Sterling silver letter and tube beads are used in jewelry making because of the beauty of the silver combined with the durability of the alloy. Sterling silver is 92.5 per cent fine silver, combined with an inert metal such as copper, nickel or zinc.

Sterling silver letter beads

Sterling silver letter beads are small, cube-shaped beads that contain one letter of the alphabet, repeated on each of the four sides. The remaining two sides have holes in them.

No matter which way the bead has turned on the wire, the sterling silver letter bead will always show the letter it is meant to represent.

Sterling silver letter beads can be used as charms on their own, or strung together to spell out words that are significant to the wearer.

First or last names are very common, as are nicknames, but you should be always aware of how appropriate it is to have your name on a piece of jewelry.

For keychains, it is perfectly acceptable to display your name with sterling silver letter beads. Necklaces or bracelets are trickier, and you must base your decision on the age of the wearer.

Something to consider

While it would be a novelty for a child to spell their name on a necklace with sterling silver letter beads, it allows strangers to learn the name of the child. This can cause some unwelcome problems.

If the child is older or you live in a small community, this is not a problem. For younger children in a larger community it may not be worth the risk to have their name so clearly displayed on a necklace.

Perhaps spelling out the name of a pet or nickname with the sterling silver beads could be a safer option, or stick to a keyring.

Sterling silver tube beads

The use of sterling silver tube beads is normally to cover the wire in a necklace or bracelet. This makes the jewelry have the appearance of a thick, silver chain.

The stronger sterling silver tube beads give the appearance of a solid silver piece, but much cheaper to buy. Sterling silver tube beads are not expensive, and can be bought in bulk to make up the amount needed for the piece.

Beads that are strong colors look great with sterling silver tube beads, as the solid block colors complement each other well.

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