Meerschaum is a clay-like white mineral used extensively for pipe bowls.
It is highly prized because it is soft and carves easily, does not burn as opposed to briar or other traditional pipe materials and holds wonderful details.
What's more, the porous nature of meerschaum allows for a purer smoke as the mineral draws moisture and tobacco tar into the stone and over a long period of time, meerschaum takes on a glass-like surface and deep red colour.
Meerschaum deposits are relatively rare and the majority of meerschaum pipes on the market today are crafted with material from the mines in Turkey.
Several grades of meerschaum pipes exist, and the quality of the pipe depends not only on where the meerschaum comes from, but also the process with which it was obtained.