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A coordination compound is formed when a ligand (a molecule or ion) forms coordinate covalent bonds with the central atom which is usually a transition metal. The coordination number of the coordination compound is determined by the number of bonds the central atom forms with the ligands. For example, in [Fe(CN)6]^-4 the central atom is Fe which is a transition metal and the ligands are CN-. The coordination number of this compound is 6 because the Fe forms 6 coordinate covalent bonds with the 6 CN-.
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