If you are looking to buy a premier pipe for yourself you could do no better than opting for meerschaum pipes. The bowls of such pipes are made from meerschaum, which is a white mineral and also variously known as sea foam, Venus of the sea, froth, White Goddess and sepiolite. Knowledge about this mineral,its advantages and the care that pipes made from this material require, is a must if you are considering the buying of one such pipe.
The quality of these pipes is most distinctive because of the meerschaum bowl. This mineral, meerschaum, is found at depths varying from 30 to 450 feet below the surface of the earth and is one that is soft and colored gray, cream or white. The material is very light and porous as required for pipes and is basically a silicate of hydrous magnesium. the only place in the word that the material is presently available from is the areas around the quaintly named city of Eskisehir which is situated on the plains of central Turkey.
The Advantage of Meerschaum Pipes
There are a number of reasons that have made meerschaum pipes a great favorite with pipe smokers. Their beauty is a definite and unique property. As the mineral that it is made from is soft and creamy, it is possible to carve fine details on to these meerschaum bowls.
The porosity of such pipes also lead to their white color undergoing changes when the material absorbs tobacco. The hues that first show are orange, red and yellow and over time the bowl turns into a cherry red or deep golden brown color. Once these pipes change colors they are considered as very precious for collectors. The color change takes place at different rates and there are factors that influence the change which can take a couple of months or or even a year if the pipe is used regularly. Some meerschaum pipes are made from the dust of the mineral,while others are made from bricks and these are ones that form the best color changes.