Nothing ties an outfit together like a Cuban link chain. It is an iconic, timeless staple in anyone’s wardrobe, and is well-loved throughout the world.
However, for most people, it does not go beyond that. However, the Cuban link chain actually has very interesting origins and history.
In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about the Cuban link chain, including what it is, why it is popular, its rich history, and much more!
So, if this is of interest to you, then read on.
What Is The Cuban Link Chain?
The Cuban link chain is without a doubt one of the most recognizable and beloved styles of jewelry of all time.
They have been on trend for many decades, solidifying themselves as a timeless staple for any wardrobe that goes with a wide array of outfits and fashion styles.
The Cuban link chain is just like a cable link chain, but it features an intersecting rope pattern of oval links.
These links eventually twist into a design that resembles a cable that will lie flat on your wrist or your chest.
Cuban links give off a traditional feel.
During the 1970s and ‘80s, Cuban link chains were a symbol of wealth, owning one highlighted a wealthy status.
Interestingly, there is little evidence to suggest that Cuban link chains are made in Cuba. They have even also been referred to as Miami link chains.
However, they have been closely associated with Latin American culture.
Cuban link chains are extremely durable, sleek, and will last for a long time. Over the years, there have been many different styles of Cuban link chains.
Let’s check them out in more detail below!
The Different Types Of Cuban Link Chains
There is more than one type of Cuban link chain that comes in the form of a necklace and a bracelet.
Firstly, we have the standard Cuban link chain, the aforementioned link featuring an oval interlocking chain. This link became popular in the 1970s and 1980s with the Cuban community that lives in Miami.
Secondly, there is the Prong Link. Prong Cuban Link chains are different from the Cuban link chain.
The design of the Prong Cuban link chain is intentionally sharper than the oval design of the aforementioned Cuban link chain.
Because the cuts are sharper, it results in a square, woven design. The Prong Cuban link chain has become more popular in recent years.
Additionally, there are different, popular ways to wear a Cuban link chain, outside of choosing between a necklace and a bracelet.
For example, many people like to layer their Cuban link chains, wearing multiple at once. This is a style that remains popular today!
Size And Length
The length and size of a Cuban link chain, no matter the type of link chain, can differ.
Interestingly, the size and length of a Cuban link chain have been associated with different aspects of pop culture.
For example, heavy, large Cuban link chains became a popular status symbol within the culture of hip hop.
Why Are Cuban Link Chains Popular?
Cuban link chains grew in popularity during the hip-hop scene of the 1970s.
DJ Kool Herc is the person who introduced hip-hop to the Bronx. He would often host block parties. During these parties, he would play hip-hop records.
The block parties were well known for the music that was played as well as the fashion of the people attending.
Of course, many people would wear Cuban link chains to these parties.
During the 1980s, disco rose to prominence. Cuban link chains were also popular during this disco era.
Eventually, Cuban link chains became a symbol of status, wealth, and luxury. They remain a popular symbol of status even today.
Why Are Cuban Link Chains Expensive?
Being a symbol of status and wealth, of course, Cuban link chains are going to be expensive.
Let’s take a closer look at why this is the case!
Precious Metals And Gold
For the most part, Cuban link jewelry is made from 14-18k gold chains. These gold chains are both valuable and expensive.
This is because gold is a precious metal.
So, depending on the weight and percentage of gold present in the jewelry, Cuban link chains will be expensive, to reflect the value of the gold present within them.
Cuban link chains can also be made from sterling silver, silver, platinum, and more! These will generally be less expensive than gold Cuban link chains,
The Associated History
There is a rich cultural history around Cuban link chains, which increases their value and therefore, makes them more expensive.
The Manufacturing Process
Next, we have the manufacturing process of Cuban link chains. The manufacturing process can be complicated, meaning that the Cuban link chains will be more expensive.
Often, there will be a curled copper rod covering a wire that forms the links’ shape.
Then, for any smaller link chains, a drill is used to make them. In thicker link chains, more than one person will create them.
Next, the Cuban link chains need to be soldered. Soldering is a detailed process of heating gold and breaking it down.
Then, a solder will join the link parts to ensure the links are closed. This works to make the iconic interlocked design of Cuban link chains.
Soldering can be a very complicated process, which contributes to the price of Cuban link chains. You will often need to make sure the heat and technique of the soldering process are correct.
Once the soldering process has been completed, the links will need to be turned and tightened so the Cuban link chain will lie flat, and then will be filed down to ensure all of the Cuban link chain looks the same.
However, while pure gold Cuban link chains are expensive, you can purchase cheaper link chains that are plated with gold.
Pros And Cons Of The Cuban Link Chain
Here are the pros and cons of the Cuban link chain.
- Durable jewelry that will last for a long time
- Timeless staple piece for a variety of wardrobes
- An interesting, rich history
- Made from high-quality materials like gold, platinum, sterling silver, etc
- Versatile, there is a Cuban link chain style that works for all
- Cuban link chains are expensive
- The cultural association of Cuban link chains goes unappreciated or unbeknownst to those who wear them
Cuban link chains, also known as Miami link chains, first gained popularity during the 1970s hip-hop era, after becoming a fashion staple of those who attended DJ Kool Herc’s parties in the Bronx.
Since then, they have become an iconic symbol of status and wealth within the hip-hop community and beyond.
Cuban link chains are generally oval-shaped chains that interlock, although there is a different kind that is shaped more like a square. These are known as Prong Cuban link chains.
These link chains are usually made from gold, making them luxurious and expensive.
However, they can also be made from silver, platinum, brass, and more. These Cuban link chains are durable and are sure to be a timeless staple of yours for a long time to come.