Pipestone (Catlinite) is the sacred red clay stone that American Indians use for making prayer and ceremonial pipes. It is found in only a few places in the world. The best quality pipestone comes from southwestern Minnesota. It ranges in color from pale pink to brick or blood red and normally has small lighter spots - referred to as "stars" - scattered throughout. Pipestone is smooth to the touch, can be easily carved and takes a high polish.

pipestone catlinte

In 1836, American artist George Catlin - after whom Catlinite is named - recorded the Sioux legend of the origin of the pipestone as follows:

"At an ancient time the Great Spirit, in the form of a large bird, stood upon the wall of rock and called all the tribes around him. Taking out a piece of the red stone, he formed it into a pipe and smoked it, the smoke rolling over the whole multitude. He then told his red children that this red stone was their flesh, that they were made from it, that they must all smoke to him through it, that they must use it for nothing but pipes: and as it belonged alike to all the tribes, the ground was sacred, and no weapons must be used or brought upon it."

The following information about the role of the ceremonial pipe fashioned from the sacred red pipestone among the plains Indians is from the book titled "Life and Adventures of Frank Grouard" by Joe DeBarthe, a newspaper correspondent and Grouard's biographer. Grouard was captured by the Sioux when he was nineteen years old and spent seven years with them living in the camps of the great chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

"The pipe figured in each and every Indian ceremonial. When lit in council or during religious rites or when used at dances or feasts, it passed from left to right and never from right to left. It was usual for the chief or warrior lighting the pipe to offer some particular spirit the first draught of smoke, and the stem of the pipe was then held toward the different points of the compass, the sun, moon, stars, or any object to which the holder of the pipe desired to offer homage. This little ceremony was never omitted. Before passing the pipe to the neighbor on his left, each Indian inhaled as much smoke as his lung cavity permitted, and the smoke was afterward expelled at his pleasure. They used different pipes at the different ceremonials and would scorn to sanction the use of the council pipe in any other place or on any other occasion."

For GEOLOGY and HISTORY of the Minnesota Pipestone Deposit and Quarry,

Click this button.

"Throughout the years I've worked with pipestone as a hobby. I've taken my chances in buying from eBay and personal sites. My results were poor if not worse than I could ever imagine. The last site where I bought some, it took me seven hacksaw blades just to cut out a rough draft of what I wanted to make. I was not only unsatisfied but very upset on the quality of stone they sold me. When I received my stone from you, I saw the difference...breath taking to say the least. I only used one blade to cut my draft piece. I want to thank you on my purchase. If anyone reads this in your site, I want to say that you sell very good pipestone and you put others sites to shame. You're someone I can trust in price as well as quality. Again thank you."

Glen Janos

We have been getting a number of requests for larger pieces of our excellent quality Minnesota Pipestone. We now have some available and will continue to try to offer a good selection of sizes. When ordering by phone, fax or mail, please specify the piece of pipestone you want by number.

Rock and Mineral collections


S412a NICE BLOCK - Very nice block for carving a fine ceremonial pipe or several smaller pipes or effigies. 8.0" x 6.0" x 3.4" $170.50

S412b ANOTHER NICE BLOCK - A quality block of pipestone that will produce a couple of large pipes or several smaller ones. You won't be disappointed. 7.5" x 3.9" x 3.2" SOLD

S412c NICE BLOCK - Should produce a very nice pipe or several smaller items. One corner is missing. 8.0" x 5.2" x 3.2" SOLD

S412d A"long" piece of pipestone 10.0" x 5.5" x 1.5" SOLD

S412e Another "long" 11.0" x 5.5" x 1.7" SOLD


In response to inqueries from our customers about wax for sealing and finishing Catlinite and Steatite pipes, we are now including a FREE, 1 ounce button of quality BEESWAX with every order; enough for finishing pipes or several smaller items.



1 7.0" x 4.7" x 1.6" SOLD

6 8.2" x 4.7" x 2.6" SOLD

2 8.0" x 4.7" x 1.9"
chipped corner

7 8.9" x 4.7" x 2.5" SOLD

3 7.7" x 5.0" x 1.7"
rough end

8 6.7" x 5.2" x 1.7" SOLD

4 7.9" x 5.2" x 2.2" SOLD

9 7.0" x 5.5" x 1.5" SOLD

5 7.5" x 5.2" x 2.2" SOLD

10 7.5" x 5.5" x 2.0"
no corner

Frank has carved a number of pipes from our quality pipestone. He writes, "Your pipestone, is the best I ever worked - so easy to cut and carve. There is none better to work with. I will always buy your stone without doubt."

carved pipestone pipestone pipes


Carved a pipe from our pipestone? Like to share your creation with others? Send us a photo and we'll include it on this page.

Page last updated on 03/11/15