The Alchemy of Gemstone Heat Treatment

Before the advent of modern science, Renaissance-era proto-scientists known as alchemists thought that they could change the fundamental chemistry of lead through an elaborate and semi-mystical process and purify it into gold. These ancient seekers were doing all sorts of experiments with chemicals and rigorously keeping track of their results in order to be able to share their findings with other alchemists. They believed that if they, through their experiments and research, conquered the four classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water and became masters of the physical world, they would be able to purify lead into gold and then through the same process, proceed to purify the human soul into a state of divine perfection.

It’s doubtful that any alchemist ever succeeded in turning lead into gold but their experiments, theories, and early deaths due to chemical poisoning might have lead to the discovery of the phenomenon that I witnessed in a homemade shed behind a house in Ratanakiri, Cambodia.

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