Shown above, a 7mm cuban link box clasp, a 7mm iced out sleek lock, a 10mm plain gold sleek lock.
When it comes to chains and bracelets, the cuban link is king. Whether you are looking for a kilo piece, or a micro 4mm, the miami cuban link is hands down the most popular piece of jewelry currently out!
The question always comes down to customizations. What can you, a proud cuban link owner, do to set your piece apart for the others?
Obviously you can cover the entire thing in diamonds, but with prices for bracelets starting in the neighborhood of $4,000 and easily hitting $15,000-$20,000 (and that's for bracelets multiple by 4-5 to get the chain prices) you may want a more "budget" friendly options.
Keep in mind, customization, particularly with jewelry, should never be considered an "investment". This is something you are doing because you enjoy jewelry, you like your pieces, and you want something you call your own. Looking for "investment" pieces? Checkout our other article breaking down what should and should not be considered investing.
Now to customization.
You have a few options. Consider first, as always, budget. Some things are relatively cheap (in comparison) to others. Want to engrave your box clasp? A low fee, most likely in the $25-$50 range (for simple initials, want a crazy logo or design, probably more). Engraving your clasp is the most common form of customization and is not only low cost, but fairly quick. Most likely can be done same day as your piece ships out.
Shown above a 7mm cuban link with box clasp.
Next step up? Diamond button. Now keep in mind this customization, like most of the following we present, does depend a lot of size. 8mm piece? $100, maybe $200. 21mm 1,000 chain?? $2,000, maybe $3,000. Want a VVS F color? $10,000. (please don't use those as quotes, just examples).
With that said, most standard sizes in the 7-12mm range will be in the $200-$500 price range for a nice clean si diamond. With this sort of thing we strongly recommend sticking with that level of diamond. Can you get a VS diamond, amazing color, stunning stone? Yes of course, but on a button of a cuban link, that is excessive and will not be that much different from a clean si diamond. But so and so says it in their song... One, so and so gets $100,000 per show, that $10,000 diamond is a fraction of the money they see. Two (possibly more important) their diamond is probably not VS, let alone VVS. We are sorry to let you know, but most celebrities do not like to throw away money. They want their piece to look nice, and si diamonds do that.
Now that we are on the topic of diamonds, let talk diamond cuban link clasps. Next on our list would be to simply ice out the top side of your standard miami cuban link box clasp. This customization is a personal favorite of mine (my 7mm bracelet has them) and is a favorite among clients as well.
Iced Out Box Clasp
Shown above, two 8mm miami cuban link iced out box clasps
This customization starts in the $500 range, and goes up from there depending on size. Same as with the button, we generally go with si diamonds. With the size of diamonds used to mount on cuban links (box clasp or the whole thing), si diamonds look stunning. My bracelet and the two pieces in the image both us si diamonds. When that sun hits they are blinding, no vs needed.
Shown above, a 10mm iced out miami cuban link with iced out box clasp.
While we are on the subject of diamonds. Let discuss the current kind of clasps. Not because of added security, durability, or anything as far as function. This piece is king solely for popularity... The king is? Diamond miami cuban sleek locks.
Iced Out Miami Cuban Sleek Locks
Shown above a 8mm cuban link with diamond sleek lock
Made popular by celebrities, these locks set apart the cuban link. They take the staple miami cuban box clasp, and swap it for something a little more unique, a little longer, a little more narrow. Throw on some diamonds and you get a rectangular blinder.
This customization is not as budget friendly as previous options. Iced out sleek locks will start around the $1,000 and quickly go up as the size of cuban link increase. Again, please do not use that number as a quote. This is just a simple guideline as what to expect. A piece in the 15mm area will probably be in the $3,000 range. The 7, 8, and 9mm will all have around 1 ctw of diamonds (more of the 9 compared to the 7) and something in the 15mm would have around 3.
Shown above, a 10mm white gold cuban link with diamond sleek lock.
Something we should note, and strongly note, is lost diamonds. Anything that has diamond set into the piece, without large prongs (think engagement ring), will loose diamonds over time. This is not a hard and fast rule, but something to be prepared for. None of my diamonds have fallen out of my bracelet that I have been wearing for about 2 years. Danny full iced out 10mm has lost 2 or 3 stones (out of 300 total) in the past year. My girlfriends fully iced out 7mm has not yet lost diamonds. Small tangent, but very important to keep in mind with diamond pieces.
Plain Sleek Locks
Shown, a 7mm cuban link with plain gold sleek lock
Final option we will discuss here would be plain sleek locks. Let's also quickly go over the other names for sleek locks; slick lock, flat lock, flip lock, and "mexican" lock are all the options we have heard. I am sure we missed some!
But the look is the same.
Personally if you are going with the sleek lock, I would go diamonds or nothing. However, as with all jewelry, it is totally personal preference. A plain sleek lock will start in the neighborhood of $200. The price is not really the hold up here, time frame is. It will take an additional 2-3 weeks production time for this lock.
Shown, a 7mm cuban link with plain gold sleek lock
That is the same time frame as a diamond sleek lock. However, in my opinion, the plain gold lock is too similar to a standard box clasp to pay the additional $200 AND wait 3 more weeks.
This all just comes down to personal preference. You can go wrong with the standard box clasp, but if you want to change yours up I hope we laid out some of your options. Try it all, try none! Think about budget, think about look, regardless of what you choose, a miami cuban link is always good bet!