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Rope Chain vs Cuban Link - How to Choose

Rope Chain vs Cuban Link - How to Choose

Key Insights
  • All About Rope Chains 
  • All About Cuban Links Chains
  • Strength and Durability
  • Versatility in Styling
  • Considering Cost and Investment
  • Brand 
  • Material 
  • Size 
  • Comfort and Wearability:
  • How to Make Sure You’re Getting a Quality Chain
  • Material Quality 
  • Craftsmanship
  • Weight
  • Consistency in Design
  • Finish
  • Flexibility
  • Get the Dopest Chains in the Game to Upgrade Your Fit

When you’re shopping for that perfect chain to complete the look, two types will stand out almost anywhere you look: Rope chains and Cuban link chains. The choice between the two is more than just a style decision. It's about finding the one that matches your vibe and what you want to go for.

If you’re trying to decide between either chain style, we got you. Today, we’re comparing them head-to-head so that you can learn everything you need to know before you make your decision. 

Let’s start by looking at rope chains. 

All About Rope Chains 

Rope chains, true to their name, look like twisted metal ropes. They are crafted by intertwining several gold strands, giving them a spiral appearance. 

Many people love wearing them because they shimmer beautifully. When light hits the twisted design, it creates an eye-catching flash that looks perfect on its own, worn with a pendant, or stacked with other types of chains.

If you're looking for something to wear on a day-to-day basis or for special events, rope chains can be a great choice. They offer a classy look, which means they can be paired with both formal and casual outfits. 

Rope chains are also some of the most popular styles to wear with pendants. Since the design is thin, round, and consistent throughout, a piece like a 4mm rope chain can be paired effortlessly with a pendant of your choice to add some personality to your fit. 

All About Cuban Links Chains

Cuban link chains, on the other hand, are known for their distinct oval links that interlock in a thick chain. These chains have a bold design, and they stand out when worn. If you're looking to make a strong style statement, this chain is for you.

Like the rope chain, Cuban link chains come in various lengths and thicknesses. Depending on your style, you can choose a chunkier design or something more sleek and refined. When worn, Cuban link chains have a heavier and bolder presence and aren’t pieces for those who don’t want to make a bold statement. 

Cuban link chains are among the most iconic pieces in the game right now. From Hollywood to the stage at Rolling Loud and professional sports arenas, you’ll find some of the most notable names rocking them. 

Like rope chains, Cubans can be rocked on their own, stacked, or with a pendant. However, Cubans are a bit thicker and may not always fit with every pendant. Instead, choose something like a micro Cuban link chain to ensure you can rock it with a pendant attached. 

Strength and Durability

When investing in jewelry, you want something that lasts. Rope chains, with their twisted design, are strong. This design means they can resist everyday wear and tear quite well. If you're someone who wants to wear their chain frequently, the rope chain can be a solid choice.

Cuban link chains aren't left behind, though. Their design is robust, and the tightly interlocking links provide added strength. If you plan on adding pendants or charms, the Cuban link chain can handle the weight without any issues.

Between the two, both offer longevity. But your choice will come down to design preference and how you plan to wear your chain.

Versatility in Styling

One of the great things about rope chains is how well they pair with different outfits. Whether you're dressing up for a special event or just kicking it with friends, a rope chain can complement your look. Its subtle shimmer adds an element of sophistication to any outfit.

However, rope chains are usually used as a subtle finishing touch or a complementary piece. They do not make as much of a visual statement as Cuban links do, so if you want something bolder, you may want to choose another style of chain. 

Conversely, Cuban link chains are perfect for both casual and dressed-up looks as well, but they are going to draw more eyes to your fit. This goes especially for iced-out Cuban link chains where the stones will add extra shine and attract more attention. 

Considering Cost and Investment

The prices of rope and Cuban link chains vary based on a number of different factors. These can include ones like: 


Certain brands may simply charge more due to their name and reputation for quality. For example, you’re not going to easily find a rope chain or Cuban link chain made by Gucci or Tiffany for under $400, even on the secondhand market. 

