Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Your Policy on Discounts and Combining Discounts?
Coupons can NOT be combined with:
- Any other discounts - other coupons, advertised discounts on our website and price matching
- Any promotional offers – free shipping, free gifts or discounted additional purchases
- Any purchases made through 3rd parties - eBay, Amazon or House of Staunton resellers
- Any items marked, “Sorry, no coupons”.
Thank you for understanding.
What Forms of Payment Does The House Of Staunton Accept?
- Credit/Debit Cards: VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
- PayPal: (id: email@example.com)
- Amazon Pay
- Other methods: Money Orders (in US Dollars), Personal Checks and Money Wires (on purchases over $200.00.)
Please Contact Us should you have any questions.
Does The House Of Staunton Allow Payment Plans / Layaway On Purchases?
Absolutely! The House of Staunton offers a very flexible payment program (commonly referred to as Layaway) that allows our customers to make payments on purchases over time. There is a minimum purchase of $300 US Dollars (excluding shipping) to start a layaway. For full details please see our layaway page.
What Are Your Policies Regarding International Shipping?
Please be advised that we will only ship Internationally via trackable methods. The shipping options provided to you on our site are the only ones at our disposal and that are applicable to your specific order. These services are provided by either DHL, FedEx or the United States Postal Service. We are sorry, but we cannot honor requests to ship via any other carriers.
We WILL NOT ship via any method that is not trackable. This is necessary to meet the standard credit card requirement that all sellers must be able to provide PROOF OF DELIVERY on all shipments.
When shipping internationally, delays or additional fees assessed by your country's customs department are beyond our control. Our customers are strongly encouraged to research their country's importing rules and if any additional fees, such as GST, duties or VAT are applicable. These fees are not included in the shipping costs and are, regrettably, your responsibility.
We are required by U.S. Customs exporting regulations to declare the appropriate value on every international shipment. There are no exceptions to this rule.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact your local Customs Office to determine if any such fees are applicable to your purchase. We have no access to that information and will not be able to assist you in this matter.
What Is Your Policy Regarding Custom-Made Products?
The House of Staunton offers a wide selection of custom-made products that are available for purchase. This includes our 40,000-year-old Mammoth Ivory Chessmen and many of our Signature Contemporary-line of Chess Boards. These items may require a minimum 50% deposit or full payment before production begins. Production times may vary depending on the order queue, but are advertised on the applicable product pages.
Any item that is made on a custom order (bespoke) basis and is manufactured to your exact specifications. As a result, we will not be able to honor any order cancellation, return or exchange requests on these items.
What Is The House of Staunton Collector's Club?
The House of Staunton Collector's Club offers special savings for individuals interested in collecting House of Staunton-brand Chess Products. For a one-time fee of $100.00 USD, the individual will receive a lifetime membership to the House of Staunton Collector's Club.
- 10% discount on House of Staunton-brand Chess equipment
- The Club Membership Discount CAN be combined with other discounts and promotions!
How Do I Determine Which Size Chess Board Will Best Match My House of Staunton Chess Set?
The minimum square size for a set of properly proportioned Staunton Pattern Chessmen is such that the width of the base of the King should be 78% of the width of a square. In other words, you should divide the King's base diameter by 0.78 to determine the ideal square size for the Chess Board. Let's look at an example - the Reykjavik II Chessmen. The Reykjavik II has a King base diameter of 1.75", which is the norm for a 3.75" King. If you enter 1.75 / 0.78 into a calculator, the result is 2.243, which is rounded to 2.25". Hence, the minimum Chess Board square size for the Reykjavik II Chessmen would be a 2.25".
If you purchase a Chess Board that has a smaller square size than was is considered the minimum, the pieces will be crowded together on the Chess Board. This will significantly increase the likelihood of Chess pieces being knocked over during the heat of battle.
