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In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone, Hermione reads from a book that states "Nicholas Flamel is the only known creator of the Sorcerer's Stone."

Why did only Flamel make one? Why didn't Voldemort try to create his own Sorcerer's Stone? Was it too difficult, and if so why? Are there any canon explanations for this?

  • Voldemort's foo was weak. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 13 '12 at 20:50
  • Given what we know of the stone's history, Flamel probably just found it somewhere and took credit for making it :) – Tacroy Apr 13 '12 at 20:51
  • @Tacroy He could destroy it, though. I'd assume knowing how to destroy it has to do with its creation. Besides, Flamel and his Stone predate HP/Rowling. :) – Gabe Willard Apr 13 '12 at 21:11
  • @GabeWillard Oh sorry, I had a brain fart for a moment there - for some reason I thought the Philosopher's Stone was the same thing in-universe as the later Resurrection Stone, of which there's only one and which can't be created. – Tacroy Apr 13 '12 at 21:42
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J.K. Rowling doesn't elaborate much on the Philosopher's Stone at Pottermore [SCREENSHOT 1 || SCREENSHOT 2] The main reason why we don't see more than one Philosopher's Stone in canon during Voldemort's and Harry's journey is that Nicholas Flamel was the only verified Alchemist who successfully created a Stone for 665 years prior to Harry's confrontation with Voldemort/Quirrell (it says others were rumored to have created a Philosopher's Stone, but Flamel seems to be the only named creator in Potterverse):

‘Nicolas Flamel,’ she whispered dramatically, ‘is the only known maker of the Philosopher’s Stone!’ (Hermione)

There have been many reports of the Philosopher’s Stone over the centuries, but the only Stone currently in existence belongs to Mr Nicolas Flamel, the noted alchemist and opera-lover.

Philosopher's Stone - page 163 - UK - chapter 13, Nicholas Flamel

In Tales of Beedle the Bard, Albus Dumbledore wrote in regards to the Resurrection Stone:

Many critics believe that Beedle was inspired by the Philosopher’s Stone, which makes the immortality-inducing Elixir of Life, when creating this stone that can raise the dead.

Tales of Beedle the Bard - page 95 - The Tale of the Three Brothers

The reason Voldemort wasn't interested in procuring another Philosopher's Stone is because Voldemort rejects being dependent upon anything other than himself for immorality -- for anything, really. This is a theme about Voldemort throughout the series. I'm sure the time he spent as practically an infant with Wormtail was intolerable for Voldemort. That's why he chose Horcruxes. They were his; nobody else was involved in their creation or maintenance.

Conversely, if something went wrong with the Elixir of Life -- it was spilled, contaminated, stolen -- then Voldemort would have been just as vulnerable to death as any other mortal. And Voldemort was too arrogant to consider that 1) anyone would guess his secret or 2) that anyone would be able to destroy Horcruxes. He was too arrogant to think he would need a back-up plan.

You can read Dumbledore's explanation of this in chapter 23 of Half-Blood Prince - Horcruxes. It's right after the part where Dumbledore shares with Harry what he knows about Voldemort's Horcruxes. Page 469 in my book, but it's the UK hardcover.

ETA: Pursuant to your comment, I'll add the quote from Dumbledore. As far as I know, there is no further canon on why Voldemort did not attempt to make a Philosopher's Stone himself, or with Wormtail's assistance:

‘While the Elixir of Life does indeed extend life, it must be drunk regularly, for all eternity, if the drinker is to maintain his immortality. Therefore, Voldemort would be entirely dependent on the Elixir, and if it ran out, or was contaminated, or if the Stone was stolen, he would die just like any other man. Voldemort likes to operate alone, remember. I believe that he would have found the thought of being dependent, even on the Elixir, intolerable. Of course he was prepared to drink it if it would take him out of the horrible part-life to which he was condemned after attacking you, but only to regain a body. Thereafter, I am convinced, he intended to continue to rely on his Horcruxes: he would need nothing more, if only he could regain a human form. He was already immortal, you see ... or as close to immortal as any man can be.' (Albus Dumbledore)

Half-Blood Prince - pages 469-470 - UK - chapter 23, Horcruxes

It may also have been that Voldemort didn't know how to make a Philosopher's Stone. Yes, he is a brilliant wizard, but even the most brilliant individuals can't know everything. According to Pottermore [SCREENSHOT 3], the study of Alchemy was not compulsory or even a given elective. Alchemy instruction occurred if a certain number of students wished to study it, during only their sixth and seventh years. I'm willing to wager that Nicholas Flamel had more than two years instruction in Alchemy before creating the Philosopher's Stone.