While those brands have their customer base, and they’re free to charge whatever they want, high price tags might not be for everyone. Look for a brand that can offer you a chain that fits your budget and has positive reviews from other customers. 


The biggest factor that affects price is the material used to make the links themselves. For example, solid gold chains will cost more than ones that are gold-plated. A solid gold chain is made from 100% gold, while a quality plated chain is typically surgical-grade stainless steel finished with a layer of gold. 

Gold vermeil chains are also a solid middle option, price-wise. They are made from 925 sterling silver finished in a layer of gold. This results in a piece that’s still made of precious metals, but it combines two of them to make the price more affordable than a solid piece. 

Again, looking at reviews is key. If you’re going for a gold-plated, vermeil, or solid piece, you want to make sure that what you’re getting is going to justify your investment. 


Simply put: If more metal is used, the more it will cost. A chain that is 30” long will cost more than one that’s 18” long, even if the links are the same size. Similarly, wider links will cost more than narrower links. 

Learn more: How to Find the Perfect Chain Size to Fit Your Style

Comfort and Wearability:

Considering how often you'll be wearing your chain, comfort is crucial. Rope chains are generally lightweight, making them comfortable for everyday wear. Their design ensures they sit well on your neck without causing any discomfort.

Cuban link chains, especially the thicker ones, can be heavier. If you're not used to wearing heavy jewelry, it might take some time to adjust. As with any chain, ensure the clasp is secure and easy to use. This ensures your chain stays in place, regardless of your activity level.

How to Make Sure You’re Getting a Quality Chain

When investing in jewelry like rope or Cuban link chains, ensuring quality is vital. A quality chain will not only look stunning but will also stand the test of time. Here's what to keep an eye out for when determining the quality of these chains:

Material Quality 

Always check for the gold's purity. This is often indicated by karat (K) markings. 24K is pure gold, but it's soft. Most chains will be 14K or 18K, which means they have other metals mixed in for strength. 

If you’re getting a gold-plated or vermeil option, make sure that the base metals are also of an excellent quality. A gold-pated chain should have a 316L surgical-grade stainless steel base, while a vermeil chain should only have 925 sterling silver as its base. 


Look closely at the links. They should be evenly sized, well-shaped, and smoothly finished without any rough edges. The better the craftsmanship, the more durable and comfortable the chain will be.

The links, whether in a rope or Cuban link chain, should connect seamlessly. Proper interlocking ensures the chain won't easily break or get damaged with wear.

The chain clasp is also often an overlooked part, but it's essential. A quality chain will have a sturdy clasp that securely fastens, reducing the risk of losing the chain. The clasp should also have its own dedicated link instead of being welded or glued onto the end. 


While weight can be an indicator of gold content, it's also a sign of a chain's solid construction. Lightweight chains might be hollow inside, which can compromise their durability. 

It's generally better to opt for solid chains, especially if you plan on wearing them frequently or adding heavy pendants. 

Consistency in Design

Whether you're examining the spiral design of the rope chain or the interlocked pattern of the Cuban link, consistency is key. The design should remain uniform throughout the chain, showcasing the attention to detail in its creation.


A quality chain will have a smooth, polished finish. It should shine without looking overly glossy. Avoid chains that also have dull patches or discolorations, as these can be signs of poor quality or potential issues in the future.


A good chain, regardless of its design, should be flexible. It should drape smoothly and not kink or show rigidity. This demonstrates that the links were made with care and are designed to fit purposefully rather than being hastily linked together. 

Get the Dopest Chains in the Game to Upgrade Your Fit

Choosing between a rope chain and a Cuban link chain comes down to personal style and preference. Both chains have their unique qualities and appeal. 

Whether you're looking for elegance or a bold statement, there's a chain for you. Remember to consider factors like durability, price, and comfort when making your choice. Most importantly, choose a chain that makes you feel good and complements your style.

From the finest gold-plated and vermeil chains in the game to quality solid gold that lasts, we got you. At GLD, we have any every type of gold chain you need to upgrade your fit on the daily, all backed by our lifetime guarantee. To get started, shop the full collection of chains or hit us up anytime to learn more.