Update you browser

For the best experience, we recommend you update your browser. Visit our accessibility page for a list of supported browsers. Alternatively, you can continue using your current browser by closing this message.

Alchemy meets Jewellery

Key details


  • 10:30am – 5pm


  • Kensington
  • Royal College of Art, Lecture Theatre 1, Frayling Building, London SW7 2EU


  • Free

Who could attend

  • Everyone


  • Conference or symposium

Alchemy and jewellery as activities are similar in that they involve a combination of material practice and abstract conceptualisation. Both encompass actual manipulation as well as abstract contemplation of the physical world. During the symposium we will be exploring how this dual aspect is reflected in both alchemists' and jewellers' work and their immediate and long-term cultural, social, and philosophical impact.

Over the course of the day we will be hearing from historians, museologists, and practicing jewellers based in Europe or North America, each with a professional research interest that either relates to, or intersects, alchemy or jewellery. They will reflect on why they find these subjects a fascinating topic of study, what both subjects can tell us about the human condition and why these topics provide important insights on current global issues.

This symposium comes at an important moment in science and technology studies, as it will coincide with the publication of a special edition of AMBIX*, entitled 'Gold & Mercury: Amalgamated Histories in Chemistry, Culture, and Environment'. The symposium will include authors contributing to this special edition, as well as colleagues who contributed to the workshop 'Gold & Mercury – Metals in Transit', held at the Lorentz Centre at Leiden University during autumn 2022. Alchemy meets Jewellery will therefore provide an opportunity for the audience to hear about and discuss the results of recent research in this area and reflect on its wider contemporary relevance.

*AMBIX (Print ISSN: 0002-6980 Online ISSN: 1745-8234) is an internationally recognised, peer-reviewed quarterly journal devoted to publishing high-quality, original research and book reviews covering the intellectual, social, and cultural history of alchemy and chemistry. It is managed by the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (SHAC) and Taylor and Francis.

Alchemy Meets Jewellery