Frequently Asked Questions
Who or what is Ola Gorie?
Ola Gorie is one of Britain's most important jewellery designers of recent times. She was born and still lives in the Orkney Islands. A pioneer in the 1960s, she explored her Celtic and Norse heritage to find inspiration for stylish, wearable, modern jewellery. Her designs have continued to break new ground, and influence a generation of designers. See About Ola Gorie Jewellery for more details.
Where is Orkney?
Orkney is an archipelago off the north coast of Scotland. Made up of approximately 70 islands (some uninhabited) it has a population of around 20,000. The capital is Kirkwall with the other main town being Stromness. Rich in Norse and Celtic heritage, Orkney didn't always belong to the UK. In 1468, Christian I, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, gave Orkney to Scotland as a marriage dowry between his daughter, Margaret and King James III.
What is Ola Gorie's hallmark history?
All Ola Gorie jewellery has a hallmark. Over the years, the exact form it takes has evolved.
- OLA - very early hallmark, possibly between 1959 - 1963 (If you see one of these you have a rare vintage piece!)
- OMG - registered 1963
- OG - most recent hallmark. Used from 1990s when our normal usage changed from Ola M Gorie to Ola Gorie
As well as these hallmarks, all gold and platinum pieces are hallmarked by the Edinburgh Assay Office, as well as some of the larger silver pieces. You will see the distinctive castle hallmark on these pieces.
Is the jewellery made in the UK?
Yes. All of our jewellery is made to the highest standards, mostly by one of the island's finest craftspeople, Karen Duncan, who has been making Ola Gorie jewellery for twenty-five years. From a long line of Orkney boat-builders, Karen is based in her home workshop on the tiny island of Burray, a few miles south of Kirkwall over the famous Churchill Barriers. See Craftsmanship for more details.
Is the jewellery hand-made?
Our jewellery is made using the 'lost wax casting' method, a technique which dates back to early Celtic times, with every piece then being finished by hand. See Craftsmanship for more details.
Our jewellery is made in sterling silver and 9ct gold. If you would like to inquire about the price of a piece in a specialised metal (for example 18ct gold, white gold or rose gold) please contact us and we will ask our workshop for a customised quote.
What if I have a breakage or fault?
In the first instance contact us directly and we will advise on the next step. See Customer Services for more details.
How do I care for my jewellery?
Our jewellery comes with a lifetime guarantee against faults of manufacture, though of course not against normal wear and tear: even precious metals do wear away after years of use. Like all things, jewellery must be taken care of. This includes from how we wear the jewellery to what it comes into contact with, for example perfume, cigarette smoke, chlorine etc. We advise on the following measures:
- Jewellery should be the last thing we put on the and first thing to take off to avoid any earrings and necklaces catching on clothing
- Do not spray jewellery with perfume, deodorant or body spray
- Do not go to sleep with your jewellery on
- Avoid wearing jewellery in the shower, bath, swimming pool
- Take special care with snake chains and wires, which are less flexible than chains
- Ideally our jewellery should be stored in the box that it comes with
- Medications can also cause a reaction when jewellery comes into contact with our skin, as do the natural chemicals in our skin
We usually recommend using silver or gold dip, available from most jewellers. Dip the jewellery in the solution; do not leave to soak as this can have an adverse effect on the jewellery and it will need refinishing; rinse in cold water; pat dry with a towel and then to make sure it is completely dry use a hairdryer on a warm setting.
To bring the shine back to polished surfaces use a jewellery cloth.
NB: If you have a piece of jewellery with a ‘blackened’ finish, do not use silver dip, as this will remove the blackening. Simply polish up the silver areas with a jewellery cloth. If in doubt, contact us for guidance.
How do I work out my ring size?
We specify our ring sizes in the UK format, however you will see a link on every ring product page to an international conversion chart. http://www.ringsizes.co/ (Other conversion websites are available too: just search.)
If you do not know your ring size then we suggest you visit your local jeweller who will be able to measure your finger accurately. If that is not convenient for you, then there are online measuring tools that can easily be downloaded; generally we think professional jewellers offer a more accurate service, so we recommend using them whenever possible.
Please note all of our ring sizes quoted are 'centre measurement' not 'leading edge.’
Can you make rings larger or smaller than listed as standard?
We list a wide a range of ring sizes, to fit almost all fingers. However, it’s often possible to make extra small or large sizes if required. This takes a bit longer, and we will provide a quote for the price before going ahead.
NB rings with plain shanks are relatively easy to resize, but designs with patterns all the way around can be very difficult to shrink or expand. We will advise when you contact us.
How do you take payment?
Once you have entered your details on the secure order form and selected ‘complete order,’ payment will then be processed via the card details you have provided. If for any reason the transaction is unsuccessful a message will appear on the screen informing you of this.
All payments are taken in Pounds Sterling. If your card is registered to an overseas bank then your bank will convert the payment accordingly using their exchange rate plus any other charges that they may apply.
I am interested in a piece of Ola Gorie jewellery but do not see it on your website
The website shows all of our jewellery in the current catalogue. If you do not see the piece you are looking for please contact us. We have an extensive record of old pieces and as long as we have the mould or master then it should be possible to have the piece made. In the first instance we would advise you on a price and timescale.
I have lost one of my Ola Gorie earrings, do I have to buy a pair or can I buy a single earring?
We can sell earrings singly; you do not need to buy a pair. With some of our earrings there is a difference between the left and right earring, however we will check this with you when you contact us. We almost always ask you to send up the ‘surviving; earring so we can be sure we are creating an exact match. We will also take the opportunity to clean and polish your old earring, so it matches the nice shiny new one.
I am interested in a piece of jewellery but not in the metal options shown
Since the cost for special metals tends to fluctuate we need to provide a quote. Please contact us for further details. We can produce most designs in most metals, though of course this will always take longer than standard metals.
I would like a pendant but not with the chain/wire option shown
Most of our pendants can be supplied with a chain or wire. If your chosen option is not shown please contact us for price and availability.
Do all items ordered come in a box?
Yes, each piece comes with its very own Ola Gorie presentation box, with an informative provenance card.
Can I see Ola Gorie in a shop near me?
Since 2007 we have not supplied other retailers, with very few and limited exceptions. So for the moment, if you want to see our jewellery ‘in real life’ you will have to visit our shop, The Longship, in Kirkwall. By the way, you can also order your jewellery online and collect it in person from The Longship – in which case there will not be a Delivery charge.
So I can Click and Collect?
Yes. If you live in Orkney, or are visiting, you can order on our website and collect your order from our shop, The Longship You will find it opposite St Magnus Cathedral at 7 - 9 Broad Street, Kirkwall. Normal opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5.15pm in winter, longer in summer (including Sunday afternoons.) If you are making a special journey and want to check opening hours, call the shop on 01856 888790. NB Please wait till we tell you that your order is ready for collection before trying to pick it up.
I would like to be kept informed of new Ola Gorie launches and promotions
If you are not already on our mailing list then we can add your details to our postal or emailing list. We will not bombard you with emails or letters but from time to time we run promotions and we can keep you informed of such things and also when a new catalogue or collection is available. To have your details added to our database please follow the link to 'join our mailing list' which you'll find near the bottom of every page. Or simply contact us directly by email.
I don’t want my details given to any other companies
Under no circumstance will we give customer details to other companies. Once you have placed your order we will contact you (usually by email) to let you know your order status. We will also ask if you would like your details added to our mailing list, if you decline, or do not answer, we will not contact you again. If you join our mailing list and then decide later that you’d like to be removed, just tell us and we will do so instantly.