What Is A Cuban Link Chain? All About Cuban Links

Posted on February 28 2021

One of the most iconic styles of gold jewelry are Cuban link necklaces and bracelets.  Cuban links have stayed on trend for decades now, proving to be a timeless wardrobe staple, that even created its own sub-culture of jewelry. Different types of Cuban links became iconic accessories, bridging the gap between two culturally artistic worlds; hip hop music and high fashion. In this article we’ll discuss why are Cuban links so popular, and the history of the Cuban link design. We’ll also provide essential tips to help you with your next Cuban link purchase.

Micro Cuban

Micro Cuban 3mm

 

What Does Cuban Link Mean?

Let’s first start with the basics; What does Cuban link mean, and how are they designed. Cuban link refers to a type of jewelry design, which interlocks either round or oval gold rings together making a sleek unison pattern. This pattern interlocks all of the round or oval rings together which will lay flat on your chest or wrist. Over time, Cuban links became the standard design for gold jewelry due to its massive popularity, but also craftsmanship. Cuban links are one of the sturdiest and sleekest link chain designs. It’s interlocking pattern ensures durability and long lasting quality. This is why Cuban links can be crafted into large and heavy pieces. 

6mm GLD Signature Miami Cuban

6mm GLD Signature Miami Cuban

 

Different Types of Cuban Links

There are two main types of Cuban links offered in both necklaces and bracelets. The first is the classic Cuban link style, which is also known as the “Miami Cuban Link.” The Miami Cuban Link refers to the classic oval or round interlocking pattern. Cuban link chains became extremely popular amongst the Cuban community living in Miami during the 1970’s and 1980’s, which is where the name “Miami Cuban Link” originated. The second type of Cuban link is known as the Prong Link. Prong Cuban link necklaces and bracelets differ from Miami Cubans, because their design pattern is not oval or round. Prong links are intentionally designed to have sharper cuts, making a woven square design. Prong Links are a recent trend that gained popularity just a few short years ago. The GLD Shop has become the leading purveyor for both types of Cuban links.

White Gold Micro Cuban

White Gold Micro Cuban

 

Now that you know the two types of Cuban links, your next decision will be size and length. Cuban links are a great design because of their versatility, and they are offered in a variety of sizes and weights. Once Cuban link chains became status symbols amongst hip hop artists and celebrities, the trend was to wear large and heavy Cuban link chains. Even wearing multiple heavy Cuban links layered together still remains stylish today. If you’re wondering are Cuban links expensive, the answer is generally yes. Cuban link chains are responsible for creating a culture of jewelry that celebrated bold and flashy looks. If you owned a large Cuban link in late 1970’s and 1980’s, that typically signified wealthy status.

Diamond Prong Link Choker (19mm) in White Gold

Diamond Prong Link Choker (19mm) in White Gold

 

If you’re looking to purchase a heavier Cuban link necklace or bracelet, we recommend choosing a millimeter or width between 10mm, 12mm, or 19mm. Even though Cuban links are  known for being large and weighty, they are also popular in a thinner styles. If you are interested in a sleeker, subtle, and classic Cuban link necklace or bracelet, 6mm and 8.5mm are the perfect widths.

 

Why Are Cuban Links So Popular?

Over the years it’s been difficult to pin point which style movement or specific individual(s) are responsible for the popularity of Cuban link jewelry. It’s unanimous however that Cuban link chains first gained visibility during the 1970’s hip hop scene. In the early 1970’s, the Jamaican-American DJ Kool Herc, is credited for introducing hip hop music to the Bronx in New York City. DJ Kool Herc hosted block parties where he played hip hop records. These parties were known for their music but also fashionable attendees, who favored Cuban link jewelry. Cuban link jewelry continued to trend into the disco era and rising nightlife scene of the 80’s. After the 70’s and 80’s it became easier to understand why are Cuban links so popular. As hip hop music grew and gained cultural popularity, Cuban links became a symbol of luxury, wealth, and success. Today, Cuban links remain status symbols today.

5mm Miami Cuban Link Chain in White Gold

5mm Miami Cuban Link Chain in White Gold

 

What Are Cuban Links Made Of?

Cuban link chains and bracelets are commonly associated with being “gold,” and the most common material to craft Cuban link chains from are different karats of yellow gold. Cuban chains are commonly offered in 10 karat, 14 karat, 18 karat, and 22 karat gold. The higher the karat, the more expensive Cuban links will be. Even though yellow gold is the most classic material that Cuban links are made from, different types of Cuban link chains are offered in white gold and rose gold. In recent fashion waves, jewelers and designers started to craft Cuban link chains in tri-colors, or other rainbow color variants. Men and women now both make up the demographic of who wears Cuban link jewelry. Whether it’s shorter choker-style lengths, or larger and longer classic Cuban link necklaces, Cuban link jewelry has proven to be a must have accessory.

For more information about The GLD Shop’s collection of Cuban link necklaces and bracelets, please visit the Cuban link chains category and browse the selections.