed that the basic mineral substances were sulfur and mercury and that the other metals arose from different proportions in the combination of these two elements passed through fire, a transformative element par excellence with which man learned that matter could be transformed at will. They claimed that from these mixtures it was possible to obtain gold, a symbol of perfection. Due to lack of knowledge, many alchemists viewed ordinary chemical reactions as transmutation; an example was depositing copper on iron metal placed in a solution of copper sulfate, a redox reaction was supposed to be a transmutation of iron into copper, until the end of the Renaissance. Very valuable reactions also arose with color changes with minerals. The art of coloring metals, or producing various gold-colored alloys of base metals, was well known and easy to perform, and to unknowing people, if a substance was the color of gold, it was believed to be gold.

DISCOVER OUR COLLECTIONS INSPIRED BY THE ALCHEMIST DESIRE


Previous Article Next Article