The Miami Cuban link chain is probably one of the most versatile gold chains in the market. In this video, Eric Rivera goes over his experience with Cuban link chains, gives you a brief explanation of the way they’re made, and provides his recommendation when it comes to buying one (you can also click here to use our online calculator to size and get a price for your chain before you buy one).
If you’ve followed our YouTube channel long enough, you’ll know that Eric mainly rants about watches. However, since more and more of our customers have requested Cuban Links throughout the years, we decided to make an intro video about them. Sorry die-hard watch fans!
At the beginning of the video, Eric mentions that different people might refer to Cuban link chains differently; e.g., “Franco Chain,” “Curb Chain,” etc. Although the word “Cuban” is slapped around often on websites that refer to these kinds of chains, Eric is actually referring to the traditional Miami Cuban link design on his video. This design has a characteristic look to it. Miami chains are supposed to have more robust, compact links with less space in between them.
What are Cuban Link Chains Made Of?
Erick mentions that Cuban links can be made out of practically any metal: silver, platinum, gold, etc. with gold being the most common. Even though most gold Cuban link chains are made to look yellow (just like regular gold), other colored metals can be combined with gold to change the color of the final design; for example, copper to make rose gold chains and nickel, manganese or palladium for white gold variations.
How Big of a Chain Should I Get?
When it comes to the size of Cuban link chains, Eric says, “…besides quality, it’s all about size!”
This is true. When we see hip hop stars like Jay Z and and Reggaeton singers like Daddy Yankee sport exaggerated gold Cuban chains in excess of 10 pounds in weight (which must be SOOO comfortable!), it is not surprising to see regular consumers aiming high on the size scale as well. But if impressing your neighbors with bling bling is not your life purpose, how big of a chain should you buy to look fashionably “cool?”
Even though Eric explains that the size of the Cuban link chain should depend on your particular taste, he prefers to wear multiple, smaller chains than one large “kilo” chain.
If you’re ever going to make yourself a kilo chain, a large kilo Cuban, 1000 grams, yeah it looks awesome, but…my recommendation is you should do several small chains.
The 18k Cuban link Eric wears daily weighs 130-gram (.13 kg) and is 7 millimeters wide, a far cry from the 10-kilogram, neck breaking necklace that Daddy Yankee showed off at his concert!
The “sweet spot” in width when it comes to Cuban link chains for men is between 7 and 8mm and 4 to 5mm for women. A good length when it comes to Men’s Cuban links is between 28 and 30 inches and 22 to 24 inches for women. This is a recommendation for those who still want to look fashionable, obviously not for folk who want to stand out in Rapperville!
10k, 14k, or 18k Gold?
Gold purity is one of the factors you need to consider when buying a Cuban link chain. The higher the purity (or the higher the “K’s”) of the gold used to make the chain, the more expensive the Cuban link chain will be.
An 18k gold chain is composed of 75% pure gold, while a 10k Cuban link has less than 50% of gold in it (41.7% to be exact). The difference in purity makes the 18k chain about 70% more expensive than the 10k one (with labor costs included).
But what does Eric recommend? He says,
I recommend that the minimum you should go is 14 karat.
Despite his recommendation to go with an 14k gold Cuban link as a happy medium, customers concerned about price can go with an 10k gold chain instead (keep in mind that total labor costs for a 10k Cuban chain will be as high as that of a higher purity chain of the same weight, so the labor costs per ounce of gold for 10k will be relatively higher).
Quality is the Key – The Smart Way to Buy a Cuban Link Chain
When it comes to price, it is obvious that a 10k chain will be cheaper than a 14 or 18k one. But if you’re trying to buy a cheap chain, don’t let your price objective steer you towards poor quality!
While it is OK to gravitate towards a 10k gold chain if price is one of your main objectives, lower purity doesn’t have to mean poorer craftsmanship. In fact, Eric stresses continuously on the video to seek quality above all else when it comes to getting a good Cuban link.
I’m a quality freak. I want every link to be welded precise and filed down evenly.
His recommendation to make sure your Miami Cuban link is top notch is to use a manufacturer with a high focus on craftsmanship and who specializes in hand-made chains, not inferior machine-made models.
So where do you stand on the debate when it comes to Cuban link chains…long or short, wide or skinny? Let us know in the comment section of our YouTube video above.