Thought I’d tell you a little about meerschaum dust pipes. When meerschaum is processed or carved, dust is created. Rather than waste the dust, some meerschaum pipe manufacturers will mix the dust with an emulsifier and compress the whole thing into a mold.
Meerschaum dust pipes are heavier, less absorbent, and don’t smoke as well as true meerschaum. While it may not be important to you, they’re also less valuable.
There’s no strenuous regulation of meerschaum pipes, so the only way to increase the odds of you getting a true meerschaum pipe is to buy from a reputable dealer. Also, the quality of the carvings are a good indicator. Good carvers usually don’t waste their time manufacturing dust pipes and the level of carvings are impossible to mold. S. Yanik is an example of one amazing pipe carver, and I feel guaranteed that my S. Yanik pipe is genuine meerschaum. It’s impossible to press that level of detail on the pipe.