Meerschaum is a mineral identified with Eskisehir which is a developing small city in Turkey near capital city Ankara.
Meerschaum means sea foam originally a German word describing brightness and lightness of meerschaum.
This valuable stone is found in countries like France, Spain, Pennsylvania, Utah, South Carolina, Crimea, Bosnia Herzegovina, Vienna, Austria, Greece and Tanzania but the most quality meerschaum reserves are in Eskisehir, Turkey.
Because top quality and whitest meerschaum is just in Eskisehir and this reality is universally accepted by the experts that the purest quality meerschaum comes from Turkey. So that means mainland of meerschaum is Eskisehir. Because of this material’s value, Turkish Government prohibited exportation of raw meerschaum and the meerschaum shafts are under protection of Turkish Government.
Archaeological studies show that meerschaum was known nearly five thousands years ago and used for various purposes.(For sample; 3700 years old Stamp Seal was found around Cavlum Village, about 15km away from Eskisehir Centrum). This unique piece is mined from the earth up to 300 meters below and the shaft is dug from the surface in vertical form. Meerschaum is white and so soft when it is first extracted and easy to mark it because of its moisture. But after exposure of sunshine or any warm effect, it hardens. Meerschaum artizans makes it moist again to carve easily. Meerschaum is carved by hand and each craftsman carves this unique stone depends on his ability and experience. This means like all other fine hand-crafted articles, every artizan carves his stone differently.
Meerschaum pipe is the most popular one among the meerschaum products. Because meerschaum pipe absorbs 70% of the nicotin and tabacco tars (This stone also absorbs moisture up to 135% of its own weight). So meerschaum pipe is a natural filter for smokers and this smoking pipe never burns out like other pipes (i.e. briars). Meerschaum pipe’s other attribution is this pipe is little heat-conducting and never becomes too hot.
When you get a meerschaum pipe, it will be cream coloured in a few weeks after starting of smoking and it will change its colour in a few months again; your pipe will be amber-coloured and eventually your meerschaum pipe will be goldbrown as the years went by. Because of value, attributes and various models of this stone, meerschaum pipe is always an inevitable piece for collectors.