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The value of gold beads is measured in karats. A karat was originally the weight of a seed of the Mediterranean carob tree. Today karat has two meanings: (1) 200 milligrams, or 3,086 grains troy, used for measuring the weight of gemstones; (2) a measure of the amount of gold per 24 parts of gold ally. Thus, 24-karat gold beads are pure, and 18-karat gold is ¾ gold and ¼ other metal. At the bottom of the spectrum are metallic finish glass gold beads.