The "symbols" for the elements used by Dalton, apparently suggested by those of the alchemists, have been rejected in favour of those which were introduced by Berzelius.
The curious signs on the coloured carboys in chemists' windows, which were commonly to be seen until the middle of the 19th century, were signs used by the alchemists to indicate various chemical substances.
But there is some evidence that, in accordance with the strong and constant tradition among the alchemists, the idea of transmutation did originate in Egypt with the Greeks of Alexandria.
In the Greek alchemists it appears as the symbol at once of the art and of the universe, enclosing within itself the four elements; and there is sometimes a play of words between rï¿½dv and rï¿½c30v.
Signs and symbols of the Greek alchemists appear almost unchanged.