Please keep in mind that this formula will determine the minimum square size for the Chess Board. You can always purchase a slightly larger size Chess Board than what is considered the minimum and it would work just as well. Using the same Reykjavik II Chessmen example, either a 2.25" or 2.375" square Chess Board would be considered ideal. The chart below details the most common King base diameters and its corresponding ideal square sizes.
King Base Diameter
Ideal Square Size
1.875" - 2.0" Squares
2.25" - 2.375" Squares
2.375" - 2.5" Squares
2.5" - 2.75" Squares
How Do I Take Care of My New House of Staunton Chess Pieces and/or Chess Board?
We recommend wiping the chessmen after each use with cloth from an old cotton t-shirt. Your House of Staunton Chess Pieces should be lightly waxed and buffed about once a year or less, using only a high-quality paste wax, such as MinWax or Liberon (Clear color), with a cotton cloth or cheesecloth.
The finish must be applied very sparingly, and only applied to the areas which are handled, never the detailed areas such as the mane, eyes and mouths of the Knights, for example. Please make sure that you carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions on the paste wax carefully, as improper waxing could ruin the finish on your Chessmen.
Wax should be removed with a piece of a T-Shirt (this same piece of cloth should be kept, to wipe off the chessmen after each use). A pointed tooth pick can be used to remove waxy residue from the detailed areas if needed. You can tell if the wax is ready for removal if it offers some resistance to the motion of the cloth. The wax must be removed between 15 and 30 minutes after applying. Never let the wax sit for more than 30 minutes or you will not be able to remove it without destroying the finish. Above all else - use the wax sparingly and allow the wax to dry before buffing.
NEVER use an oil on wooden chessmen. It will darken the finish and can cause the finish to become "gummy."
Your House of Staunton wooden Chess Board should be wiped off regularly with a non-abrasive microfiber cloth. Regular dusting of this nature will keep the board clean and there is rarely a need to go beyond this step. Do not leave your Chess Board in direct sunlight with or without the pieces on board as this will lead to the wood darkening from UV exposure.
Why Are Some Sets (and Boards) So Much More Expensive?
Many factors determine the cost of a Chess Set. The materials used to craft a set play a part; for example, Ebony is more expensive than Indian Rosewood, which in turn is more expensive that Golden Rosewood. The more expensive the raw material, the more expensive the set will be.
The quality and detail of the Knights is another price factor. A set of finely carved knights can represent up to 50% of the total cost of a Chessmen. The level of artistry and skill required for such detailed hand carving requires a master artisan.
The quality of the turnings, the finish and the uniformity also add to cost. In more modern sets, the material used for weighting the pieces may also play a role in the price of a set. Our patent pending weighting system requires a more expensive material and is labor intensive beyond that of traditional metal weighting.
Buyer beware! There are myriad companies out there claiming to produce high end chess sets made from premium woods, but at a fraction of the cost true craftsmanship would require. They are almost always of very poor quality. They will have burn and tear marks, burrs, poor finishes, loose weights, etc. These manufacturers are, without exception, knock-off artists who have no regard for U.S. and International copyright laws, and will make counterfeit copies of most anything on the market. Why buy an inferior copy to save a few dollars when you can invest in genuine House of Staunton quality that can last many generations?
What Is the Warranty on House of Staunton-Brand Chess Sets and Chess Boards?
From the date the item is purchased, the House of Staunton will warranty that its branded products will be free of manufacturing defects for a period of one year and will replace any items that exhibit manufacturing defects at absolutely no charge to the customer.
Examples of defects that ARE COVERED under this warranty:
Hairline cracks develop in the base of Wooden Chessmen.
The metal weight inside a chess piece becomes loose and moves around.
Examples of defects that ARE NOT COVERED under this warranty:
Any physical defects that were caused by improper use of the product such as being dropped on the ground, improper storage, being chewed by the dog, etc.
Any pieces that become lost.
Any pieces that are damaged due to improper waxing.
The above examples do not represent every possible defect; all warranty claims are handled on a case-by-case basis.
This warranty only applies to customers who have purchased a brand-new House of Staunton brand chess board or chess set directly from the House of Staunton, or one of our authorized retailers.