  • This is a great start to answering my question. One thing: if Voldemort was willing to create his own Horcruxes, why wouldn't he create his own Philosopher/Sorcerer's Stone? Is there any canon explanation of why Flamel had the market cornered on them? It seems to me, if I were a wizard, I'd be pretty keen on making my own. – Gabe Willard Apr 16 '12 at 23:04
  • @GabeWillard Because no one else knew how. – Izkata Apr 17 '12 at 0:58
  • Thanks muchly. +1 and the cigar. :) And I think I should get my own Pottermore membership... Hmm. lol – Gabe Willard Apr 17 '12 at 1:01
  • Thanks! Pottermore is great for fans who want to know every possible detail that they can learn about Potterverse. A lot of good new canon there. And I continue to be surprised at how little Tales of Beedle the Bard gets utilized. Good info in that book too. :) – Slytherincess Apr 17 '12 at 1:23
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    "Voldemort rejects being dependent upon anything other than himself for immorality" - Voldemort wrote the book on immorality! (Sorry, I know it was a typo, I just couldn't resist.) – Wallnut Feb 1 at 8:48
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  1. Given the reputation surrounding the Stone, it appears that making Stone is either difficult or time-consuming, like Polyjuice potion.
  2. Voldemort was powerless- he had to depend on Quirrel's skills, and there's no reason why a mediocre DADA teacher (formerly a Muggle Studies teacher, according to HP wiki) would have any skill whatsoever in alchemy or potions.

So overall, Voldemort probably thought it was easier to steal an existing Stone, since he was already inside the castle.

PS- The recipe for the Stone was probably a pretty well-guarded secret.

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My theory is, that "the Philosopher's Stone" was not a real one. It was just a horcrux made by Flamel (and possibly his wife - I don´t know, can you put two pieces of soul into one object?). That could be the reason of his age and also why nobody else could make one. And the way to protect it - no wizard would want to destroy Philosopher's Stone!!! After those years, they got tired of pretense and agreed to destroy the Stone - they just regretted doing it (how simple!). Just think about it - how do we know it was THE Stone? Flamel himself could be very good in transfiguration (turning metal into gold) and he spread the rumor to cover his incredible longevity. Dumbledore always believed in people...

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    Welcome to SFF.SE! Answers here are generally expected to be backed up with canon quotes rather than just be fan theories. Do you have any evidence for this theory? – Rand al'Thor Sep 1 '15 at 20:05
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You must know that while Voldemort had great "force" in his magic, he had no talent in magical experimentation. He was not someone who created any new techniques that were previously unknown to the magical world. He always just went for things that came by heritage to him. Be it the magic of Horcruxes or the Elder Wand. He always relied on powers that were already known to man. While the Philosopher's Stone does fit the profile of this case, Voldemort had other methods which were more suited to his psyche (unicorn blood, Horcruxes) that were more evil(This is important because Voldemort has been projected to be evil right from his childhood). Moreover, Voldemort would also require some methodologies or recipes to make the philosopher's Stone but he certainly was not as strong as Nicholas Flamel or Dumbledore to get it out of him. Thus, I think it is clear that he could not have made a Philosopher's Stone by himself. In the end, If Voldemort had the talent to make one, Harry would be lying dead long before the first book.

  • But the Stone was already a known artifact, created by a wizard. He could create Horcruxes, why not a Sorcerer's Stone? No one could've created a Elder Wand, so he had to find that on his own. I would think the motivation to have eternal life would be plenty to get Voldemort to study how it was made. I don't think Voldemort was at all ignorant magically; his weakness was that he thought himself without equal. Even in the books, he's said to be the second most powerful wizard ever, following Dumbledore. – Gabe Willard Apr 13 '12 at 22:44
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    I thought Voldemort was the one who invented Morsmordre (The Dark Mark) – Izkata Apr 13 '12 at 22:53
  • those things have mentioned as projections of pple about voldemort and not the actuality. personally I don't think he could have ever been as great a wizard as gryfindor or slytherin. Those were the most powerful wizards not Voldemort or Dumbledore(although much is still unknown about dumbledore) – MozenRath Apr 13 '12 at 22:53
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    Voldemort did, in fact, create new spells. In Goblet of Fire, when he tells his Death Eaters how he came back, he says he created "a spell or two of my own invention" to get the rudimentary body he had had. And in Deathly Hallows, he is the first ever to figure out how to fly on his own. – Kevin Apr 14 '12 at 15:52
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    We don't know anything about the Founders that would support a definitive statement regarding their levels of skill in magic, or their innate powers, except what we're told in canon, which is nothing much. But Dumbledore does not underestimate Voldemort's powers: ‘I knew that Voldemort’s knowledge of magic is perhaps more extensive than any wizard alive. I knew that even my most complex and powerful protective spells and charms were unlikely to be invincible if he ever returned to full power.' OotP - The Lost Prophecy :) – Slytherincess Apr 16 '12 at 19:25

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