Silver smithing is one of the more delicate and heavily guarded processes in pipe making. Whether the end result is a gleaming "wedding band" or a stout military mount, shaping and fitting the silver to fit flush with the briar is no easy task. Even if a pipe maker is using pre-cast rings, the medium still has to be worked and customized to match the pipe itself. While you might expect independent artisans to invest this much time and effort into an accent or mount, factory marques also have their own process, and it's surprisingly extensive.
Peterson, for example, employs an entire team of silver smiths who hand-shape and turn every single sterling silver accent, mount, and band for all applicable lines. These artisans are highly skilled and specialized in this one, singular aspect of pipe making — with each member having undergone a rigorous five to six year apprenticeship before working alone. Though all of their accents are beautiful, none quite showcase the artisans' penchant for this singular task like the sterling silver military mounts and tenons of the Spigot line.
To give you an idea of just how much time and effort goes into producing this series, we've put together a short video detailing the entire production process for Peterson's Spigot line — from fitting stems to stummels to brush-staining, to actually turning down and fitting the sterling silver mounts and tenons. Take a look at how many preliminary steps there are to the process. Watch the craftsmen carefully turn down the sterling silver bands to achieve the perfect curvature. Observe the steadiness of their hands, and see the determination behind them. It's truly a beautiful thing.