|DESCRIPTION: Pipestone (Catlinite) is the sacred red clay stone that American Indians used for trade and for making beads or ceremonial pipes. It is found in only a few places in the world, with the best quality pipestone coming from mines in southwestern Minnesota. Pipestone ranges in color from pale pink, to brick, to blood red. Since pipestone is smooth to the touch, can be easily carved and takes a high polish, it was highly valued by Native Americans. This is an early collection (19th C.), consisting of over 130 decoratively painted beads of varying sizes.