Barkev’s Jewelry Review (2023)
Barkev's Jewelry ReviewUSD 2000
- Spectacular and unique designs
- Great selection of quality diamonds
- Decent inspection capabilities
- Reasonable prices
- The perfect option for design-first lab diamond engagement rings
- If you are looking for traditional jewelry, Barkev's may not be for you
- You can find slightly lower prices elsewhere (on diamonds alone)
- Inspection capabilities could be better
Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by LabGrownCarats
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Summary of Barkev’s Jewelry Review
Barkev’s Jewelry has been designing and selling diamond jewelry since 1981 and is a well-established and trusted name in the industry. Their unique jewelry is designed in Los Angeles by talented artisans and jewelers and sold by Barkev’s directly and through other jewelry stores.
Barkev’s designs and sells all types of diamond jewelry but specializes in diamond rings, including engagement rings and wedding bands. Their inventory includes mined and lab-grown diamonds but clearly highlights lab-created diamonds’ societal and environmental benefits and features them prominently.
Due to their expressive, colorful, and distinct jewelry designs and their approach to lab-grown diamonds, we have decided to take a closer look.
Throughout our in-depth Barkev’s Jewelry review, we’ll assess the complete buying experience and compare prices with some of the best places to shop for lab-created diamonds. Since Barkev’s is a lab-grown diamond engagement ring specialist, consider our list of the best places to buy a lab-grown diamond engagement ring.
We find that Barkev’s Jewelry offers an excellent buying experience, and it’s clear that they are a professional jeweler with decades of experience and a deep appreciation of lab-created diamonds.
Barkev’s stands out by offering unparalleled designs that you’ll be sure to notice. It’s thus more challenging to compare them to other sellers, as they operate somewhere between a traditional seller focused on diamonds and a design-first fashion jeweler such as Pandora or Lightbox.
We think they manage this combination really well, and Barkev’s Jewelry claims a spot as a leading purveyor of original and spectacular ring designs, the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else.
Barkev’s lab-grown diamond prices are competitive. While slightly higher than market-leading sellers such as Clean Origin and Ritani, they are close to another favorite of ours, James Allen, as well as the ethically minded Brilliant Earth. Their diamond inspection features, inventory, and support are not as broad and advanced as the other highlighted sellers, notably James Allen, but sufficient to ensure that you end up with an excellent diamond.
We recommend Barkev’s for anyone looking for spectacular rings designed by artisans that will make you stand out, who value sustainability, and who are looking for some of the best prices on lab-grown diamond jewelry. In addition, Barkev’s Jewelry is the perfect option for engagement rings and wedding bands that are out of the ordinary.
If you are looking for more traditional designs, we suggest you take a look at our other recommended places to buy lab-created diamonds but choose Barkev’s if you love their unique designs.
All in all, in our Barkev’s Jewelry review, we find that they stack up well with the competition, and if you love their designs, we wholly recommend shopping at Barkev’s. We land at a very respectable review rating of 4.0 out of 5 shining stars.
We recommend Barkev’s Jewelry for anyone looking for spectacular rings designed by artisans that will make you stand out, who value sustainability, and who are looking for some of the best prices on lab-grown diamond jewelry.LabGrownCarats.com
3 diamond jewelers we like better than Barkev’s Jewelry
Keep reading our Barkev’s Jewelry Review to learn why you should consider Barkev’s when shopping for lab-grown diamond rings.
Barkev’s Jewelry History
Barkev’s Jewelry set up shop in 1981 and has decades of experience designing and selling diamond jewelry. They have specialized in extraordinary ring designs featuring colorful and expressive designs.
Barkev’s blends the beauty of the diamond sparkle perfectly with ring designs and the creative use of diamond and gemstone colors. Small and large stones come together to create diamond rings that are unparalleled and spectacular. If you are looking for something different from what everyone else is wearing, you’ve come to the right designer.
Since 2019, Barkev’s has been exclusively online while their network of jewelers sells both online and offline. That’s probably a smart move – all our favorite lab-grown diamond sellers are online first. With easy and free returns, that’s no problem (more on that below), and you avoid having to visit physical stores to interact with pushy sellers.
Is Barkev’s legit?
Barkev’s Jewelry is a highly recommended diamond jeweler who has been selling high-quality and spectacularly designed rings and diamond jewelry for 40 years. Barkev’s Jewelry is indeed very legit and a trustworthy jeweler with decades of experience and happy customers. Their jewelry is handmade by artisans in Los Angeles, CA, and all diamonds are graded by leading diamond laboratories and come with an authentic diamond certificate.
