A series of helical ceramic springs were manufactured from MgO partially stabilized zirconia to investigate their mechanical properties. Nine springs were machined from zirconia tubing, initially one inch in length, with a rectangular pitch of 16, 14, or 12 turns per inch. An experimental apparatus that both supports and equalizes the applied loads on springs was developed. The spring deflection versus applied load was measured using an optical sight mounted on a micrometer. Deflection data on each spring were collected, plotted and successfully modeled using Hooke's Law. A more extensive model was used to calculate the shear modulus of rigidity and shear stress. This model incorporates the spring dimensions, pitch, applied load, and deflection and provides insight into the effects of the materials of construction and manufacturing technique on the effective shear modulus of spring. A specific manufacturing effect was observed in the initial deflection resulting from the mass of the spring as the pitch was increased. © 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.