With the word “Uru” referring to an ancient Swahili term that describes a powerful essence that comes from a diamond worn and cherished by African kings and queens, the Uru diamonds has become a household name in Tanzania, Africa and slowly penetrating to the world market at large.
This brings me to the question, what is it about this brand? What makes it special? What makes it tick? Why is everyone talking about it?
I concluded that a trip to their factory at the slipway complex which is located in the suburban Msasani peninsula would answer my questions.
Having its first bracelet made in 2009 under a tree shade in the premises of the slipway complex, created using locally sourced rough diamonds, gold and a fishing line, the uru diamonds has since grown to a brand that is a force to reckon with.
One of the local workers who’s worked for the company from the very beginning under that large palm tree where they only had a little open workshop, reminisces on how people would laugh at them when they said of how big the company would be someday. True to their dreams, the company now occupies a factory in the same premises offering job opportunities to so many local youths with contracts and a substantial income.
Just like any other venture that someone embarks onto, The Uru brand is still a work in progress. But it all started with a concept. A concept to create something precious, classy and unique using hand cast gold and silver combined with rough precious stones such as diamonds, tanzanite, rubies etc. With the stones exclusively sourced from small scale Tanzanian miners and used in their inherent natural beauty.
A concept to have a brand that is 100 percent Tanzanian! 100 percent African. A jewelry brand that Africa would be proud of and call it its own. A brand they would frolic in for its aunthecity in the years to come. A brand that the world would associate with Africa.
Seeing the shiny, irresistible, eye candy end product makes me wonder how much effort is put into making it a reality.
Ibrahim the floor manager gives me a tour of the whole factory and takes me through all the steps. So many things to take into consideration:
- The concept: Before anything else is even considered, the structure, style/design, materials to be used have to be laid out before production where the sizes, the colors, the quality, the quantity, unisex is established.
- The stones are brought into shape while still retaining their inherent beauty.
- Waxing is done to get the silver body of the bracelets
- Filing, polishing and steaming to get a shiny look.
- Weaving/threading of the bracelet straps by hand with an array of different colors and designs.
- Final product.
Having seen how much work manual work is put into the creation of this bracelets, necklaces, rings, pendants and other beautiful accessories gives me a new profound admiration for this magnificent all African gem.
To top it all is the fact that Uru is committed to giving back to its community through the recruitment and training of the local youth artisans and craftsmen hence bridging the gap of unemployment in the community, while at the same time cooperating with the SOS children villages in supporting children with their education in the rural areas where their gemstones are sourced.
From its humble beginnings to where it is now, or to where it’s going to be in the coming years, Uru is surely a brand to look out for as it slowly but surely conquer the jewelry world. Only the sky is the limit for this exquisite brand whose story is far from being over!
Below is a youtube video of the visit to the factory showing the whole process of how the uru diamonds are made…be sure to check it out!