Two ounces of artificial white arsenic and an equal amount of halinitrum are
placed in an earthenware flask and sealed, after which it is placed on
a charcoal fire and heated for an hour to allow complete mixing.
One-half ounce of this powder, one-half ounce of sublimate of mercury
and one-fourth ounce of argol that has been reduced to a powder over a
fire are mixed together. Then molten copper is allowed to flow into a
silversmith's crucible that has been prepared for it. The rest of the
powdered arsenic and halinitrum are thrown into the copper and
it is stirred rapidly with a rod until purified. When this is completed
one part of the second powder is added to four parts of the purified
copper and thoroughly mixed. Finally the copper is poured into honey
and allowed to cool. This produces white copper.
Iron also can be tinted an alien color. It can be made the color of copper when covered with acid and alumen or atramentum sutorium. There is nothing extraordinary about this.2
At Smolensk, a town in the Carpathian mountians in that part of
Hungary that was called Dacia at one time, water is taken from a
certain pit and poured into canals that are grouped in series of three.
Pieces of iron laid along these canals are turned into copper.3
Very small pieces of iron that are placed at the ends of the canals are
eaten by the water in such a fashion as to give the iron a yellowish
color. This copper is refined in a furnace. Water similar to that
mentioned above also drops from veins filled with minerals that are
joined by a natural relationship to atramentum sutorium and
from which the latter is produced as I have mentioned elsewhere. Old
water that has been used to part silver from gold changes iron into
copper because it is made from atramentum sutorium. Artisans can cover a base metal with a precious meta) so that the object made from the base meta) becomes beautiful ana pleasing.
In this manner copper, silver, brass and iron are gold plated and
copper and brass silver plated. In the same manner iron is plated with
silver and stannum and especially with stannum argentarium and tin. The methods by which these valuable objects are produced should be mentioned.
is gold plated by three methods. Gold foil may be placed on thin sheets
of silver and hammered until the two metals are firmly bonded. Another
method is to take a piece of silver about three-quarters of an inch
thick and weighing about four ounces and place on it two denarii of
gold and then beat the two metals until they are flattened very thin.
Objects made from these gold plated sheets are worth more than double
the price of the same object made from gold since the gold is not worn
away so rapidly through use.4 These gold plated silver
sheets are used to make the gold and silver leaves placed as ornaments
on the silk nets worn by women and which sparkle so brilliantly when
the head is turned. Oblong and circu-
2 A method of crude copper plating.
3 This method of precipitating copper from mine waters is widely used today.
4 This alloy would correspond, roughly, to seventeen carat gold.