“Alchemy is a philosophical and protoscientific tradition practiced throughout Europe, Egypt and Asia. It aimed to purify, mature, and perfect certain objects.”
The philosopher’s stone, or stone of the philosophers (Latin: lapis philosophorum) is a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base metals such as mercury into gold (chrysopoeia, from the Greek χρυσός khrusos, “gold,” and ποιεῖν poiēin, “to make”) or silver. It is also able to extend one’s life and called the elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and for achieving immortality; for many centuries, it was the most sought-after goal in alchemy. The philosopher’s stone was the central symbol of the mystical terminology of alchemy, symbolizing perfection at its finest, enlightenment, and heavenly bliss. Efforts to discover the philosopher’s stone were known as the Magnum Opus (“Great Work”).