How To Spot A Fake Cuban Link Chain? [Identify The Real]

Written By Jewelry Design Aficionado

Ever wondered if your Cuban Link chain is the real deal? In the fashion world, owning one is a bold statement of style, but the risk of counterfeit looms large.

Let’s dive into the art of distinguishing authentic gold from imitations. With simple tools and tests like the chalk test, you can become a savvy jewelry detective.

True gold resists tarnish, and fakes reveal themselves under scrutiny. Join me in uncovering the secrets to ensuring your chain is as genuine as your style.

If you do not know how to identify a fake Cuban Link chain, these small details can often make you aware of a fake chain.

Source: Youtube

Authentic chains are produced from nickel with a copper coating that gives them their distinctive color.

Many imitation chains are made from inferior materials and sold at high prices.


Check The Coloring And Tarnish

Check The Coloring And Tarnish 1

A Cuban Link chain will change from copper-gold to dark brown as it ages and is maintained.

If the chain is a bright copper color, it is most likely fake.

An authentic chain will also show wear and tear, most notably some tarnishing.

Authentic Cuban chains do not contain nickel but copper instead.

A fake chain will be clean and shiny to the point of looking brand new.

The chain links will be uniform in size and shape and will not tarnish or discolor over time.

Check The Weight And Feel

Check The Weight And Feel

An authentic and well-maintained Cuban Link chain weight will be surprisingly heavy, weighing almost as much as a lead chain.

A fake, lightweight chain will be made of low-quality materials that will be soft, malleable, and noticeably smaller than a genuine one.

An open chain is expected to be thicker due to the copper’s thickness and the links’ irregularity, whereas a fake chain will be uniform and slimmer.

Check The Chain’s Dimensions

Measure Dimension

Genuine Cuban Link chains are usually between three and five millimeters wide, depending on the manufacturer.

A fake chain will be of the same width, but authentic chains are usually thicker due to the irregularity of their links.

For example, an original Cuban Link chain made by Chanel is about 1.5 mm wide, whereas a fake made by the same manufacturer is about 1 mm thick.

tips for spotting a fake Cuban link chain
If you’re considering buying a Cuban Link chain and aren’t sure if it’s authentic, there are some things you can look for that will help you tell fakes from real ones.
Check The Quality Of The Chain
Check the chain closely before you buy it, and bend the links if possible. An honest, high-quality Cuban Link chain will be made of heavy, substantial links that don’t bend or break when you try to turn them.

Fake chains may be composed of thinner links prone to cracking and not holding their shape well.

An authentic Cuban Link chain will also be made of a single piece of metal with no welds. That’s how you can tell the difference between a real and a fake one.
Check The Link Size
Cuban Link chain links do not have short links, but you can shorten them by removing links. Authentic Cuban Link chain links are the same size and are usually about 1/4 inch wide. In a fake chain, on the other hand, the links can vary in width.

That’s because a fake chain is made of several smaller sections of metal welded together to create the link shapes. To ensure your chain is the real deal, look to see if the link widths are consistent.
Check The Finish
Cuban Link chains are highly polished, giving them a shiny, mirror-like appearance. A fake chain may have a dull finish or look like it has been rubbed off the metal.

A real chain should also have a consistent finish across the entire length. A fake chain may have an inconsistent finish that makes it obvious the links aren’t absolute.

Unnatural chain links may also have a rough, jagged finish that looks unprofessional compared to natural chain links’ shiny, professional-looking finish.
Check The Shape
While the shape of each link may not tell you for sure if a chain is accurate, it can give you a good indication of its authenticity.

Cuban Link chains are usually made of what’s called a “square” link. These links have a diamond-shaped outline that gives them a unique, angular appearance.

On the other hand, fake diamond links are sometimes made in the shape of a “round” link.

The outline of a round link is circular, not diamond-shaped. A real chain will have square connections with consistent information across the entire chain length.

A fake chain will have round links or unevenly shaped links that don’t look like they belong together.
Be Aware Of Dropped Links
A real Cuban Link chain will have the same number of links on each end of the chain. A fake chain may have a dropped link on one end of the chain.

One connection drops lower than the others, so there is a hole in the chain.

A real chain will always have the same links at both ends, so you shouldn’t see dropped connections on either end of your chain.
Be Aware Of Washed Out Areas
If you see any washed-out areas on your chain, that’s a red flag that it might be a fake. An authentic Cuban Link chain will have a consistent finish and no washed-out areas.

On the other hand, a fake chain is sometimes made of links that have been welded together.

The metal has to be heated to melt together when links are fused. When a piece of metal is heated, it sweats moisture trapped inside.

With time, that moisture evaporates and leaves a washed area in the metal. Irrigated areas are a sign that a chain is fake.


Cuban links consist of a series of oval links that intersect in a rope pattern, and these links twist into a cable-like pattern, giving the links a classic appearance.

Chains with gold or silver links are commonly worn as necklaces or bracelets.

Cuban link chains are popular among hip-hop and rap artists, and they are often seen as a symbol of wealth and success.

Nickel is a soft metal that can be shaped by hand and is used to make Cuban Link chains.

There are no set sizes or designs in the store. You can make your own style for your chain.

Due to the link’s variety of shapes and sizes, a fake cannot be identified by its appearance alone.

How Does A Cuban Link Chain Look?

The main characteristics of a genuine Cuban Link chain are its coating, softness, and irregularity of shape.

Brand names, logos, or other marks are commonly stamped on these chains.


Material and Purity

  • Real: Crafted from high-quality gold, often marked with hallmarks such as 14K or 18K.
  • Fake: Typically made from cheaper metals with a gold plating.

Workmanship and Link Construction

  • Real: Exhibits precise, evenly shaped links with no visible gaps, showcasing excellent craftsmanship.
  • Fake: May have irregular, poorly aligned links, or visible flaws in construction.

Weight and Density

  • Real: Notably heavier due to the density of genuine gold.
  • Fake: Feels lighter, indicating the use of less dense, cheaper materials.

Color and Appearance

  • Real: Characterized by a rich, consistent gold color with a polished finish.
  • Fake: Often overly shiny or displays an unnatural color; gold plating may wear off over time.

Price Comparison

  • Real: Priced in line with the current gold market, typically higher.
  • Fake: Considerably cheaper, often well below the genuine gold market price.


  • Real: Smooth and flexible, moving easily.
  • Fake: May be stiffer, lacking the fluid movement of real gold.

Clasp Design

  • Real: Features a high-quality clasp that complements the chain’s material.
  • Fake: The clasp may be of lower quality or not match the rest of the chain.

Magnet Test

  • Real: Gold is non-magnetic; a genuine chain won’t be attracted to a magnet.
  • Fake: If the chain sticks to a magnet, it’s likely not made of real gold.

Scratch Test

  • Real: Leaves a gold streak when scratched against ceramic.
  • Fake: A black streak indicates a non-gold material.

Final Summary

When in the market for a Cuban Link chain, it’s essential to ensure its authenticity. Here are steps and tips to help you in your search:

  1. Identifying Authenticity: Look for the key characteristics outlined previously to confirm the authenticity of a Cuban Link chain. Pay close attention to details like material, craftsmanship, and weight.
  2. Avoiding Fakes: Upon discovering a counterfeit, the best course of action is to avoid buying it.
  3. Online Purchases: If you encounter a fake while shopping online, report the seller to the platform and seek a refund.
  4. In-Person Shopping: When shopping at physical stores, if you find the chain to be inauthentic, request the seller to take it back and return your money.
  5. Recognizing a Genuine Piece: Spotting a real Cuban Link chain is rewarding. Authentic chains exhibit unique style and durability, making them a valuable addition to your jewelry collection.
  6. Longevity and Care: An authentic Cuban Link chain, with proper maintenance, can be a lasting treasure.
  7. Challenges in Identification: While some imitations may be obvious, distinguishing a genuine Cuban Link chain can be challenging. Pay attention to nuances in color, weight, and texture.
  8. Making the Right Choice: If you’re confident in identifying these subtle differences, you’re more likely to acquire a genuine Cuban chain. However, if there’s any uncertainty, it’s safer to steer clear.

Purchasing an authentic Cuban Link chain requires vigilance and an eye for detail. Being informed and cautious will help you make a wise investment in a piece of jewelry that stands the test of time.


Make a small scratch on the chain, and then apply a few drops of nitric acid. If there are any base metals in the solution that are not gold, the acid will dissolve them. Apply a few drops of vinegar to the gold chain in an inconspicuous location. A fake gold chain will change color if it is made of fake gold.

The Cuban Link chain is unique in appearance and stands out due to its high cost and popularity amongst celebrities. Though the chain looks expensive, it is certainly not the most costly chain on the market. It is made of high-quality and long-lasting stainless material.

How to check at home a Cuban chain is real?

The best way to check if the gold chain is real is to weigh the chain. The sizes and weights of gold chains are standardized, so a 20-inch chain should weigh about 2.6 ounces, and a 10-inch chain should weigh about 1.1 ounces. If it is lighter than that, it may be fake.

Does real gold stick to a magnet?

No, real gold does not stick to a magnet. It has nothing to do with the quality of the gold. Pure gold is non-magnetic because of its high conductivity. Gold is alloyed with other metals like copper to increase the strength of the metal and give it its color.

Fernando Alv-Riera
I am a fine artist, sculptor, jewelry designer, and freelance writer. My background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design from the University of London and more than 20 years of experience as a jeweler designer. My experience includes working with fashion stars from the Canary Islands, Barcelona, Elorrio, Madrid, Bilbao, Oviedo, and Gijón, as well as jewelry experts from different parts of Spain.