OK, so I’ve solved another mystery regarding the dust jacket of Dan Brown’s new novel The Lost Symbol.
There are several sets of alchemists’ symbols on the wrapper. The largest set are printed in a paler color than the rest of the jacket using an ink that reflects a golden sheen when held at an angle to the light. I’m sorry to say that these symbols don’t carry any message. Nor do the smaller symbols printed in faint grey that appear in long lines on the jacket. These symbols have all been cut and pasted from the following chart, which illustrates a symbol font available from deniart.com:
This is clear because the tops of the letters from the words “All rights reserved” in the above chart can be seen at the very top of the dust jacket’s back cover, and elements from the Deniart Systems logo in the top right corner of the chart also appear in several places on the jacket.
According to deniart.com, their Alchemy Symbols Series “contains over 220 unique characters based on the cryptic symbols used by Alchemists in the middle-ages. Referred to as steganographic and spagyric signs, the series includes symbols representing metals, processes, instruments, weights, materials and spirits.”
However, this does not end the inquiry. There are also grids of bronze-colored alchemy symbols that are even smaller than the gold and gray ones, and red symbols appear between the two concentric circles surrounding the seal on the front cover. There are also some mysterious letter/number combinations appearing in various places on the jacket. I hope to say more about these in a future blog post.