View Full Version : a delicate experiment

solomon levi
05-18-2009, 11:18 PM
Here Glauber gives a way of making gold and silver, but
the materials are pretty dangerous, especially if you try to make
the fulminating gold or silver yourself, so I advise you do not
try that unless you're very advanced in chemistry, cause you can
blow yourself up.

His fluxing powder is 1 part sulphur, 2 parts sal tartari, and
3 parts nitre.

I tried using fulminating silver from "poppers" that you get at the
fireworks stand. They're the little wrapped paper things that you throw on
the ground and they explode/snap. They are made sand plated with
fulminating silver.

To transmute copper into silver you use about 1/2 ounce of fluxing powder
and add 1 ounce of fulminating silver. This must be done carefully because
the silver can explode just by dropping into the crucible or by stirring.
(Trust me - I know!)
Then add 1 ounce of copper wire, SSS (make layers).

The experiment is the same for gold except use gold fulminate and iron instead of copper.

So I did this with the silver, using just one box for starters cause I wasn't sure what
kind of explosion to expect. I don't think one box gave me an ounce of fulminate. Maybe
three boxes or four would do it.

Close the crucible and heat from the bottom. Close it with a weight or something or
your material will go flying out like a rocket.

This is alchemy as "Philosopher by fire", with a little Beavis and Butthead flavor -
"FIRE !!! Yeah, yeah!"

Anyway I got a nice "regulus" which sort of resembles antimony glass only grey,
probably because of the addition of so much sand - which all melted by the way.
The fluxing powder burns very hot, so you can melt metals with it.
I'm not sure how to part the silver from the regulus - I guess put it in nitric acid, etc.

Well, let me know if any of you try this.
And be careful with the fulminating silver. It can explode just trying to unwrap it
from the paper, or dropping it into the crucible or stirring it around. Be careful at
all these junctures - be gentle. Let it slide into the crucible instead of dropping it.

05-18-2009, 11:56 PM
Interesting experiment! There have been some rumors floating around that the Philosopher's Stone is gold fulminate. The Red Stone that I have in mind, the Stone that the Philosopher's say is their Stone, is not explosive in any form.

Explosive silver & gold is easy to make. Take silver oxide, or gold hydroxide (should also work with gold chloride) and digest with ammonia, or spirit of urine, and gently evaporate. You're left with a highly explosive solid. These should only be handled under ammonia. They're least reactive when wet. Neither of these are true chemical fulminates, but they possess some of the same properties. A method of making silver fulminate is fairly easy: take silver nitrate dissolved in nitric acid (or silver in nitric acid, either way works), and digest in highly rectified spirit of wine.

Gold hydroxide, or some would say m-state gold, can be made by addition of caustic potash to a solution of gold dissolved in aqua regia.

I'm not sure how to part the silver from the regulus - I guess put it in nitric acid, etc.
That's a good question. I'm not sure how to separate silver from copper. Both copper and silver react with nitric acid to form copper/silver nitrate.

EDIT: This thread reminds me of the "Vitriol of Saturn" thread posted by Vlad. Very interesting similarities.

solomon levi
05-19-2009, 12:23 AM
Hey Aleilius! I finished the post if you want to re-read it.
Oh - I'll post a pic of the regulus later.

I had a dream last night and I was looking through some books in a
used book store and I kept coming across your name in the text: Aleilius.
At the time I knew what the book was, but I don't remember now.
Something on occult physics...

Here's the text from Glauber:

05-19-2009, 01:25 AM
Hi Solomon Levi, thanks for the link. I will read it later tonight! That's an interesting dream you had. Occult physics you say? Hehe, I've been looking for an occupation title. I bet the chicks really dig it too! :D

I found something you might like. Here's the link: http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA47&dq=glauber+The+Philosophic+Stone&id=nntKEQVzHP0C

This is a familiar process I've read about before, but Glauber's process isn't complete. This particular process when carried out properly can make a fulminating gold powder. Dissolve gold in philosophic aqua regia (nitric acid + ammonium chloride), then evaporated to dryness, and finally redissolved in distilled water. This is then precipitated with potassium carbonate, and decanted. This precipitate is explosive when dry. ;)

The key is the philosophic aqua regia he uses. It's very similar to Vlad's thread about Terry's Vitriol of Saturn process (he used nitric acid, potassium nitrate, and ammonium chloride - forms a philosophic aqua regia).

EDIT: To separate your silver from copper you can dissolve the whole mass in nitric acid, evaporate to dryness, dissolve with water, and then precipitate silver chloride via addition of hydrochloric acid or salt.

solomon levi
05-19-2009, 11:39 PM
Thanks Aleilius.

Here's a pic of the regulus: