Cuban links are necklaces or bracelets made mostly from gold, but in a few instances, they can be encrusted with other valuable gems.
Although they have the name Cuban link chains, there is no evidence to show that they come from Cuba.
They gained popularity back in the 1970s with the rise in hip hop music, where it was worn by many of the musicians in their music videos.
Since then, the chains have been worn by many hip-hop musicians looking for a stylish yet luxurious way to accessorize.
These links can be mass-produced in many parts of the world, but authentic Cuban links are handmade at a few locations in Miami, making them the most expensive.
In this article I will discuss what makes them so expensive and if they are worth all that money.
Why is it called Cuban link chain?
Unlike most of us would think, Cuban chain links do not originate from Cuba. Its origin is not well known, but it gained popularity among hip-hop musicians in the 1970s.
These chains are well known worldwide due to their signature look, which features a uniform streamlined design of interlocked links, just like in a normal chain.
The craftsmanship in the design and manufacturing of these chains is just among the many factors that make them so pricy. The chains are crafted in a manner that makes the lay flat making them easy to wear and giving the chains a more sophisticated finish.
Over the years, its popularity has grown, making it desirable by well-known musical stars to the lesser-known musicians who are just starting their musical careers. For many, this is the perfect way to accessorize since it lives the musician looking lavish.
Improvements in the type of materials used and craftsmanship have made the quality of the Cuban link chains improve over time. Many chains have lasted for years without deteriorating in quality, increasing their popularity further.
However, the Cuban chain links cannot be made entirely out of gold; this will not only increase its price but also, gold tends to be a very soft metal that can easily break during the manufacturing process.
This makes it necessary to mix it with other metals to increase its strength making it more durable.
The complexity of design on a Cuban link chain is only limited to the customer’s imagination. However, many musicians tend to start off with the more traditional standard design.
Many well-known musicians have wanted their chains to match other pieces of accessories that they own. Some have wanted their chains to be encrusted with diamonds which naturally increases their value.
How much do Cuban links usually cost?
As discussed earlier in this article, the value of a Cuban link chain is not standard as it depends on various factors. This is because an authentic Cuban link chain has to be custom-made, and it is made by order.
As many musicians and customers have different tastes and preferences, the value of the chains tends to vary from one chain to another.
Most real authentic chains come from a few shops in Miami that make the chains by hand. The cost of an average Cuban link chain is $ 27000, but the price only goes higher depending on what the customer wants.
The chains are mostly made of yellow gold, rose gold, or white gold (which is obtained by mixing gold with other white metals like silver and nickel).
The average Cuban link chain uses about one hundred grams of gold which contributes greatly to its price. Considering that the prices of gold in the world are constantly increasing, this makes the chains even more expensive.
The value of the chains may also be influenced by their size since larger chains require more gold making them more expensive. Also, since the chains are custom-made, this makes them more expensive depending on what the customer wants to be added to the chain.
Why are Cuban links so expensive?
Cuban link chains have gained popularity among many male hip-hop musicians due to the luxurious and exquisite look of the chain.
However, these chains do not come cheaply; they have been known to go for several thousand dollars. Here is a list of some of the reasons that make them so expensive.
Since their invention in the 1970s, Cuban link chains have been made from gold. As many of us know, gold is among the rearrest metals on earth; this makes it to be naturally expensive due to its scarcity hence making the chains to be expensive.
As the years passed by, inflation caused the prices of gold around the world to rise; recently, an ounce of gold went for $1700. On average, one Cuban link chain uses about one hundred grams of gold in its manufacture; this equates to about three ounces of gold.
Hence making the chain more expensive. Gold also varies in purity; hence the purer the gold, the more expensive the chain.
Some of the customers who order Cuban link chains want to make their chains stand out from the crowd. They might request that the chain be encrusted with some special stones and gems like diamonds which will only drive the price higher.
Craftmanship basically means how the Cuban link chains are made. Authentic Cuban link chains are man exclusively at a few shops in Miami. At these shops, they don’t employ the use of machinery, but the chains are handmade by several jewelers.
It takes several years for the jewelers to hone their skills so as to make such exquisite pieces that have come to be loved by many.
Each jeweler has their own unique set of skills that are put in use at different stages of making the Cuban link chains, from the initial casting all the way to polishing which is the final step.
Making these chains has many risks that the jewelers have to face, from the over one-thousand-degree flames that are used to melt the gold to the machines that can easily crush one’s fingers.
All these risks, accompanied by the expertise needed to make the chains make the jewelers highly sort after and who require high compensation for their services.
The chains also require a lot of time to make since there is very little machinery that is involved in the making process of these chains. This, coupled with the high compensations for the jewelers, drive the cost of the Cuban link chains even higher.
3. Length and size of the chain
Since most authentic Cuban link chains are made to the customer’s specifications, the price of each individual chain will vary immensely. Many hip-hop musicians have been known to go for large pieces that stand out from the crowd.
Larger chains require more craftmanship to make as well as the materials used to make the larger Cuban link chains will be considerably more compared to smaller pieces. The length of the chain also plays a major role in influencing the cost of the chain.
Two chains might have the same size of links but are of different lengths; this means that the longest chain has more links which means it uses more material and time to make it.
All these factors naturally make the longer chain more expensive despite them having the same size of links.
Some musicians have in the past ordered Cuban link chains that have measured as much as ten kilograms. This means the total cost of the chain will be considerably high as it requires more time, material, and skill to make.
There are only two types of Cuban link chains. One is the Miami link and the Prong link. This two don’t have many differences in their composition; the difference comes in with the shape of the links in each.
The Miami has a traditional design that features round or square links, which was common in the 70s, while the Prong features square links, which have just come up recently. These two types don’t differ a lot in cost, but the Prong tends to be more costly.
As we all know, an increase in the demand for a product results in an increase in its price.
In recent years the demand for Cuban link chains has increased due to the fact that there are more musicians coming up, and more people want the chains as a status symbol. This has increased the price of these chains drastically.
Is it worth buying Cuban Link Chain? A good investment?
Yes, although the chains are quite expensive to acquire, they bring with them a lot of pride and prestige.
As most of the Cuban link chains are made of gold and other precious stones and metals, this makes them appreciate in value, so if you want to sell yours a few years down the line, it will be at a good profit, making them a good investment.
Cuban link chains have been a part of hip-hop culture for many years, and as the trend is, it seems like it will be here for many years to come.
They are a perfect way to accessorize, and their bold and exquisite design will make you stand out from the crowd.
Although the Cuban link chains are expensive, if you have the money, it will be worth the investment as you will stand out from the crowd, and its bold yet simple design allows it to go well in every setting.
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Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.