Toprock: A brief History - A note from our Founder - Nick May

Toprock: A brief History - A note from our Founder - Nick May


Dear All,

Toprock is a family and friend business that originated in 1991 out of a profound love for nature and an insatiable desire to uncover its hidden treasures and evident beauty. Africa, with its breathtaking landscapes, offers endless opportunities for exploration, drawing us to remote and uncharted territories. Our foundation lies in conservationism and naturalism, followed closely by our role as purveyors of rare and diverse stones not easily found elsewhere.

Founded humbly by myself, Nick May, Toprock has steadily expanded over the years, encompassing multiple locations, discoveries, and several shops along the way. Our team has grown organically, with individuals joining as the need arose or as their paths converged with ours. While some former colleagues have ventured to establish their own ventures in the rock business, many of us have remained together for decades. In our line of work, finding the right individuals is paramount, and we are fortunate to have assembled a team that shares our passion and dedication.

At Toprock, our team is an eclectic mix, residing predominantly in the African bush in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Originating from diverse backgrounds spanning the UK, Madagascar, Zambia, Germany, and South Africa, each member brings a unique perspective and expertise to our collective endeavor. Our operations extend beyond South Africa, with satellite stations in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and Kombat, Namibia. We maintain various arrangements with numerous artisanal miners, lapidary setups, and mines across Africa and Madagascar.

Over the years, we have cultivated relationships with over 1200 individuals across Southern and Central Africa, encompassing collecting, trading, prospecting, manufacturing, and retail. Our commitment to fairness and integrity has been instrumental in building a sustainable network where all parties benefit. We prioritize ethical practices and ensure that our operations contribute positively to the livelihoods of our partners and the communities we engage with.

Toprock boasts the widest variety of African stones on the continent, constantly seeking out the new, unusual, rare, and beautiful. Our inventory is meticulously curated, with a blend of perennial favorites and unique specimens to keep our offerings fresh and exciting. We pride ourselves on our efficiency and dedication to continuous improvement, despite the challenges posed by nature and logistical hurdles inherent in operating across Africa.

While our journey has not been without its obstacles, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing exceptional products and service to our customers worldwide. Our aim is not only to conduct business but also to foster relationships built on trust, mutual respect, and shared appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

Thank you for being part of our journey, and we look forward to continuing to serve you with the finest African stones.

Best regards,

Nick May


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