RECLAIMING THE STONE
Supplying only ethically sourced stones, Nungu Diamonds is reclaiming the African heritage of the world’s most iconic gemstone
The diamond has become an international symbol of wealth and luxury, but Lebo Pule, founder of Nungu Diamonds, is determined to reclaim the diamond for Africa. This South African business was founded in 2013 and has rapidly become an acknowledged expert in the sourcing, cutting and polishing of sustainable and ethical diamonds. The company, based in the upmarket Johannesburg suburb of Bedfordview, also excels at selling the diamonds to black Africans as a proud reminder of their own heritage.
“Africa’s natural resources should support the development of our economies and, more symbolically, mark the most significant moments in our lives,” says Lebo, who sells diamonds to a variety of people, whether it is gentlemen who are seeking a statement pin for their lapel, young recording artists or businesswomen who want to make an impact.
Nungu is Swahili for porcupine and the namehas two levels of meaning. On one hand, the porcupine is resilient, agile, distinctly African and able to defend itself against the most powerful beasts on the continent – all qualities that Lebo admires and seeks to claim for Nungu. But the porcupine is also low to the ground, which – for Lebo – acts as a constant reminder that the company was once small but hungry and eager to grow. The message is simple: be proud, but be humble.
Another message is that while the diamond is often seen as a beautiful statement of wealth it is also a great investment. A good diamond will not depreciate and therefore acts as both commodity and piece of art. Lebo is therefore determined to secure that value by maintaining the highest standards of calibre and integrity in a trade that is not always renowned for such qualities. Provenance is of huge importance and Lebo promises that all Nungu diamonds are ethically sourced, having come from reputable companies whose mining processes adhere to best-practice principles and are sustainable. His wife Ursula acts as creative consultant, and will help clients find the perfect setting for their new diamond. Future plans include a desire to see these African diamonds incorporated into original designs and accessories that celebrate the richness and diversity of African cultures.