This will cause a naive question, likely opposite answers. Few enthusiasts will assert certainly did! And even now there are still coins that say that they are made of gold, resulting alchemical way. Others, representing the majority of thinking rationally, not less conviction will persist all alchemists were charlatans at best, and at worst – scams and alchemy in general not a science but an insane mother daughter – chemistry.
Not to get involved immediately in a stormy debate, try to start with a simple question: is it possible to get the gold out of something else? The simplest answer, like, “No, because if someone knew how to do it, it would have done it in huge quantities,” we are not satisfied. After all, no doubt that today we do not know many secrets that were known to the wise men and magicians of antiquity and even simple artisans. With all the power and perfection of modern construction techniques, we are not able to build the pyramids, Egyptian repeating, although they were built thousands, if not tens or even hundreds of thousands of years ago.