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Pipe Grades & Nomenclature

I decided to grade my pipes as a means of communicating and controlling their value in the marketplace especially when coming from a newer pipe carver.

Each pipe is graded on numerous points but centering around three issues: 
• Size of the pipe 
• Grain quality and consistency 
• Difficulty of Shape, Decoration and/or Complications 

I went through several systems looking for an original way to illustrate grade. I aimed for some kind of logical and universal icons that would not require a lot of explanation, special knowledge or memorization of seemingly random letters, numbers or symbols. I knew there was no way I'd be able to keep that straight in my own head, let alone explain it to someone! After many months I finally came to the universally understood ranking of Copper, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

041 - Grade: Silver 3
click to enlarge

Copper, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels are divided into 3 steps each. This is displayed in the simplest way possible as one, two or three points of the metal on the stem near the shank; one dot for the lowest ranking, three for the highest ranking of that level. Very simple and semi self-explanatory. No translation should be necessary once the significance of the dots is understood. 

This ranking is repeated in the nomenclature engraved on the pipe, along with other information such as the year, location and number of manufacture. The grading nomenclature on the pipe is simply the same nomenclature used in the periodic table of elements for these metals. This is already established and understood the world over. I saw no reason to invent new codes or symbols for these. 

Copper (Cu) 1 Point
Copper (Cu) 2 Points
Copper (Cu) 3 Points

Silver (Ag) 1 Point
Silver (Ag) 2 Points
Silver (Ag) 3 Points

Gold (Au) 1 Point
Gold (Au) 2 Points
Gold (Au) 3 Points

Platinum (Pt) 1 Point
Platinum (Pt) 2 Points
Platinum (Pt) 3 Points

Totem Star Signature


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Totem n. 1. An animal, plant, or natural object serving as a symbol of a clan or family. 2. A venerated symbol. Anthro; Native American peoples.

Star n. 1. A luminous celestial body consisting of a mass of hot gasses held together by it's own gravity. 2. A graphic design having 5 or more radiating points. 3. stars: The future; destiny.

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I have spent my life getting to this point. I created all artwork here, unless otherwise noted. Please respect all intellectual and creative property.

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