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Everything About Cuban Link Chains: A Guide

mens silver chain types

People who are into jewelry know very well that not all pieces are created equal nor do they have the same value. Wearing statement necklaces or gold chains has been a long-standing fashion, but there is one style that stands above the rest in terms of durability and is the elite of all; the Cuban link chain. Originally crafted in gold, the newer vogue options also consist of silver Cuban link chains.

The Cuban link chains rose to prominence in the late 20th century due to the hip-hop artists, earning its name from Latin as it was highly popular in the Cuban enclaves of Miami. In fact, the chain is also referred to as the Miami Cuban link chain, because of its demand in South Florida. The style took over the entire country of the United States, and there was a time when everyone started wearing them from NYC to LA.

What is a Cuban Link Chain?

In simple terms, a Cuban link chain is a variation of the standard cable link chain and is featured with oval-shaped links that are intertwined or intersected in a rope pattern. Although the design is deemed as traditional it possesses a contemporary edge. Cuban link chains have a built-in swagger that has long been a conversation starter for the fashion elite. Its popularity exploded in 2012 and nothing much has changed in the past decade, with influencers, celebrities, and trendsetters choosing it as a centerpiece for layering it with other complimenting pieces.

The origin

No, they are not from Cuba!

Cuban link chains and bracelets were crafted in America but they have a hint of Cuban flavor in them, thus the name.

And to be honest, it is unclear as to who was exactly behind the inception of Cuban link chains. The simplest answer can be the 1970s hip hop era. Because the actual origin is difficult to pinpoint, but as far as its popularity goes it can be outlined within the realm of hip hop, as it started within the genre itself, which began in the 70s.

The history of the hip hop genre is credited to the MC in the Bronx named DJ Kool Herc, whose parties were attended by many people and these attendees ventured out to experiment with fashion. Significantly this was the time that many people started rocking Cuban link chains. Whilst it's tricky to pinpoint it to a single person but this was the time when it was introduced as a mainstream piece of hip hop attire.

With the hip-hop artists becoming mainstream themselves, the Cuban link chains have remained a vital part of their wardrobe and this has somehow paved its way to the runways of major fashion houses like Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, etc. There are other designs that came into style too, but the Cuban links have held their place as a classic staple through artists and celebs.

The Characteristics

Cuban link necklaces and bracelets are made out of any precious metal like gold, silver, and platinum. Gold is the most common metal that is used in its making but with the gold prices touching the sky, silver has been quite popular in recent times. Silver Cuban link chains and bracelets are categorized in two variants: the one that is made of pure silver and the other ones which are sterling silver Cuban links which have a silver purity of 92.5%. Even though sterling silver Cuban link chains have the natural luminous white color, they are often gold plated to change their appearance.

Sterling silver Cuban link necklaces and bracelets come in numerous styles but they have a set of distinct characteristics that makes them unique from each other. So while they are known to be individualized statement pieces, they are a great way to perfectly don the look of mixing and matching.

As mentioned earlier, sterling silver Cuban chains and bracelets consist of these flat, twisted links which are tightly interlaced with each other in a uniform manner creating an appearance of intertwined loops. Sterling silver Cuban link chains have become one of the classic designs as they own some of the best features of timeless jewelry, which are:

  • They are known for their strength and durability that is similar to a tight box chain.
  • The bold chunky vibe of any statement necklace.
  • The elongated surface area is like that of a snake chain necklace.

Basically, a sterling silver Cuban link chain gives you the best of all the worlds! No wonder it has become one of the jewelry staples for not just men but women as well.

The clean-cut, classic design has made the sterling silver Cuban link chains and bracelets the ultimate layering piece. Their versatility has made them a great pairing accessory to heavy charms and pendants.

There are different versions of Cuban chains that have been popularized by rappers and hip-hop artists. They have made appearances on red carpet events, music videos, and television. But the true beauty of these links lies in the fact that are a great piece for daily wear and can fit themselves in any style be it boho, masculine, or femme.

Sterling silver Cuban bracelets and necklaces are also available in big chunky designs which are also designed to hold the weight of pendants and gemstones. The links are also engraved with fine details at times or else featured with diamonds and gemstones creating an extravagant look.

Why are Cuban link chains so expensive?

Cuban link chains and bracelets are considered to be high-end jewelry and they do not come off cheap. They are quite expensive to buy, depending upon the materials that have been used in their making. If the necklaces and bracelets are made of solid gold and feature diamond embellishments, their prices can go through the roof!

However, the silver Cuban link chains and bracelets are more affordable and readily available to purchase. Although the prices of silver Cuban link chains with diamonds aren’t that inexpensive. Although, silver variations of Cuban links won’t burn a hole in your pocket, the deciding factors of price points depend on: the gemstones and diamonds, the amount of precious metal used and the intricacy of the details.

