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What is gold used for?

The precious metal known as gold has seen many uses over the centuries. While the most common usages have traditionally been the creation of coins, bullion and jewellery, gold has also seen a variety of less typical uses.

In some far eastern cultures, gold leaf, flakes and dust are eaten for supposed health benefits and as a show of wealth. It is to be noted that ingesting elemental gold in this manner has not been proven to offer any significant impact on ones health but large dosages can become toxic.

Gold is also used for modern medicine in it's salt or radioisotope forms. These forms of gold can be used by the body when taken orally or via injection as a medical treatment to alleviate severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis and other conditions. The gold isotope, gold-198, is also used for the treatment of cancer.

Gold is often combined with other metals for use in modern dentistry. The gold used for dental work, including fillings and crowns, is predominantly white gold or gold alloys. When white gold is used, the purity of the gold is usually 15 carat or higher.

Due to its special conductive properties, gold has become a popular choice in the fields of industry and electronics. Almost all high tech appliances, from computers to mobile phones, have some gold content. In addition, the fact that electromagnetic radiation is reflected by gold has made it a popular choice in protecting expensive equipment or personnel that may be exposed to infrared light or other high level electromagnetic radiation sources.

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