Alchemy is the search for the noble essence embedded in the crude earth. Alchemy was more about the purification of what is noble out of the divestment of what is crude than it was about the transformation of one element into another.
Purification is the refinement of the highest element out of the dross of the whole organism.
The goldsmith was often the experimental judge of the alchemist's theories. Hence the craftsman was the fore-runner of the experimental scientist as the alchemist was the fore-runner of the scientific theoretician.