How much is a Cuban link chain?

The prices of gold cuban link can be from anywhere between $ 600 to $40,000 or above depending on the design, the amount of gold used, and the diamonds used in the making. Whilst the value of 925 silver cuban link chain starts from a price point of $80 also depending on the designs. On the other hand the real silver cuban link chains have a higher purity percentage of silver, making them more expensive than 925 silver cuban link chains.

Picking the perfect Cuban links

When it comes to picking the perfect Cuban link chains, besides the quality it is all about the chain size. When we see the celebs like Jay Z, Kanye West, or Daddy Yankee they are all donned in big gold chains encrusted with diamonds but when it comes to regular wear, you might want to aim a little less gaudy. Although the size of the Cuban link chain depends on your personal taste, how big of a chain would you purchase to look cool?

We suggest wearing multiple smaller chains in a layered pattern rather than wearing one large chain. The simple math that is followed when it comes to the width of Cuban link chains for men is between 8 and 12mm and 5 to 8mm for women. And the length of the chains is always between 18 and 22 inches for men and 16 to 18 for women. The bracelets, on the other hand, have a lesser length but of course, their widths vary accordingly.

The Types of Jewelry

  • Silver Cuban Link Necklace: Men’s Cuban link necklaces have always been the connoisseurs, the trend was started with chains and necklaces and they are counted in the bold fragment of jewelry. They are masculine and at the same time have the deep essence of an elegance that is exhibited through the design’s classic and timeless nature.
  • Silver Cuban Link Bracelets: In recent years, the sterling silver Cuban link bracelets have gained quite a lot of popularity. They come in a variety of widths and are a great accessory for a layered look. These 925 silver cuban bracelets are the perfect statement pieces that go very well if you pair them with other silver chain bracelets.
  • Cuban Link Earrings: Earrings in Cuban links are the most recent addition to the family. They are extravagant and can be neatly paired with casual and formal outfits alike. Cuban link earrings are available in a variety of designs like hoops, drop and dangle earrings. Similar to the other jewelry pieces, the width of the links is a deciding factor for the appearance. Smaller links take on a more chic and contemporary vibe whilst larger links serve a more statement look.

Tips for styling your Sterling Silver Cuban Link Chain

While styling jewelry pieces fall under the area of personal preference, few tips are always welcome, aren’t they!

If you are looking to buy your very first sterling silver Cuban link chain and avoid some major faux pas, these styling tips will come in handy!

  • Solo

One of the easiest and the most popular ways to show off your silver Cuban link chain is to just wear it alone. Men’s Cuban link chains are known for their statement-creating appearance and if you are someone who likes to keep it simple and classic, then going solo with these chains will definitely add a stylish edge. If you love to go solo then we recommend bigger links.

  • With a pendant

As mentioned earlier, sterling silver Cuban link chains are versatile in nature. If you want to spice up your looks a little, then adding a pendant might be the answer. Due to their wider widths, men’s Cuban link chains are a great option for people into larger and heavier pendants as they help chain the game up a notch and create an interesting look.

  • Layering

When it comes to men's silver Cuban link chains, layering is the ultimate game changer! Not only does it look cool but it creates a major fashion statement that is hard to miss. To create an effortless layered look you can simply put on a bigger Cuban link chain accented with smaller link chains or some other different styles for a more put-together look.

  • Iced Out

The last way to make your Cuban link chain look like “the one” is by trying out the “iced-out” version. It simply means to wear a design that is encrusted with diamonds, because nothing catches someone’s eye or attention more quickly than a neck full of diamonds! You can choose from yellow, rose, or white gold or the sterling silver ones which will be effectively a little cheaper than the gold and diamond Cuban chains.

How to take care of Cuban links?

Since Cuban links don’t have intricate engravings or patterns, unlike other jewelry, cleaning them is quite uncomplicated. All you need is a mild soap, some lukewarm water, and a soft cloth.

Simply let your chain soak for a few minutes in soapy water and then gently rub it with a soft cloth, rinse the soap off and dry it with another soft cloth. Do not use paper towels.
Always store your Cuban link necklaces and bracelets in jewelry boxes lined with soft cloth or velvet, this will help in avoiding scratches and keep them as good as new for a long time.

Therefore 925 silver Cuban link chains have emerged as major fashion icons. Recently these link chains have surpassed the realms of jewelry and have entered into other accessories like bags and clutches as seen in the designs of Bottega Veneta. They have been back in mainstream fashion with the aim to conquer and now apparel and shoe brands have also incorporated them.

All of this is no surprise considering the fact that they are a jewelry staple not just for men but for women as well. These sleek, shiny, and bold pieces are like no other and are perfect.

Updated on Sep 23rd, 2022

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