Frequently Asked Questions
Special Orders, copyright,
Size, Wedding Tips, Exchange or Returns,
Travel to Walker Metalsmiths in Andover NY
How long do orders take?
Most orders are shipped right away. 14K yellow gold, 14K white gold and silver rings are usually in stock. 18K or colored golds usually take less than 3 weeks. Platinum can take a month or more. Goods that we get from suppliers in Scotland or Ireland are usually in stock, but can take a while if they are not. We are glad to quote inventory status of any item. In the past we have been very good about having items in stock even up to Christmas. It is still wise to order early for your best chances of excellent service and selection.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes, we take MasterCard, Visa, & Discover Ordering
information and terms
Standard shipping in the US is $7.40. Second day Federal Express is $12.75 in the Continental US. Overnight $22. Express services to Alaska and Hawaii are expensive by UPS and Federal Express. For those destinations we recommend Express Mail by the US Post Office.
Foreign orders are most economically shipped through the Post Office, but not all counties can be insured. We have experienced delays and lost shipments to some countries with the Post Office. Federal Express is from $29 to $50 with an additional Up-charge of $25 to rural areas. Taxes and tariffs may need to be paid as well and are the responsibility of the customer.
How long will it take to get a catalog?
We mail first class every weekday morning the requests from the previous day received prior to closing. Most U.S. addresses are delivered within a week. Color catalogs are free. Call for a catalog 800 488 6347 or Request a catalog
Are all the designs in the catalog?
Due to the high cost of printing, many designs shown on the web do not appear in our print catalog, however the print catalog does show all of our Celtic knotwork ring designs and most of the jewelry that we make ourselves. The web pages contain many designs that are still available from older catalogs that are made by other fine Celtic craftsmen, as well as new designs.
How do I find my Ring Size?
Our print catalog has a sizing strip that will give you an approximate size but it is better if you can either try on rings of known size or go to a jeweler and get your size from his finger gauge. The correct size will be the ring that is the smallest you can comfortably get on and off. Wider rings have more surface and therefore more friction and will need to be slightly larger for a comfortable fit. American and Canadian number sizes are given in our literature. We can convert to other scales, millimeter or decimals of an inch measurements. Ireland, U. K., Australia and some other countries use a letter scale that we can convert to as well. Click Here for Ring Size Conversion Chart Give us your size in any of these measurements and we can give you the right size. Return and Exchange instructions
Do you make "love knots", "eternity rings", etc.?
In the course of creative marketing designers and promoters have created many names for designs that are a mixture of brand name and traditional symbolism. There is not really any one knot design that can claim to be the eternity ring, since the symbolism of the endless knot is universal to all knots that are endless. Knots with hearts can be more specifically "love knots". The Josephines knot is often called a lovers knot because it is a linking knot but so are many other knot designs. More about History and Symbolism
Does Walker Metalsmiths make clan crest or heraldic jewelry?
We do not, but we recommend Company Jewelers of Atlanta, GA www.crestbadges.com
What do the names of your jewelry designs mean?
Ceol mo Chridhe [kyull mo kree] is Gaelic for "music of my heart" The meaning of the Celtic designs are not as specific as the meanings and reasons of our names for them. Click here for a list of meanings of names.
Copyright and Originality
Celtic designs have an
ancient heritage, but most of the designs on this site are original or are old
designs re-worked for contemporary artistic use.
Because Celtic Art often is used to make a link to the distant past it is
often misunderstood that genuine designs can only be copied from antiquity.
This is unfortunate because artistic integrity demands that the designer
create a new manifestation of the art, unique to present times.
a living art form, Celtic Art can only be sustained by pursuing the goal of
mastery of the creative process that ultimately results in new and imaginative
work. The work shown here is not an imitation of historical Celtic
Art but rather an affirmation that new and original creations are authentic
continuations of that artistic heritage.
work illustrated on these pages represent the creative effort of Stephen Walker
and various other craftsmen and designers.
With the exceptions of several of the simplest knots, none of these
designs should be considered public domain.
It is commonly and wrongly supposed that all Celtic designs are ancient
and therefore free from copyright restrictions.
The truth is that new, traditionally correct designs often look as if
they could be very old, but they are none-the-less intellectual property of the
of copyright designs by anyone other than the artist requires permission in the
case of personal use or a licensing agreement in the case of commercial use.
All rights reserved.
How can traditional Celtic designs be copyrighted?
Firstly a distinction should be made between historic designs, which are copied from antique sources and traditional designs that follow the rules and conventions of Celtic Art. New designs can be traditionally authentic without being copied from old sources when the designer is faithful to the cultural style. Original graphic designs of this kind may be protected by copyright. The Josephine knot is an historic knot that has been used for centuries and falls in the public domain. However, the handmade carvings that these rings are cast from are unique renderings of the Josephine knot and are thus protected as original works. Reproducing this jewelry by digitally scanning it or by any other method of mechanically or electronically reproducing it is strictly prohibited. Unlike the Josephine's knot, most other jewelry designs by Stephen Walker are unique and original designs.
Do feel free to copy any of the JPEGs on this site if you wish to e-mail them to friends, lovers or family in the process of shopping and comparing. Please obtain permission before publishing any of our JPEGs to a web page.
|When the design is original, as with the Ceol mo Chridhe ring (R2), both the design and the carving are protected by copyright. The original knotwork pattern of this ring may not be copied without permission in any media.|
Metals and Alloys. Most metals used to make things are alloys. Alloys are mixtures of pure metal elements that have better working properties than pure metals.
What is sterling silver?
Sterling is an alloy that is at least 92.5% pure silver. Silver is the whitest of all metals. Pure silver is very soft. Sterling makes more durable jewelry and has better working properties. It is the standard in North America, Britain and Ireland. It is frequently marked "925". The 7.5% that is not silver is traditionally copper. Our casting alloy, that almost all of our Celtic jewelry is made from is a de-oxidizing alloy of copper, boron and a silicon deoxidizer. This alloy is tarnish resistant and less likely to cause skin problems.
What is 14 Karat gold?
Gold alloys are described in terms of 24 parts or karats are pure. 14 karat (carat in the old country) is 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy. 9 carat is used frequently in Britain and Ireland = 37.5% gold. 10 karat = 41.7% gold. 14 karat, most common in US = 58.3% gold. 18 karat = 75% gold. 22 karat = 91.6% gold. Generally speaking the lower karats are harder and more like brass and the higher karats softer and have more gold color and shine. This is not however universally true since modern alloys have been cleverly engineered for various properties like hardness and color. Our work is substantial enough that we are confident that an 18 karat ring will hold up almost as well as a 14 karat ring. Unless you do very heavy or abrasive work with your hands we would not think that wear should be much of a consideration in choosing karat for one of our rings.
What is white gold?
White gold is alloyed with nickel. White gold is substantially harder than yellow gold. We offer only 14K white gold. 18 K white has been a problem for us. Some people are allelic to nickel, but if you are you probably already know it. Because silver has been historically used for Celtic jewelry white gold is frequently chosen to give a historical look but with the durability of the much harder metal.
What is rose gold?
Red, pink and rose gold alloys look like copper because they are alloyed with copper. Click for Rose Gold page
What is platinum?
Platinum is a precious metal that is very hard and heavy. We use an alloy that is 95% platinum. It is almost as white as silver, absolutely hypoallergenic, very hard, will not tarnish and very expensive. Platinum is very dense and about 80% heavier than 14K gold. We do not cast our own platinum and have difficulty changing the size of a platinum ring so if you choose platinum please plan at least a month lead time. Click here for Platinum Rings.
If you want to order platinum rings we highly recommend that first you order the same size and design in silver to be sure of the fit. If for instance you think you need size 7 1/4 you should order 3 silver rings size 7, 7 1/4 & 7 1/2. Which ever ring fits best should then be worn for several days at least to be sure of size and comfort. The silver rings can then be returned for credit against the cost of the platinum ring. 50% of the cost of the platinum ring is charged when the order is placed and the balance when the order is complete.
What makes the dark background?
The antique finish we use on our silver and gold highlights the design and makes it easier to read. Gold does not naturally oxidize so it is a bit artificial on gold. The chemical treatment we use to darken the metal is the same for both silver and gold. A solution of tellurium dioxide and hydrochloric acid is applied to the metal and rinsed off. Then the piece is polished to highlight the design but the background is left dark.
