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Gold is a metallic chemical element (atomic number 79).  In it's native state, it is very dense, yet pure gold can easily be bent with the hands and can be pounded thinner than any other metal and still maintain it's metallic properties. It is usually mixed with other metals, such as copper, to make it less resistant to bending.

Although like most other heavy metals it is toxic, metallic gold is harmless to the human body as the normal action of stomach acid has no effect on it.  It usually passes through the digestive tract harmlessly.  However, gold compounds and gold salts can be toxic as they can be broken down in the body to elemental gold.

Due to it's resistance to corrosion, it was used widely in dentistry and it still used in smaller quantities to support ceramic crowns and for decorative purposes. 

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