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Cuban Link vs. Curb Link Chain: Understanding the Difference

Posted on July 01 2021

A common question we are asked by our customers who are new to men’s chains is “What’s the difference between a Cuban link and a Curb link chain?” Although they look similar, they have subtle differences in their density, weight, finish, and movement.

Both these chains are an excellent choice for someone looking to up their jewelry game. The bold and round Cuban link has graced the necks of many celebrities, such as Jay Z and Drake, and is an ideal chain for those just starting to build their jewelry collection.  

The Curb link is durable, making it a good option for pairing with a pendant. It also lies easily against your chest because the links are flat. 

trio of cuban link chains

Source: Konstantin Tarashchuk/ Shutterstock.com

Searching for a Gold Chain? Explore the Range at Frost NYC

What Is the Difference Between a Cuban Link and a Curb Link Chain?

Both Curb and Cuban link necklaces are types of gold chains designed to interlock and sit flat on your chest. However, Curb chains have oval links with a slightly flattened face while the links on Cuban chains have rounder, thicker walls, giving these models a chunkier look. Here are a few more differences to consider before choosing a Curb or Cuban link necklace: 

  • Link Density

Cuban chain link necklaces usually have more tightly packed links, which gives the necklace a woven appearance. While Curb chains have a looser link density similar to a Mariner or Figaro chain, the link wall is slightly finer, meaning there is less surface area touching between the links. 

  • Weight

Due to the increased link thickness and density, Cuban link chains tend to be significantly heavier than Curb link necklaces. For example, a 10k yellow gold 10mm 26” Cuban chain weighs around 7 oz. A Curb chain with the same specs would only weigh 2.4 oz. 

  • Finish

As there is less link surface area touching in a Curb link necklace, it provides more surface area to reflect light, which gives Curb link chains a shiner finish than Cuban chain necklaces. However, this does not mean that Cuban link chains are dull; rather, the luster is slightly muted, which offsets the boldness of the chain’s style. 

  • Chain Movement

Chain link density directly correlates to necklace flexibility and movement; the tighter the links, the less flexible the chain. So, a Cuban chain offers far less movement than a Curb chain. Chain movement can add a dynamic element to your outfit, but flexible chains are more likely to become tangled or sustain damage, so you need to take extra care while wearing them. 

  • Diamond Cut

Icing out your chains ups the swag factor, making your necklace look flashier and more expensive for the ultimate status symbol. However, too much chain movement can loosen the pavé diamonds, so ice is typically only placed on specific areas of the chain link. 

The increased chain movement in a Curb chain means there is a limited area to add the ice. The flattened front surface of the links on a Curb chain is the only location that won’t sustain an impact from the other links.

Since chunky Cuban chains hardly move at all, you can ice the entire front of the chain.

portrait man wearing gold chain

Source: Ursula Page/ Shutterstock.com 

Buy Iced-Out Gold Chains at Frost NYC

Styling a Cuban Link vs. a Curb Link Chain

Each of these gold chains for men makes a stunning piece of neck bling, but they both require different styling techniques to highlight their form and elevate your look. 

Because a Curb link chain has looser links and is typically less thick than Cuban link models, they are the ideal necklace for adding a custom pendant to personalize your look. At Frost NYC, we have a vast range of custom and gold pendants to choose from, including animals, sports paraphernalia, and religious iconography, so you can recreate Biggie’s iconic iced-out twin Jesus look

The dense Cuban links ensure they won’t pinch your skin or snag on your clothes. It also gives them a sleeker appearance despite their wider chain thickness. This means that Cuban chains are perfect as longer pieces for layering, wearing over t-shirts, or placing high on your chest under a button-down shirt. 

isolated gold link chain

Source: free Jewellery stock/ Shutterstock.com

Cuban vs. Curb Link: The Verdict

Both Cuban and Curb chain necklaces are excellent ways to up your bling game. Whether you wear a Curb and gold pendant combo or take on the layered necklace trend with a long Cuban chain, either of these pieces makes an enviable addition to your collection. 

For the ultimate selection of high-quality solid gold and iced-out chains, explore Frost NYC or contact us at 1-888-485-1061 to inquire about creating a custom one-of-a-kind order with our experienced jewelry designers. 

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