Why Is The Cuban Link Chain So Expensive?
Lester Fangonilo - October 5, 2021
On average, a gold Cuban link chain can set you back as much as $27,000. But did you know that some of the most expensive ones cost ten times more?
Only a handful of Miami shops make these gold Cuban link chains. However, over time, famous celebrities including Jay-Z and Daddy Yankee can be seen sporting their Cuban link chains. So it’s no wonder that today, these jewelry pieces are highly sought-after.
So what makes them so expensive? Are they really worth their cost?
Knowing what makes the Cuban link chain costly means we have to delve deeper into its composition and the cultural significance that raises its demand in the market.
But before we get to the point, let’s start with the basics, the very definition of the Cuban chain link.
With this, you’ll finally understand why it is the best prospect for you if you’re looking for lavish yet stylish body accessories.
What is a Cuban Link Chain?
The Cuban link chain is known for its streamlined uniform pattern interlocked by oval or round gold rings. This feature stands it out from other jewelry designs.
Moreover, the pattern is meticulously crafted to lay flat once worn in a wearer’s wrist or chest to provide greater mobility and comfort.
And that isn’t all there is to it!
Due to its massive popularity, the craftsmanship of Cuban link chains has evolved to be more sophisticated from its original standard design.
This improvement has strengthened the chain link, making it one of the sleekest and durable chains among modern jewelry designs. The sturdiness is also assured by the interlocking pattern that enhances its quality.
Some people would also intentionally choose heavily crafted pieces not only because it’s fashionable but because it guarantees its long-lasting quality.
So what makes it a bit pricey?
If you’re planning to buy one, it is only reasonable to know what you will be paying for.
But the good thing is...
…we compiled a list just for you on what makes Cuban chain link’s price a bit over the odds:
1. There are various types of Cuban Chain Links.
Sometimes, the price is motivated by the kind of accessory that you’re eyeing to purchase. For example, necklaces are usually more expensive than bracelets because they use more chains, which is the same for Cuban links.
But these are not the types that we’ll be talking about.
There are two types of Cuban link styles: the Miami Cuban Link and the Prong Link.
Miami Links are the classic ones that use the signature oval and round interlocking patterns. These link styles gained popularity in the Cuban community and among the folks of Miami in the ’70s and ’80s.
The second variety is the Prong Cuban Link. Just like Miami Cuban Links, its chains are adapted on bracelets and necklaces, but the only difference is the sharper and more profound cuts due to its unique woven-squared design.
The Prong Cuban link is the latest design that became prominent just a few years ago.
Regarding the price difference, the chain-link type is not usually the leading indicator. But to which type holds the most expensive title, Jay-Z’s 11 pound Miami Cuban Chain, which costs a whopping $200,000!
2. You have to consider the size and length.
Moving forward, the price of these Cuban chain links is usually due to their size and link.
Cuban Chain links are usually considered a versatile jewelry accessory because of their distinct sizes and weights.
Hip hop celebrities and artists wear their Cuban link chains as a symbol that they belong to the hip hop community, so the wearer usually chooses the heavier and larger Cuban link chains to express their style.
Truth be told.
The chain link’s size changes your appearance.
If you wish to appear subtle, classic, and sleeky, thinner chain links are for you. Usually, Cuban chain links below 3 mm are picked by women or men who only want a clean and minimal look.
For instance, the 2 mm Miami Cuban link chain is among the highly picked sizes in the jewelry market.
However, if you want a standard look, you can pick the Cuban link 5mm chain. The Miami Cuban link chain 5mm is one of the most popular sizes because it stands out a bit but isn’t as bold as any sizes that exceed it.
But if you want to be like your favorite hip-hop celebrity and appear flashy and bold, you will have to pick larger sizes. The best width or millimeter for you are the Cuban chain links ranging from 10 mm to 19 mm.
To sum up, Cuban chain links are generally expensive because they are usually worn in enormous sizes.
This style has created the culture of appearance, especially in the late ’70s and early ’80s, where the more prominent the chain, the wealthier and bolder the status.
A factoid for you: Did you know that Gucci has created the biggest Cuban link chain - a whopping 10 kilos with 540 carats of diamonds.
3. The Composition of Cuban Chain Links
The main reason why Cuban chain links cost a fortune is that it is usually associated with gold. Cuban links are commonly crafted from various materials, but the most used are karats of yellow gold.
By karats, it means those that range from 10-22 karat gold. So the more gold used, the more expensive it will be.
The modern jewelry style for Cuban chain link has also begun to explore other gold colors like the white and rose-colored ones. Thus, the uniqueness is another variable for its increase in the market.
Some creative craftsmanship is now even using rainbow color variants or tri-colors.
4. The high demand
Lastly, one of the motivators of its high price is its popularity. Despite its cost, people have still been buying Cuban chain links since the 1970s, when it first gained visibility in the hip-hop scene.
Today, hip hop has become a more popular lifestyle than it was 45-50 years ago. You don’t have to look closely to see that the main accessory used by famous hip-hop figures is the Cuban chain links.
With its high demand, we could say that the Cuban links are not merely motivated by the fashion aspect but also of cultural popularity as a symbol for success, wealth, and luxury.
5. How they’re made
Nowadays, store-bought Cuban link chains are machine-made in China, Italy, and the US. However, the most expensive, ergo the authentic ones, are handmade by a few Miami shops.
It might come as a shock why a single link chain can cost so much, but aficionados consider Cuban link chains as the Ferrari of gold chains. Making them is exceptionally labor-intensive and hazardous. Crew members work with 1000 degree flames for melting the gold and forming them into a bar. If you slip up, you can lose a finger or two - and these have happened in the past.
When the gold bar is produced, it passes not less than 12 times through a rolling machine to stretch it thin. One Cuban link chain is processed by nine jewelers doing their particular task. The wire is afterward curled around a copper rod to create the link shapes.
Smaller chains are relatively easier to shape since a jeweler can use a drill. For the thicker pieces, however, it requires two people to do the job. Next comes the most difficult and intricate part, which is soldering.
To solder well and close the link permanently, the jeweler must strike the right balance of flame and technique. Since gold is a soft metal that needs to be combined with other alloys, jewelers must be extra careful, precise, and masterful.
Now that we’re done elaborating why Cuban chain links are a bit steep on prices, I guess you are now set to go.
But just a piece of advice - make sure that you buy from legitimate suppliers to avoid scams. You wouldn’t want your hard-earned money to be put to waste.
Also, don’t forget. Fashion may be pricey, but self-expression is priceless.
So if you can afford it, then buy it! However, nowadays, you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to exude affluence and status. Instead, you can buy high-quality Cuban link chains from trusted manufacturers like Oliver Cabell.
Look Bold and Lavish Without Breaking The Bank
Today, Cuban link chains are no longer the exclusive creation of Miami shops. So if you want to set yourself apart from the rest, consider Oliver Cabell to give you the best handcrafted and ethically sourced men’s jewelry in the market.
Distinguish yourself with bold and lavish jewelry with Oliver Cabell bracelets and pendants. Make your mark in the world from head to toe with its extensive line of men’s shoes, menswear, and accessories.