Skip To Content

Current Exhibition

Font size:
Small Font size
Medium Font size
Large Font size

Alchemy: The Secrets of Turning Stone into Gold

When it comes to the ancient art of alchemy, most people would likely picture scenes of mystery and fantasy. Scientifically speaking, alchemy was an imaginatively experimental attempt at converting cheap metals to gold based on a rough understanding of chemistry. It ended up as a false promise, failing to produce gold. However, people’s desire for gold drove the development of metallurgy - a modern-day alchemy.

Jinguashi and Jiufen are both places known for gold production during Taiwan’s gold rush. They both produced gold ore, yet they featured different mineral and vein characteristics. Gold veins in Jinguashi are more widely and evenly distributed, producing small grains of gold embedded in minerals, making them suitable for large-scale excavation with machinery. Gold veins in Jiufen, on the other hand, produce gold along the vein, with grains large enough to be visible to the naked eye. Thus, gold veins discovered in Jiufen were much easier to mine than in Jinguashi.

Due to the differences in the characteristics in the veins and ores in Jinguashi and Jiufen, ways of refining the ores varied. As such, this exhibition aims to explore the process of “modern alchemy” through the different sections - “Arriving in the Goldmines,” “Prospecting, Excavation, Processing, and Refinement,” “Extracting Gold,” “The Processing and Refining Formula,” and “I Am an Alchemist.” Let’s learn the secrets to turning stone into gold.