The Cuban Link Chain: A Guide to Types and Sizes

The sleek interlocking design of Cuban link chains makes them a favorite piece of jewelry for many. A high-quality Cuban link chain can last for decades, depending on the gold purity used in making the chain. If you’re using a piece of jewelry for so long, you must know how to take proper care of it to maximize its beauty and keep it hygienic.

Types Of Cuban Link Chain

1. Gold Cuban Link Chain

Gold Cuban Link Chain

Gold Cuban link chains are the most common types, and most people who speak of Cuban link chains are strictly referring to gold ones. Gold Cuban link chains are made from 10 karats up to pure 24-karat Cuban link chains. The most common are 14 and 18-karat Cuban link chains because chains from 20 karats upwards are easy to scratch.

Some people prefer to buy high-purity gold Cuban link chains because of the sell-on value. With the price of gold continuing to increase with no signs of slowing down in the future, a 24-karat Cuban link chain might well be an investment.

2. Silver Cuban Link Chain

Silver Cuban Link Chain

Silver Cuban link chains are mostly made of .925 Sterling Silver and are the preferred metal for some people’s Cuban link chains. The most obvious reason for choosing a silver Cuban link chain is that it costs way less than a gold one. Also, silver is pretty easy to maintain, and even if it begins to look old, a good polish can make it look as good as new.

3. Miami Cuban Link Chain

Miami Cuban Link Chain

The Cuban link, also known as the Miami link chain, is something you’ve probably heard of. The name is because Miami is where these particular varieties of chains first appeared in the early 1970s.

The hip-hop jewelry trend becoming popular in Miami led to the Cuban link chain we know today. Many hip-hop artists and other fashion connoisseurs use handcrafted Miami Cuban link chains around their necks today.

4. Diamond Cuban Link Chain

Diamond Cuban Link Chain

Diamond Cuban link chains are Cuban link chains that have diamonds set into them; usually, a diamond Cuban link chain would have a gold chain as the base metal. Diamond Cuban link chains are costly because of the price of each stone and the difficulty of making them.

Each stone is individually set into the gold chain, and a Cuban link chain that’s 5mm thick and 22 inches long can contain up to 700 small diamonds.

People love diamond Cuban link chains because of the glitter the chain has under a light. However, this type of Cuban link chain is easily the most expensive because of the cost of gold and diamond.

5. White Cuban Link Chain

White Cuban link chains refer specifically to Cuban links made with white gold. White gold is a type of gold that is alloyed with a white metal like silver, palladium, or zinc. Depending on the ratio of the alloy to gold, a white Cuban link chain can look a lot like silver or have a greater yellow tint.

6. Iced Out Cuban Link Chain

Iced Out Cuban Link Chain

Iced-out Cuban link chains are cheaper than the diamond Cuban link. The base metal used in this type of chain is usually brass; however, the brass is plated with either 18-karat gold or white gold. Instead of the expensive diamond option, iced-out Cuban links usually have cubic zirconia stones paved into them for that glitter when light hits the chain.

7. Black Cuban Link Chain

Black Cuban Link Chain

Black Cuban link chains have a distinct all-black look to them. These chains are mostly made of black ion-plated stainless steel; however, some are made of .925 Sterling Silver plated with black rhodium. These black Cuban link chains are an unconventional move away from the flashier designs that have marked Cuban link chains for decades.

Cuban Link Chain Sizes by Lengths And Thickness

Cuban Link Chain Sizes

A significant factor to consider when deciding what type of Cuban link chain you want is the size. The size of the Cuban link chain deals with the thickness (width) and length of the chain. 


First, the width of a Cuban link chain usually ranges between 2.5 and 11 millimeters, and I’ll break down the sizes into small, medium, and large. 

The small chain sizes are 2.5, 3.2, and 4mm; these chains are very thin and easy to wear as you go about your day. If you want people to notice that what you’re wearing is a Cuban link, then the 2.5 and 3.2 aren’t for you as they might look like a regular link chain. The advantage of these small-width chains is how easy it is to fit a pendant through the locks compared to the medium-sized ones.

The medium Cuban link chain comprises 5, 6, and 7 mm chains; they are light and can also be worn daily. You can only have the Cuban link box lock on chains from 5mm and above, with smaller chains using the lobster lock. 

Large Cuban link chains are 8, 9, 10, and 11 mm in width, which are the classic rapper-look chains that many are used to. These chains usually cost a lot more to make and are heavier on the neck. You can pave diamonds into your large Cuban link chain if you want to rejuvenate its look.


The length of Cuban link chains usually ranges from 18 to 30 inches. The 18-inch Cuban link chain is called a choker. How long or short a Cuban link chain would look on your body would depend on the size of your neck and shoulders. People who work out often would generally need longer chains to look similar to those who don’t.

If you plan to buy a Cuban link chain that’s 8mm and above in thickness, you should ideally look at a length of around 22 inches. Buying a thick chain that is longer than that will cost you a lot, and the weight might also become an issue. 

The good thing with buying a longer chain is that a jeweler can shorten it for you by removing a couple of links. However, extending a Cuban link chain is harder because finding a link made of the exact material as your original chain can be very stressful.

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