Out of all the recipes we chose, this one probably had us scratching our heads the most: The Rasaprakāśasudhākara’s second recipe for making silver. It features uncertain, and exotic materials, and an unusual method.
When Andrew and I selected recipes for this series of experiments, we favoured recipes that appeared simple. Method 14 for making silver made the cut because it was short and featured only a few ingredients: copper, brass, bronze, arsenic sulfide, and silver. Nothing too fancy.
The eleventh chapter of the Rasaprakāśasudhākara contains 20 recipes for making gold, improving the quality of gold, or imitating gold. The recipe of our current experiment is for making copper the colour of gold. Aurifiction, not aurifaction.
With the colour and texture of our first batch of artificial coral not quite right, we embarked on a second (and actually also third) round of experiments. Here’s a quick reminder of the recipe from the Rasaprakāśasudhākara (chapter 11, verses 138-140)
Having carefully ground purified conch shell into a fine powder,