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Mens Twisted Link Necklace in 14k Two Tone Gold

Even in the realm of high-end jewelry, Cuban link chains are a sign of wealth. The price of this 18-karat gold chain is $27,000. Some of the most expensive chains will cost ten times as much. A single chain needs the expertise of more than five skilled jewelers and may take up to 12 hours to complete. So, how are Cuban link chains created? Is that why they’re so expensive? Someone had to spend 14 hours of their day passing hot steel through equipment, then turning it by hand, filing it by hand, and polishing it by hand. You’re not simply wearing a chain around your neck; you’re wearing someone else’s blood, sweat, tears, and passion.

The origin of the Cuban link chain is difficult to identify, although it most certainly did not begin in Cuba. It was a staple of hip-hop style in the 1970s and 1980s, and its popularity increased as hip-hop became more widespread in the United States. However, not all Cuban link chains are the same. Many Cuban link chains are manufactured by machines in nations such as the United States, Italy, and China, but the most genuine – and most costly – ones are created by hand in just a few stores in Miami.

Gus Villalobos: When you get to the upper end of Cuban link chains, which are $50,000, $80,000, and $100,000 chains, they have to be handcrafted. One, because of the meticulous attention to detail. The file, the close connections.

Chino: It’s like visiting a Ferrari dealership. You could purchase a Ferrari off the lot or have one custom-made to your specifications. This is a one-of-a-kind creation. Narrator: This chain passes through 30 manual – and time-consuming – steps. The talents are the result of your ability, practice, and knowledge. I can’t give you an accurate figure for the whole world. There are just a few individuals, literally a few people, in South Florida who can accomplish this.

Narrator: Not only is this a time-consuming procedure, but it’s also hazardous. Chino and his team use 1,000-degree flames to melt the gold and shape it into a bar. Chino: In this work, you have to pay close attention to what you’re doing. You’re going to harm yourself if you make one mistake. There have been incidents when individuals have lost their fingers in this industry.

Narrator: To make it thinner, the bar is rolled via a rolling machine up to 12 times. Each of Gold Fever Miami’s nine jewelers has a particular role. One jeweler may spend over an hour at the stretch bench just stretching wire to length.

Chino: This isn’t dirt; it’s real gold. You can see gold particles on my hands if you look closely.

This wire is then wrapped around a copper rod to create the shape for the links. A drill is sufficient for smaller chains. Thicker ones, on the other hand, require the combined power of two jewelers. The most critical step of the procedure follows. It also requires the greatest expertise.

Gus: The soldering is the most difficult aspect of your work. Essentially, what you’re doing is heating up gold and adding solder just before it starts to break down and melt. Solder is a kind of metal that is used to permanently seal each connection.

Gus: So it’s a delicate balancing of applying the correct amount of heat with the proper amount of skill so that when those two metals come into contact, the solder melts and fuses into the gold. So, if you wait too long, the whole thing becomes liquid gold. If you do it too soon, the solder will not melt correctly and there will be no fusion between the connections. You can’t screw it up or you’ll create holes in the chain. And you can’t be afraid to quit and start over again.

Narrator: It’s no secret that the price of gold influences the cost of these necklaces. Even if an ounce of gold costs $1,700 today, even the most expensive Cuban links are mixed with something else. Gold is a highly delicate substance that is usually too soft to be used to make jewelry on its own. Other metals must be alloyed with it. White gold, for example, is a gold alloy composed of white metals such as silver.
zinc
as well as nickel These metals soften the gold, enabling it to be stretched and twisted throughout the jewelry-making process. They may, however, be very tough to deal with. A single little movement may make a huge impact. This may happen in rare instances with white gold.

Gus: It’s because of this why it’s so expensive. If any of these linkages breaks, you must return it to the soldering table, resolder it, and bring it back here to be turned again.

The chain will lay flat after the links have been correctly twisted and tightened. A jeweler must next file down the chain so that each side is level and identical.

Gus: And here is where the jeweler’s passion comes into play, in terms of how beautiful he can make that form.

But it wasn’t until lately that these Cuban connections became so sought after and lucrative. According to Google Trends, searches for Cuban link chains started to increase in 2012. Gold Fever Miami’s sales have increased 100-fold in the past two years. Every month, the store sold $2,000 in Cuban links. That figure has already surpassed $200,000. Whether you’re the most renowned rapper or just starting out, you need jewelry to establish oneself as a rapper. You also have a Miami Cuban link chain if you wear jewelry.

Narrator: In 2012, Jay-Z wore one of the most expensive Cuban links ever produced, valued at $200,000. A year later, in a music video, Daddy Yankee unveiled his 10-kilo Cuban link chain. And there’s even more buzz in the music business right now.

Gus: They’re so inextricably linked to pop culture, especially hip-hop and reggaeton. Almost every song with a music video has a rapper wearing a Miami Cuban link chain.

Chino: It’s almost become a status symbol. Customers have asked us to match their Rolexes to their chains.

Narrator: These versions are often adorned with diamonds, which naturally raises the price. Gus, on the other hand, does not anticipate a slowdown in demand for chains like this or smaller ones. As of March 2021, we are pumping anything from 10 to 15 kilograms every five days, or every five weeks. And we’re still unable to meet demand. We still have a five to seven-week wait.

Narrator: This, along with the high price of gold, suggests that prices are unlikely to fall very soon. The polishing has to be my favorite part of the process. It’s when you see a lovely piece of metal transformed into a lovely piece of jewelry. Plus, it’s the last step, so we’re done.

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