British schoolboy Thomas Jones, son of a widowed mother, unwittingly discovered his mutant alchemical power while studying chemistry. This attracted the attention of Troll Associates, Inc., an international group of trolls bent on returning the magical creatures to their formerly dominant roles. The trolls captured Tom, intending to use him to make gold in order to collapse the economy of the global free market and allow creatures of myth and legend to roam free again, but they were defeated by the original X-Factor team. X-Factor offered to train Tom in the use of his powers, but he declined, preferring instead to study advanced molecular biochemistry at university, since he had been forced to turn a couple of his captors to gold in self-defense and one day hoped to return the trolls to life.
The trolls later made a second attempt at a world take-over-- this time with a simple blitzkrieg war. The trolls captured Tom again, hoping he could return their friends back to life, securing Tom's services by capturing his mother. They were again defeated, after Tom managed to elicit the aid of the combined forces of Excalibur and the X-Men. During the battle, Tom changed even more of the trolls into gold and decided to keep them that way in lieu of a prison sentence.
Tom is one of the number of mutants to keep their powers after House of M|Scarlet Witch's alteration of reality.