Even though 5-kilogram Cuban link chains are often associated with infamous rappers and well-known Reggaeton artists, the truth is that these popular and adaptable necklaces may also be stylish and beautiful when worn in moderation!
If you’re seeking to purchase a Cuban link chain or bracelet, this section will offer you information and suggestions to assist you in selecting the ideal chain for your taste and preferences. This information is based on years of assisting clients with their own chains and also wearing them personally.
How Miami Cuban Connections Are Formed
We suggest that before buying any Cuban link jewelry from us, you view our popular YouTube video on how gold Cuban links are produced. The movie demonstrates the enormous amount of labor and expert workmanship required to create one of these chains. These are handcrafted chains (the only way to achieve this level of quality), and the one shown in the movie is a one-kilo 14K gold chain without a lock (but they can also come with the traditional squared Cuban link lock).
Cuban Link Chains: A Brief History
Cuban link chains (alternatively referred to as Miami Cuban links) are an extension of the late 1970s to mid-1980’s hip-hop jewelry trend. Indeed, many continue to see Cuban link necklaces as an integral part of hip-hop fashion. Nonetheless, their timeless, elegant style is not exclusive to Jay-Z and Daddy Yankee!
The truth is that pinpointing the actual origin of the Cuban link chain is difficult, despite claims by many hip-hop superstars claiming they were instrumental in popularizing Cuban link chains. One thing we do know is that interest in Cuban ties increased significantly after 2012 and has been continuously increasing ever since. How are we aware? We inquired of Google! By entering “Cuban link chain” into Google Trends, we got the graph below, which compares monthly global searches for the term [blue] to the market price of gold [orange] from 2005 to March 2021.
gold prices against Google Trends data on Cuban links
Between 2005 and 2012, Google searches for “Cuban link chain” were pretty stable. However, interest started to surge around the end of 2012. Demand during this time period may have been fueled by the increasing attention paid to these chains by high-profile hip-hop superstars. In February 2013, for instance, items such as Jay-30-inch-long, Z’s 5-kilogram [11-pound] chain made their appearance. DJ Khaled also stated the same year that he was instrumental in popularizing lengthier versions of Cuban link necklaces, triggering a “kilo war” (watch the video embedded in this article, where Khaled makes reference to his 2-kilogram necklace).
The truth is that interest in this kind of chain has been gradually increasing in search attention since 2012. This covers a period of declining gold prices (from an end-of-month high of $1800 an ounce in August 2011 to a December 2015 low of $1060 an ounce), as well as a multi-year rise in the precious metal (from 2016 until 2020). Gold reached a record high of $2,067.15 on August 7th, 2020, and interest in the “Cuban link chain” increased as well. December of that year was the busiest month for Google searches, despite the fact that 2020 was also the year COVID-19 made its appearance. Thus far in 2021, we’ve observed a little decline in Google searches for Cuban link chains, despite the fact that the long-term trend seems to be robust.
With an unending Central Bank becoming the style du jour of the twenty-first century and so many people fearful of the ensuing hyperinflation, it is not unreasonable to expect the price of gold and demand for Cuban link chains to continue rising in the near future.
Investing in Cuban Link Chains (As of March 31, 2011)
We’ve already discussed the financial potential of luxury timepieces (link to blog article here), but is Cuban link jewelry also a smart investment?
If said before, worldwide interest in Cuban link chains may continue to grow as the global crisis worsens.
Gold’s spot price hovered around $400 per troy ounce in 2005. From that moment, the metal continued to rise gradually for another 7-8 years, almost tripling in price. This means that if you purchased a Cuban link chain in early 2005, it might be worth more than four times what you spent seven years later! From September 2018 to August 2020, the more recent two-year 69 percent gain in gold would have led to a corresponding increase in the price of gold chains.
However, considering the decline in gold prices since August 2020, some investing purists may say, “Clearly, there are better methods to invest in gold than buying Cuban connections!” Even if their reasoning is compelling, let us not overlook one critical point…
When you acquire a Cuban link chain, you are mainly purchasing it for personal enjoyment, not to speculate on gold’s appreciation (the same is true when you purchase a luxury watch). The fact that Cuban links may maintain or even increase in value as a result of gold’s market behavior is a significant advantage, but only a secondary one. While this additional advantage may undoubtedly provide the purchaser of a Cuban link chain with an increased feeling of security over time, it should always take a back seat to the purchaser’s love for gold jewelry.
Quality – The Secret to Cuban Connections
Numerous jewelers create [or at least try to create] these thick chains with strong, closely spaced links, but only a select few succeed in producing works of exceptional quality deserving of the spotlight. We’ve actually had customers come into our shop wearing Cuban link chains of such poor quality that the only way to save them was to melt them down (as discussed in one of our latest films)!
Without flawless workmanship, attention to detail, and finish, a Cuban link chain may be better served as a 24K gold bar.
For the best-looking Cuban link, we suggest a tighter, flat-link design (also known as a Miami Cuban link), 14K-quality gold or higher (not a 10K chain that contains just approximately 40% pure gold, as many jewelers do), and a high-quality clasp (unless you prefer a continuous, no-clasp design).
A strip of Cuban Links
The image above illustrates many typical Miami Cuban Link chain thicknesses, as well as the two most frequent color combinations. The two yellow gold chains on the left are 8mm and 14mm broad, respectively. Cuban links in rose gold are very popular. On the right of the image, you’ll see two samples of rose gold (also known as pink or red gold) (the 8mm and 10mm-wide chains).