Barkev’s Jewelry lab-grown diamonds
Barkev’s Jewelry designs and sells jewelry adorned by both mined and lab-created diamonds. However, they feature lab-created diamonds prominently and advertise the many benefits of lab diamonds over mined clearly and convincingly on their website.
We like that Barkev’s is so transparent and upfront about the benefits of lab-created diamonds, labeling them correctly as the more socially conscious and environmentally-friendly diamond choice. This is in stark contrast to the half-truths posited by Lightbox Jewelry and the likewise opaque account that Zales offers.
Lab-Grown Diamonds: a Socially Conscious Alternative For Fine JewelryBarkev’s Jewelry
That said, Barkev’s could do a better job at marketing the better diamond choice of lab-grown diamonds, perhaps educating their visitors from the moment they land on their site. With time, perhaps they’ll even altogether drop mined diamonds from their inventory. They could also do a better job at offering sustainably rated lab-grown diamonds and climate-friendly diamond production. Read more about that in our Brilliant Earth review and our review of Vrai.
So while Barkev’s could do more, we’re impressed with their truthful and honest lab-grown diamond information and feature lab diamonds prominently side by side with mined diamonds.
Barkev’s Jewelry lab-grown diamond selection and inventory search
As noted above, Barkev’s feature lab-grown and mined diamonds side-by-side, which is excellent and makes it easy for consumers to make an informed decision (unlike sites such as Zales which bury the lab-created diamonds deep in the menu structure).
At the time of the review, Barkev’s inventory boasted 4,707 lab-created diamonds. That’s a very decent inventory and comparable with many other online jewelers, ensuring that you will be able to find a diamond that fits precisely your needs. For example, Ritani boasts more than 100.000 lab-grown diamonds!
Searching for our reference diamond, we found 17 potential candidates, many of which were of high quality that we would recommend. Of course, we would have liked to see a few more options in this popular (and recommended) range of 4C grades, but, in most cases, the inventory will suffice and offer several suitable alternatives.
When you have performed a search, you can quickly see key attributes of the diamonds before clicking further to perform a deeper inspection. This is very handy and saves you time. You can even access the diamond certificate from the overview page.
When you have found a suitable lab-grown diamond, the next step is to take a closer look at carrying out your due diligence. In the following, we’ll walk you through the features allowing you to do that and if they are adequate for thoroughly inspecting prospective lab diamonds.
Barkev’s Jewelry lab-grown diamond buying process and inspection
If you have read any of our guides and tips for buying lab-grown diamonds, you will have learned that inspecting any prospective diamond purchase is critical.
Above, our Barkev’s Jewelry review found a fair number of diamonds that corresponded to the diamond grades we were looking for. The next step in the buying process is to conduct a closer inspection to ensure that those diamonds live up to our expectations and avoid any unfortunate surprises.
Upon clicking on the detailed diamond product page, Barkev’s presents the individual diamond along with exact specifications, images, a video, and direct access to the diamond certificate. This is a great starting point.
Unfortunately, the image is neither HD nor 360 degrees. You are presented with diagrams similar to what you will find in the diamond certificate, which helps assess the diamond. However, due to the lack of ability to carry out a detailed image inspection, you have to rely on the information in the certificate or study the video.
The video is similarly not presented in high definition and actually appeared relatively small (note how the video is zoomed in all the way). That said, the video is handy for studying the brilliance of a particular diamond, and it’ll allow you to spot glaring issues. We recommend researching the certificate and looking for any flaws noted there (under clarity, assuming this is not a rare flawless diamond).
Below the images and video, you’ll find more detailed information and the link to the certificate. Almost all of their lab-created diamonds are graded by the IGI laboratory, the leading lab-created diamond grader. That’s excellent. Do note that IGI uses ideal as the highest cut grade (unlike other institutes where excellent is the best grade).
Having direct access to the certificate is a must, and we applaud Barkev’s Jewelry for making it easily accessible and for its transparency in the inspection process. While we would have preferred more advanced features, such as those available at James Allen, most consumers will be able to perform a basic and adequate diamond inspection.
Next in our Barkev’s jewelry review, we’ll look at how the diamond quality.
Barkev’s Jewelry Lab-Grown Diamond Quality
Barkev has a large inventory of diamonds covering a wide array of diamond grades and quality. However, as you would know from our guides and recommendations, you should always aim for the highest possible diamond cut grade. For lab-created diamonds inspected by IGI, this is the grade ideal.
Luckily, a significant share of Barkev’s Jewelry has been awarded the ideal diamond cut grade. Each diamond you consider is clearly marked on both the overview page and the individual product page. They do a great job explaining the grades, and we find that their explanations and recommendations are fair and honest.