Items purchased from non-authorized retailers, or in used condition through venues such as eBay or Craigslist are sold in AS-IS condition, and are not eligible for warranty coverage.
Please contact us for more information, or if you have purchased a new House of Staunton brand product through us or an authorized reseller and believe it to be damaged or defective.
Does The House of Staunton Have Replacement Chess Pieces Should I Lose or Break One?
Absolutely! The House of Staunton maintains a very large inventory of replacement Chess pieces.
Because our Chess sets are handcrafted out of natural materials, there can be some variation in the grain/color/cutting of the Chess pieces, so we strongly encourage those customers interested in a replacement Chess piece to set up an RMA with one of our customer service representatives to send in an original for matching purposes. This is especially important with woods which can vary significantly in color such as Rosewood, Golden Rosewood and Blood Rosewood.
If you do not want to send back an original piece, we cannot guarantee that replacement pieces will perfectly match with the rest of the Chess set. Any piece purchased without on hand matching from an original is not eligible for refund or return. The price of replacement Chess pieces will vary, depending on the Chess set, wood selection and piece type. Please Contact Us for pricing information.
What Is the Best Way to Insert the Cross (Finial) Into the King?
In the simplest terms, you twist and seat the cross. However, the "wings" of the cross can break off rather easily if you twist too hard. You can use soap or wax to lubricate the shank if it does not seat easily. If it is too loose, a small bit of paper can be used to help wedge it tight. It is better not to glue the finial in because then it is very hard to fix if it breaks. It is almost always better to replace a broken cross, rather than the entire piece.
Do You Repair Chess Pieces and Boards?
The House of Staunton is happy to endorse Ron Fromkin, owner of the Japanese Repository Inc., for his expert chess restoration services. We have been using Ron for many years and have always found his work to be top quality and priced fairly.
Ron has been restoring chess and other artworks for the last 24 years. He works in ivory, horn, bone, antler, and other natural materials. He repairs chess boards and does lathe turning. Contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to say that you were referred to him by The House of Staunton.
What Is the Difference Between Ebonized and Genuine Ebony Chess Pieces?
Genuine Ebony is an exotic wood species we use to carve our Chessmen from. We source the finest woods available and adhere to all regulatory processes in their procurement. Our Genuine Ebony is never stained in order for the natural beauty and properties of the wood to be highlighted.
Ebonized Chess Pieces have been created via the process of Ebonization in which Boxwood pieces (the same wood as the white pieces) are treated with a special stain to turn them jet black in color. When done properly, brand new Ebonized Chessmen are nearly indistinguishable from their Genuine Ebony cousins. Over time, the Ebonizing can wear off on the details and sharp corners of the Chessmen, but can be easily restored with the proper marker or calligraphy pen.
Which House of Staunton Wood Chess Sets Are "Triple Weighted"?
Unlike other Chess set manufacturers, The House of Staunton does not describe its Wooden Chess sets as triple weighted because this term has no meaning in today’s Chess market.
The term was originally coined by the Drueke Company to describe how many metal slugs were inside their Chessmen. Drueke used the term triple weighted to describe Chess Sets that had 3 metal slugs. Since then, many Chess manufacturers have co-opted the term and it is now used to describe any Chess set with any type of metal weighting. This result is that the term “triple weighted” no longer references a specific set weight.
Rather than use a meaningless marketing terms to describe our Chessmen, we tell you the median weight for each of our Chess sets in ounces, so you know exactly what you are getting. Median weight is provided as there can be miniscule variances between sets of the same design over the course of 34 pieces. Median Set Weight can be found in the Product Details section on the listing page for each set of House of Staunton Wood Chess Pieces.
Does The House of Staunton Sell the Brass Original Production Plaques Separately?
Absolutely! If you purchased a House of Staunton-brand Signature Series Chess set before we introduced the Brass Plaques (July 2008), you can purchase a brass plaque separately. Please contact us for more information.