Big Box Stores vs. Burkes


Buying jewelry is a big investment both financially and emotionally. There are so many things we honor with jewelry: engagements, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, new babies, graduations, and retirements.

Is it better to buy from a private jeweler or a big box chain jewelry store?
The answer depends on how you feel about quality and service..



We buy our metals and gems from reputable sources, hand-selecting what we sell in our store. We strive to maintain a reputation for outstanding quality and to ensure that your piece will retain its value year after year.

Jewelry store chains buy in bulk, which means sometimes the quality is usually lower than that of a hand-selected piece. They know you want to see low prices and good value. In order to present their jewelry in this way, they have to adjust the descriptions to look and sound good. In reality, it's not so great. That's why when you purchase a diamond from a big box store and you get it appraised a few years down the road, the diamond grading and value often comes back quite different than what you were told when you purchased it.

Mom and Pop jewelers know their sources and their product. 



Prices in the jewelry store chains are often lower because they buy in bulk to stock many stores simultaneously. Lower prices can usually come with lower quality. Lower prices are also indicators of mass producing - often in unethical work environments. Have you ever heard of Blood Diamonds? Google it. It's terrible.

Be sure to do as much as you can to ensure you’re getting the best value for the piece you’re buying, especially in something like an engagement ring.

Simply by purchasing through an independent jeweler, you're receiving so much more than just a piece of jewelry. Think: warranty, cleanings, inspections, appraisals, and loads of knowledge.


Service and Atmosphere:

There are many benefits of shopping with Burkes Fine Jewelers but the #1 benefit is SERVICE. Our team of pros is here to make sure you are happy with your experience and purchase. 

It can be very romantic shopping in a large store with your fiancé, looking at all the beautiful choices. However, you may have to wait to be served. Not to mention, you'll likely feel like shark bait. To them, you're nothing more than a dollar sign. 

In addition, jewelry repairs are generally done here in the store. Did you know that repairs and modifications at big box jewelry stores are typically shipped away to be worked on in a big factory and then returned to your closest location 3-6 weeks later? Here at Burkes, standard repairs take no more than 10 business days and can be rushed upon special request.



In Mom and Pop stores like Burke Fine Jewelers, the team is genuinely passionate about their profession. They genuinely want you to have an exceptional experience. Dollars spent locally at family-owned and operated stores goes straight back to your community, whereas, dollars spent at big box jewelry stores pad the pockets of corporate executives.

At Burkes, we take an extra step by donating $5 from each watch battery purchase to a local charity.


Custom Design: 

Do you have the vision for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry? Something you've been dreaming about and wanting to create for a while? Custom Design work is our specialty and we would be honored to bring your vision to life. When you shop with Burkes Fine Jewelers, you'll be able to sit down in our custom design center and speak directly with our artist. Although appointments are preferred, you can usually get the ball rolling on your custom design anytime you decide to visit our store.


Kilmarnock's Main Street, hometown jeweler since 1969. We're a Northern Neck Tradition.