This is not like a permanent enamel and often it will get lighter or will disappear entirely. It lasts much better on silver since silver is more reactive. When gold is newly polished it is difficult to read the design without a contrast with the background. Usually if the background fades it happens as the normal wear softens the glare on a polished piece of jewelry. For this reason the jewelry will still look right after the antique has faded. We have learned to create a matt finish on the background that makes an excellent contrast with the raised pattern without a antique finish.
Can I get it without an antique finish?
Yes. We recommend the antique finish for silver and recommend without it for gold. The antique finish is not available for 18K, 22K or platinum.
Can I trade in my old gold for new jewelry?
Yes, click here to learn more.
Silver: skin problems. rashes, green or black fingers.
If you have problems wearing our metal you do have the option of returning it for a full refund. If you have problems but like your jewelry so much that you want to keep it, you may be able to minimize the problem if you understand what is happening. The most common metal allergy is to nickel. There is no nickel in our sterling silver or any other readily available sterling silver alloy.
Silver will sometimes cause skin staining, usually black or green. In most cases this causes no physical harm and is an aesthetic rather than a health problem. Silver will naturally turn black when it oxidizes. The amino acids in your skin can accelerate this. When it is hot, two factors occur. The metal is more reactive to oxidation when it is warmer and perspiration can cause a chemically reactive climate. If the jewelry turns color you can polish it, if the skin turns color you have to decide how much this bothers you. In cooler weather the problem might go away but it could be that your chemistry is not compatible with the material.
Since we have gone to using the deoxidizing alloys we have had very few complaints about green fingers but we do still have a few. When silver or the skin it contacts turns green it is a reaction with the copper in the alloy. Some customers have had good luck polishing the inside of their rings daily for the first week or so. As the copper reacts and is polished away there is a gradual depletion of the copper near the surface available to react with the chemistry of the skin. As that copper is depleted the problem lessens.
If you have an actual rash, blistering, irritation or infection by all means take the jewelry off until it clears up. If you have an allergy to the metal you can return it for a refund. Other factors besides the metal may be causing the problem. Most frequently soap trapped behind the ring irritates the skin or persistent dampness behind the ring causes a rash. Be sure to rinse well and dry under the ring, especially if the ring is a wide one.
I have some silver jewelry that turns and some that does not. How can that be?
Metallurgy is mysterious stuff. Our deoxidizing alloys are less reactive than traditional copper alloyed sterling. Different finishes can react differently. Some manufacturers actually electroplate silver jewelry as part of the finishing process with either pure silver or rhodium. Cast jewelry has different grain properties than stamped jewelry or jewelry wrought from wire or sheet. There are many factors that vary from one piece to another that can affect how quickly a piece tarnishes.
Do you do special orders or custom work?
Please do not send me photos of another craftsman's work and ask me to copy it. I respect other designers' copyrights and expect them to respect mine.
Do we do custom work? That depends on what you mean. If we make one of our regular designs in a size that fits you that is not custom work. We will make any of our designs in a variety of different karats or colors of gold, silver or platinum. We will substitute special stones. We will also modify pins to make them pendants and similar metamorphosis of purpose.
We often do remounts using customer's stones, when the size of the stone is suitable for our existing designs. Please read our honesty statement before you call about remounts.
Feel free to ask if you are looking for something not seen here. We are very familiar with what is out there.
Engraving? We do not do letter engraving. Please look for a local jeweler in your area for this service. Also please be sure rings fit before they are engraved. We usually correct sizing in our free sizing policy by exchanging rather than reworking rings. We can size rings that have been engraved usually but it is a lot more work.
Do you wholesale? Are there dealers for Walker Metalsmiths?
Sorry, no new trade accounts. We do sell to the trade on a limited basis but currently have all the business we can handle.
If you have an established jewelry business or Celtic shop, and you have a customer who has walked in with our catalog in hand that wants our work, give us a call. We do have a policy for dealing with this situation. Please note, we always verify business listing before discussing terms, so please do not make trade inquiries if you are not really in the trade.
Are we related?
Maybe, several long lost relatives have found us by this website including folk from Hawaii, Tasmania and Scotland. Click here for some Walker Genealogy.
Annual Studio Tour
Many studios in Allegany County, NY open to the public in October
Click for more information