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(866) 789-9135

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where do we ship?

We ship only within the 50 United States.

2. What are the shipping options and cost?

We currently only ship through UPS at published rates (available on UPS website). All orders for in-stock GPS lines that are placed Monday-Friday by 3:00 PM EST will ship the same day.

3. What payment methods do you accept?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Diners Club, and Paypal through our secure merchant gateway.

4. What are the return policies?

You have one week (7 calendar days) from the date your package is delivered to decide if you want to return an item. If you decide you want to return the item, it is subject to the following conditions:

  • All shipping charges, including those that you paid to originally receive the package, are NOT refundable
  • All returned orders are subject to a 15% restocking fee
  • The item being returned and all of its packaging/accessories/components/documentation must be returned in the exact condition (e.g. unused) that they were received in
  • The items must be packed carefully and sent via a method that is trackable, has signature required for delivery and is insured. We recommend UPS.
  • We are not responsible for any damage or loss that is incurred while the package is in transit. That is why we require the package to be insured.
  • If the item being returned was part of a promotional purchase, such as eligible for receiving a free gift, you must return all of the items that were part of that promotional purchase, including the free gift. 
  • An RMA # is required for all returns. We will refuse all packages which do not have an RMA # clearly marked on the outside of the package. Please make sure it is CLEARLY WRITTEN AND VISIBLE.

If you wish to return an item, Please Contact Us for instructions on how to return an item.  

5. How do I determine which size Chessboard will best match your 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 Chessboard. 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 Chessboard square size for the Reykjavik II Chessmen would be a 2.25".

If you purchase a Chessboard that has a smaller square size than was is considered the minimum, the pieces will be crowded together on the Chessboard. 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 Chessboard.  Depending on availability, you can always purchase a slightly larger size Chessboard 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 Chessboard 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

6. How do I take care of my new House of Staunton Chess set and/or Chessboard?

Your Chessmen should be lightly waxed and buffed either once or twice per year, using only a high quality paste wax with a cotton cloth or cheesecloth. We recommend Liberon's Paste Wax. 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. Above all else -  use the wax sparingly and allow the wax to dry before buffing. You should NEVER use a liquid polish. 

Your chessboard should be lightly waxed and buffer either once or twice a year, using a good quality furniture polish (such as Minwax) and a good cotton cloth or cheesecloth. Your Chessboard should never be dry-wiped and you should avoid all polishes that contain silicone as this can damage the finish on the Chessboard. Above all else -  use the wax sparingly and allow the wax to dry before buffing. You should NEVER use a liquid polish.

7. Why are some sets (and boards) so much more expensive?

Many items determine the cost of a chess set. Ebony is more expensive than rosewood, which is, in turn, more expensive that boxwood, etc. Next, the quality of the Knights. A set of finely carved knights can represent up to 50% of the total cost of a chessmen. Then, the quality of the turnings, the finish and the uniformity also add to cost. Most Indian-made sets are relatively inexpensive. They are almost always of very poor quality. They will have burn and tear marks, burrs, poor finishes, etc. The Indian manufacturers also have no regard for U.S. and International copyright laws, and will make counterfeit copies of most anything on the market. But, you get what you pay for. Finally, look at the storage box. A very high quality box can have a value of several hundred dollars or more. Most Indian-made sets come in very inexpensive boxes, hence can be marketed significantly below a high quality chess set housed in a fine box.

8. What is the best way to insert the cross (finial) into the King?

Generally, you twist and seat the cross. However, the "wings" of the cross can break off rather easily, if you twist too hard. If it does not seat easily, you can use soap or wax to lubricate the shank. If it is too loose, a small bit of paper can be used to help wedge it tight. It is better not to glue it in, because then it is very hard to fix if it breaks. And it is almost always better to replace a broken cross, than the entire piece.

9. What is the difference between Ebonized and Genuine Ebony Chess pieces? 

Ebonization, the process in which Ebonized Chessmen is created,. In this process, Boxwood (the wood used to create the white pieces) Chess 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 Genuine Ebony Chessmen. Ebonized Chess pieces are often referred to as faux Ebony, because it has the look and feel of Genuine Ebony at a fraction of the cost.  Over time, the Ebonizing can wear off on the sharp corners and details of the Chessmen, but it is easily restored using a black marker. 

10. Which chess sets are "triple-weighted"?

Unlike other Chess set manufacturers, The House of Staunton does not describe its Chess sets as triple weighted because this term has no meaning today. 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 bastardized the term and it is now used to describe any Chess set with any type of metal weighting. .

Rather than use a meaningless marketing terms to describe our Chessmen,  we tell you the exact weight of our Chessmen in ounces so you know exactly what you are getting. Please do not fall for such marketing trickery, as we have seen some Chess sets advertised as triple weighted that weighed less than 30 ounces. 

If the House of Staunton were to use such standards, our Weighted Plastic Collector Chessmen would be septuple (7x) weighted.