"Descriptions of the Philosopher's Stone vary."―Unknown archaeologist[src]
The Philosopher's Stone was a legendary object of medieval alchemy, purportedly capable of turning base metals into gold. Some believed the Stone to possess rejuvenating powers, perhaps even granting immortality to its bearer.
Indiana Jones encountered several artifacts believed to be the Stone.
A Western fable held that Alexander the Great found the Philosopher's Stone in a cave while Arab sources credited their own heroes with the same. The creation of a Philosopher's Stone was detailed in a manuscript called the Clavicula Solomonis, the "Key of Solomon the King". The manuscript fell into possession of 13th century priest named Albertus Magnus, who created a Stone. Persuaded by his acolyte, Thomas Aquinas, of the Stone's evil and determined to save humanity from the Stone's malicious influence, Magnus broke it into three pieces and scattered them across the globe.
In the early 1930s, an unknown archaeologist was tasked by the Smithsonian Institution to research the artifacts of the world with specific instructions not to unearth them. The individual's notes on the Philosopher's Stone led the archaeologist to believe that the artifact lay in Wurzberg, Germany though the journal also considered the unsubstantiated legend that philosopher's stones could be traced back to a single source in the mountainous regions of China.
In 1933, Indiana Jones, his friend Sallah, and a pair of British alchemists, Alistair Dunstin and his sister Alecia, tracked the Stone to the Tomb of Hermes in Egypt, with Fascist thug Leonardo Sarducci in hot pursuit. After witnessing the Stone's destructive power—it melted Sarducci's flesh from his bones—the team decided it was best left buried.
In 1936, Indy and journalist Marya Smirnova deciphered a manuscript supposedly authored by famed alchemist Nicholas Flamel, describing how to create the "Stone"—in actuality a red elixir. The pair attempted to recreate the formula, but succeeded only in blowing up several laboratories.
Later in the year, Austin Coleridge claimed the Stone had transformed his left hand into solid gold and lay beyond the Lucifer Chamber beneath a Welsh mine. Eleven years later, Indy uncovered the Clavicula Solomonis. Once translated by Jones and Marcus Brody, Jones recovered all three pieces — in Kiev, Ireland, and Tibet — only to be robbed by a group of Nazi die-hards, who planned to use the Stone's power to create a zombie army of fallen Nazi soldiers. Jones and Soviet Major Nadia Kirov foiled the operation, however, leaving the completed Stone beneath a pile of incinerated Nazi corpses.
- Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone
- Indiana Jones et le Grimoire Maudit
- The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones – "Beyond the Lucifer Chamber!" (Mentioned only)
- Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix