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There are plenty of reasons people love gold. For one, it's shiny. But beyond the obvious, pure gold (22-24 karats) can be "goldhammered," or pounded and rolled over and over again until it's about 1/8,000 of a millimeter thick. Then it's destined for dessert or booze.

There are plenty of reasons people love gold. For one, it’s shiny. But beyond the obvious, pure gold (22-24 karats) can be “goldhammered,” or pounded and rolled over and over again until it’s about 1/8,000 of a millimeter thick. Then it’s destined for dessert or booze.

Once in pounded form, it’s known as gold leaf and is sold in sheets separated by paper, or in flakes or powder. The gold is gently pressed or brushed onto chocolate or other confections (especially exotic ones — India and Asia love using the stuff on sweets). Gold leaf is also commonly floated in cocktails or added to bottled liquor like Goldschläger for a glittery touch. 

Any health benefits? Dangers? Neither, as long as it’s pure gold and not flakes of fake gold foil. Contrary to popular opinion, your body can’t absorb or digest gold leaf, it’s just a super-expensive way to show your booze and dessert that you want it to feel pretty.

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