What Do You Know About Virgins?

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Preferred Member
Apr 29, 2014
Until today I hadn’t known there was such a thing as a pipe with a virgin finish.

So, what’s that mean? If I like a pipe with a virgin finish, what do I need to know or look out for? Would it require special care and maintenance?



Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
I have a number of virgin finish pipes. Mainly they're simply unstained and unwaxed. Leave them as such, and they'll darken over time as you smoke them, taking on a golden brown hue and revealing more grain. They're fun to watch taking on color as smoked over time. As far as care and maintenance... no more than any other pipe, and in fact less. You don't want to wax them. Other than that, treat as you would any other pipe.



Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
In order to re-open Mclelland I propose we throw some virgin tobacco in a volcano shaped pipe.



Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
Anthony hit it. It's simply a briar that has not had a finish applied. Nothing arcane about it. It will color as any dead wood will as it ages. Also dirt, body oils, tobacco residue will add to the darkening.
Chacom vends a pipe labeled "virgin."
Now ... on with the train wreck!

Mar 16, 2014
A virgin finish is a pipe without a stain (sometimes they have a light waxing to give them a little shine). At least, this is my interpretation, but I may be wrong? A pipe with a virgin finish does not require any special care as far as I know, and will color naturally by getting a little darker with smoking and handling it. I did commission a virgin/natural finish pipe once and the carver applied a light stain, so yeah, I'll let others chime in on what a virgin finish really means.



Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
The finish has to be smooth, supple, and creamy, preferably with no visible blemishes. :wink:



Preferred Member
Dec 5, 2016
In addition to lacking a finish, I think that there's a lack of being experienced, seasoned or broken in being a virgin.



Senior Member
Mar 15, 2018
I didn't know what to expect when I clicked on the title..
I thought something about click bait before I clicked this and hoped something funny coming up :laughat:. Maybe I was wrong



Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
Aldecaker has pretty well summed it up, but if there's anyone that wants to expound... go for it. I think a virgin finish pipe has to be new and unsmoked if I'm not mistaken? [:wink:]
Well, if anyone knows, mothernature would.



Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
Virgin stained pipes are like old friends, you both age together. As corny as that sounds, it is true. After a few years it's like a contrast stain develops. And the appearance changes in certain lighting conditions. I stare at mine while smoking and enjoy the nuances.
Here is a Virgin Devil Anse in natural sunlight, indoors, and with flash next to a deeply contrast stained pipe. You can see how the virgin stain has deepened over time, quite striking compared to a few years ago.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
To me, unfinished pipes that gradually "finish" themselves are one of the major joys of pipe smoking. First they darken a little unevenly, but then they take on a lovely color, and with some, an actual glow and polish. I have unfinished pipes in various stages. The oldest are the best and most lustrous. I highly recommend them. I have three Savinellis, a Casano, and a Nording signature freehand. They tend to be reasonably priced, and they have a unique quality of feeling like they breathe really well, insulate really well, and provide an especially pleasingly dry smoke. I always post and do a pitch for unfinished pipes.