During our review of Barkev’s Jewelry and their lab-created diamonds, we found that the quality of their diamonds is high, and they have more than sufficient highly-rated lab diamonds to meet most people’s demands. Therefore, we have no reservations about recommending the quality of Barkev’s Jewelry lab-grown diamonds.
But what about their prices? Let’s look at that next in our Barkev’s jewelry review.
Barkev’s Jewelry lab-grown diamond prices
Before we start comparing prices, it’s important to note that while we can compare the costs of diamond stones one-to-one, the spectacular jewelry designs that Barkev’s offers are not comparable to any other seller. This was somewhat similar when we reviewed Pandora’s Brilliance lab-grown diamond collection. And Barkev’s designs are even more unique and thus hard to compare against more classical designs.
The reference jewelry and diamonds we are using for this comparison are a 1-carat lab-grown white brilliant-cut diamonds. We include weights just under and over since this is typically where you get the best deals (most people want round-carat numbers, driving up the demand and cost).
The cut is always ideal or excellent (if that is the highest grade for the particular institute). Since IGI grades Barkev’s lab-grown diamonds, we look for ideal cuts. The diamond color we aim for is “I” with a VS2 clarity.
Barkev’s prices for diamonds with these grades range from $1.260 to $1,325. This is higher than Clean Origin and Ritani, the price leaders in lab-created diamonds. The prices are closer to those of James Allen but without the added benefits of superior support, service, and advanced inspection features.
The cost at Clean Origin for a similar 1-carat diamond is around $1.050, while Ritani comes in at around the same price, just a hair under $1,000.
Heeding our own advice of expanding outside the popular carat weights, we found a few great offers at Barkev’s, around 0.90-0.92 carats. While still slightly more expensive than what Clean Origin and Ritani offer, they are excellent deals.
However, the point of shopping at Barkev’s is not to find the absolutely lowest price on a diamond stone. Instead, you shop there for spectacular designs, and some of the costs are added to the diamonds themselves.
So if you are looking for extraordinary ring and jewelry designs, the prices are comparable to those of Pandora’s Brilliance selection, which we have reviewed as a market leader in lab-grown fashion jewelry. And we think it’s fair to say that Barkev’s jewelry designs are much more spectacular than the more generic, albeit attractive, designs that Pandora carries.
The last aspect we’ll look at in our Barkev’s jewelry review is their shipping and return policies.
Barkev’s Jewelry shipping and returns
Barkev’s Jewelry offers free fully-insured shipping with UPS, packaged securely and only delivered to someone over the age of 21. While this is fairly standard, it’s better than less serious sellers such as Zales extends.
The return period at Barkev’s Jewelry is 30 days, with a full refund and free shipping. This is comparable to most jewelers and on par with the leading sellers, bar the exceptionally generous 100-days offered by Clean Origin. In addition, Barkev’s will send you a packing label that also includes full insurance so you can worry less.
You are allowed two free returns per year, which may seem restricting. However, given the value and focus on engagement and wedding rings, this is unlikely to be an issue.
Barkev’s Jewelry review verdict
Compared one-to-one with the likes of Clean Origin and Ritani, whose prices are a tad lower and provide better ability to inspect diamonds and receive gemologist guidance, or James Allen, with similar prices but even better support and guidance, then Barkev’s Jewelry is not quite as good.
So if you are shopping for more traditional jewelry designs, and care most about finding a very specific diamond that you can inspect in detail, then start with one of our other recommended lab-grown diamond sellers.
However, if you are looking for a unique, spectacular, creative, or colorful design that is guaranteed to turn heads and grab attention, then look no further than Barkev’s Jewelry.LabGrownCarats.com
The combination of striking and eye-catching designs, very reasonable prices, diamond inspection capabilities suitable for most shoppers, and excellent service makes Barkev’s Jewelry a great choice. This is especially the case when you are looking for a piece of jewelry, particularly an engagement ring, that has to stand out and be something special.
And while we do find minor flaws in the shopping process and namely the inspection features, we have no reservations fully recommending Barkev’s Jewelry for any design-first purchases and prospective marriage proposals.
All things considered, we land on an impressive 4 stars out of 5. We have reviewed very few jewelers with higher ratings, and Barkev’s Jewelry is by far the leading design-first lab-grown diamond jeweler on the market.
If you want to learn more about our best-rated lab-grown diamond jewelers, then read our James Allen review, Clean Origin review, Ritani review, GemsNY review, With Clarity review, and Brilliant Earth review.
Don’t just take our word for it
Barkev’s Jewelry has served happy customers for decades, and we’re not alone in recommending them for their spectacular designs, great prices, and excellent service.