Meerschaum is a German word describing this prestigious stone, which literally means sea foam, but also known as "White Goddess" “Venus of the Sea”. The highest quality stone is mined and found only in one place in the world; in the plains of Eskisehir, Turkey.
Meerschaum mined traditionally with hand tools and hand graded and sorted. Also hand carved uniquely with great intricacy by Turkish artisans. Meerschaum is light weight and soft and chalk-like when mined. Shaping and carving is done during this soft stage and followed by a slow drying process. Finally, the polishing technique the every artisan uses is also unique just like the art work itself; and kept secret. The polish consists of quality ingredients including pure bee’s wax to give the carvings a beautiful ivory, gold or brown colors to this otherwise white stone.
More about this mineral! It is mined 30 to 450 feet below the surface of the earth, the magnesium content provides strength while the hydrogen and oxygen contribute to its porosity. One has to feel the weight of it! It is lighter than imagined! It is, in the words of one,
“. . . soft and light as a fleeting dream, creamy, delicate and sweet as the complexion of young maidenhood.” Benjamin Rapaport, A Complete Guide to Collecting Antique Pipes. 1979.