What Is Meerschaum?
Meerschaum is a clay-like white mineral known for its porous nature. The use of meerschaum for pipe making dates back to the early 18th century, and many examples of meerschaum pipes still exist, some even unsmoked, as they were often seen as art as much as smoking implements and were kept behind glass. Meerschaum is valued by pipe makers and collectors for three reasons. Most notably for the tobacco enthusiast, meerschaum does not burn as opposed to briar or other traditional pipe materials, allowing for a purer smoke. Aesthetically, meerschaum is noted for two key characteristics. First, the softness of the mineral makes it very suitable for carving, with designs ranging from basic to extravagant.
The characteristic most prized by collectors, however, is due to the composition of the mineral itself. Meerschaum is by nature extremely porous. Indeed, the quality of meerschaum can be tested by wetting your finger and rubbing the mineral. If the moisture absorbs, you know you’ve got the good stuff. Thus, when a meerschaum pipe is smoked, the oils and other byproducts of the process are absorbed into the pipe itself, eventually coloring the pipe from its original whitish-cream color through a spectrum of woody yellows, nutty browns, and deep reds. This coloration only adds to the individuality of each meerschaum pipe. As pipe smokers usually consider their pipes a very personal item, these characteristics, which combine to make each pipe not only unique but decidedly personal, are what make the meerschaum pipes the king of the tobacco world and a must have for collectors.
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Woodhull Cigar Shop does not sell tobacco or tobacco related products to anyone under the age of 18, nor do we sell cigarettes.
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