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Meerschaum Pipes are normally made from a material named sepiolite (hydrous magnesium silicate) that occurs naturally in Turkey and some of its surrounding countries. This material is easily carved, however it can crack just as easily. Usually, the bowl of the pipe is made of this material, but the stem of the pipe is made of carved amber and screwed together using a bone screw. When the pipe has been smoked for a long period of time, it takes on a deep red (almost maroon) color.
The Meerschaum Pipe is very collectible and can sell for a sizeable amount of money depending on their condition. However, beware that because of the scarcity of the material from which it is made, some bowls were actually made from composite slurry of sepiolite and certain powders and glue. The carvings are very similar and the coloring has fooled many an expert as well. Most collectors not being able to tell the difference just rely on carvings and the beauty of the pieces to determine their value.