Dean, the marked size of a draw plate hole is the outer dimension. When you are pulling a single strand of wire through a draw plate to make the wire smaller in diameter or a different shape, it is important to first make one end as small as possible (cut and file the wire end to a fine, thin point) so it will fit through the smaller-sized holes.
Pulling by hand can be a challenge as the wire gets smaller. Folks who draw wire all the time will often invest in or build a Draw Bench.
With regard to drawing gold-filled wire: because the gold layer is heated/fused to the brass core, the gold will stretch with the wire, and there should be no problem until you pull the wire several times through progressively smaller holes.
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong