Gold filled beads are made by applying heat and pressure to bond a thin layer of real gold to a base metal core, normally brass. The gold layer is more tarnish resistant and looks better than gold plated products. Gold filled is quite a bit thicker than regular gold plating.
SmartBeadShopping™ Tip: The minimum layer of karat gold (normally 14 karat) must equal at least 1/20 of the total weight of the item in order for it to be called “gold filled”. To match your gold beads, shop for gold filled findings here.