Many people throughout history believed that there is a way to turn base metals such as Iron, Nickle or goldeneggsCopper into precious metals like Gold or Silver, a practice known as Alchemy.

The manuscripts of Sir Isaac Newton provide evidence that he too spent a great deal of time studying alchemy. 1 Newton saw Alchemy as both scientific and spiritual, 2furthermore, the study of Alchemy influenced Isaac Newtons theory of gravity. 3

Several Rabbis / Kabbalists also believed that there is a method that allows one to turn Copper into gold. Some of the more popular Rabbi’s who believed in Alchemy include R’ Yaakov Emden 4 and R’ Chaim Vital the famous student of the Arizal. 5

R’ Yaakov Emden speculated that the book of remedies attributed to King Solomon, contained the secrets of Alchemy. He went on to say that many of the Tannaim and Amoraim (Select Jewish Sages that Lived between 10-500 C.E.) used these secrets to gain incredible wealth. 6 7

In 1980 nuclear scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used a particle accelerator to turn bismuth (a metallic element) into a small amount of gold. The senior author of that study was Nobel Prize winner Glenn Seaborg. In an interview with the Associated Press he stated that: “It would cost more than one quadrillion dollars per ounce to produce gold by this experiment”. 8 A quadrillion is a 1 followed by 15 zero’s, the going price for an ounce of gold currently is approximately $1,230. I was able to locate one book that outlines a detailed method of turning copper into gold. 9 The author writes he found it in a handwritten manuscript. The instructions are as follows:

Step 1: Take 9 chicken eggs

Step 2: Place them in a pot and seal the pot real well

Step 3: Place the pot in the garbage (area where you keep garbage, figure outdoors in a dirty area) for a minimum of 30 days

Step 4: Open the pot and you will find that in each egg there is one worm

Step 5: Take all the contents of the first pot and place it in a new pot and cover it. The worms will eat up the contents inside and then they will start eating each other until there is only one worm left.

Step 6: Open the pot and burn that one big worm inside the pot until you have ashes. Make sure not to stand to close as the smell is like deadly poison.

Step 7: Grind up some copper and sprinkle some of the ashes on it and it will turn to gold.

Outtake of the Sefer נפלאים מעשיך on the topic of Gold

Are these instructions to be taken literal thus discarding them as an ancient myth, or are they really an encoded message? According to a rediscovered manuscript handwritten by legendary physicist Isaac Newton, an obvious encoded message reads: “Combine one part Fiery Dragon, some Doves of Diana, and at least seven Eagles of mercury, and what do you get? A key precursor to the Philosopher’s stone”. 10. The stone in turn can change base metals into gold or silver.

By publishing these findings (those found in Neflaim Mahsecha) and including the original first text, my hope is that maybe others who have been studying Alchemy and it’s history can make more sense of what this recipe really means, if anything. It is not uncommon for ancient Hebrew text (as well as Alchemy recipes) to encode information by using common terms and objects.

In addition, what I found unique about this myth, is that I cannot find a parallel to it in any other texts, nor can I find anyone that discussed the myth, or it’s origination. Then again, maybe a Rabbi took the famous fable ‘To kill the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs’ written by Aesop in 500BCE, a bit too literal.

Chickens have been used for various almost magical purposes in Judaism. While many are familiar with the Kapparot ritual that involves transferring ones sins to a chicken, not many know that chickens make for great detectives. In one Hebrew book 11 a method is outlined on how to identify a thief out of a group of possible suspects, here are the steps:

Step 1: Take a piece of kosher parchment

Step 2: Write on it “עוף עוף עוף” (Chicken Chicken Chicken)

Step 3: Hang it around the neck of a white chicken

Step 4: Place the chicken near all the suspects

Step 5: Observe the chicken as it jumps on the head or bites the guilty party.

The Talmud outlines an interesting way to cure a severe heatstroke, 12the instructions are as follows: Take a black chicken and cut it lengthwise and crosswise (crisscross), then proceed to shave the hair off the middle of your head and place the chicken on it and leave it there until it sticks. Next, go to the river and submerge yourself up to your neck until you feel faint, then swim out and sit down and you will be cured. In addition The Talmud mentions that a chicken can be used to cure a snake bite. 13 The Rambam suggested the consumption of chicken and chicken soup to treat various conditions including Asthma. 14

While the world is full of examples of humans creating gold out of almost nothing, I suspect that the method used involves a mixture of smart and hard work and not 9 chicken eggs.

To read about another myth that involves a method to see the future by using a snakes skin and a hat made of flax, click here



  1. F. Calian, “Some Modern Controversies on the Historiography of Alchemy” in Annual of Medieval Studies at CEU (2010), 186.
  2. Karin Figala, “Newton’s Alchemy,” in The Cambridge Companion to Newton, ed. I. Bernard Cohen and George Edwin Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004),
  3. Mitch Stokes. Isaac Newton p. 57
  4. Iggeret Bikkoret Page 26a
  5. Sefer HaChezyonot, 1:2, 4:16
  6. Iggeret Bikkoret Page 26a
  7. One of the Tannaim R’ Yaakov Emden mentions is R’ Akiva, the Talmud in Nedarim 50a-b does mention the various ways R’ Akiva achieved his wealth, however none of them involved Alchemy.
  9. Neflaim Mahsecha, Letter Zyin, Gold
  11. Rafael Hamalach letter Gimel topic Theif
  12. BT Gittin 67b
  13. BT Yoma 83b
  14. Sefer Haktzoret Treatise on Asthma chapter 6 and 12