Cagliostro's Transmutation in WarsawThere is a detailed account of how, on June 7th, 1780, Cagliostro made silver in a Masonic Lodge in Warsaw, as one of the members recorded a description of the experiment.
Back to transmutations .
Cagliostro made me weigh out a pound of quicksilver which had been my property and had been already purified. Before that he had bidden me distil some rainwater till all liquid had evaporated leaving a deposit which he called Virgin Earth or secunda materia. Of this there remained about 16 grains. On his instructions I had also prepared an extract of lead.
After all these preparations were complete he went into the lodge, and he entrusted me with the task of carrying out the whole experiment with my own hands. I did this under his instructions in the following way: The Virgin Earth was put into a flask, and half the quicksilver was poured over it. Then I added 30 drops of the lead extract. When the flask was then shaken a little, the quicksilver appeared to be dead or frozen stiff. I then poured lead extract into the remaining quicksilver, but this quicksilver remained unaltered. So I had to pour the two lots of quicksilver together into a larger flask. After I had shaken the quicksilver, however, for some time, all assumed the same consistency. Its colour turned dirty grey.
The whole was now shaken into a bowl which it half filled. Cagliostro next gave me a small piece of paper, which proved to be only the outer wrapping of two others. The innermost contained a shining carmine-coloured powder, weighing perhaps one-tenth of a grain. The powder was shaken into the bowl, and Cagliostro then swallowed the three wrapping papers.
While this was going on I filled up the bowl with plaster of Paris, which had already been prepared with warm water. Though the bowl was already full, Cagliostro took it out of my hands, added some more plaster of Paris, and pressed it firmly with his hands. Then he gave it back to me to dry it over a charcoal fire.
The bowl was now placed in a bed of ashes over the wind furnace. The fire was lit and the bowl left over it for half an hour. It was then taken out with a pair of tongs and carried into the lodge. The bowl was there broken, and in the bottom lay a lump of silver weighing fourteen ounces and a half.