@matt when I think about alchemy I always assume that there is a whole bunch of work and/or negative side effects. Like you want to turn an ounce of lead into gold? It will take 1 hour of careful inscription and incantation and then you have a 20% chance of accidentally creating chlorine gas instead of gold.
@soccrchik @matt as far as I can find, chlorine gas is valued at about $2 per pound kilogram. Although I found a lot of variable numbers depending on bulk pricing. If we assume that to be true, you would take a loss converting gold to chlorine gas.