The text discusses some discoveries made by a certain Von Kempelen. The narrator mentions that the topic has already been addressed by various scientists, but he wants to approach it from a different, more personal and speculative angle, rather than a scientific one. He had the honor of knowing him personally and emphasizes that Von Kempelen is a man pleasant in appearance and behavior, not at all the misanthrope as commonly described by the press. Then, he recounts an anecdote that highlights Von Kempelen's financial difficulties before his discovery.

One day, Von Kempelen purchases a valuable property. The authorities begin to suspect that he was involved in illegal activities, particularly the counterfeiting of fake money, as he cannot explain the origin of the funds for such a purchase. This suspicion leads to his arrest and the search of his laboratory. However, instead of finding evidence of illicit operations, they discover his equipment for the transformation of metals, which then leads to the revelation of his scientific discovery.

It becomes clear that Von Kempelen is not involved in money counterfeiting and is released. Meanwhile, news of his sensational discovery of being able to transform lead into gold spreads, arousing great interest and intense public debate. Von Kempelen confesses to have found a way to achieve this transformation in the laboratory, but does not reveal the details. Therefore, the scientific community remains in a state of uncertainty, as it has no elements to replicate the experiment and verify its validity.

Subsequently, the author reflects on the economic implications of the discovery. It is already noted that there has been an increase in the price of lead, the raw material from which gold is derived. But the price of silver has also risen in the market, becoming the ultimate safe-haven asset, since the price of gold is destined to decrease.

Later, the author speculates on a series of possible long-term consequences, such as changes in the monetary system, the fate of the mining sector linked to gold extraction, and the social redistribution of wealth.