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Gold filled beads have a layer of 10kt or better gold that is mechanically bonded under heat & pressure to one or more surfaces of supporting base metal, then rolled or drawn to a given thickness. The quantity of gold must be at least 1/20th by weight of the total product. Under FTC regulations, a product may be marked as 14, 12 or 10Kt gold-filled. Karat measurement of the gold content must be part of the marking or designation. The difference in the amount of real gold used is why gold filled beads are always much more expensive than gold plated beads or beads that are labeled gold filled but don't tell you the karat rating.