diamond Queen Elizabeth The Great Star of Africa

The crown and royal sceptre. Images via Twitter/@Africa_Archives.

Queen Elizabeth II: Will the diamond ‘stolen’ from SA be returned?

The Great Star of Africa is the world’s largest diamond worth between $400m – $2 billion. Will it be returned to SA?

diamond Queen Elizabeth The Great Star of Africa

The crown and royal sceptre. Images via Twitter/@Africa_Archives.

The late and longest reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II owned the largest clear cut diamond in the world known as The Great Star of Africa which was mined on 26 January 1905 in Pretoria in Gauteng, South Africa and was reportedly stolen. 

On 26 June a 3,106-carat diamond was discovered from the Premier Mine. The Great Star of Africa was the largest stone cut from the diamond. The 530 carats gem is approximately worth between $400 million (roughly R 6 947 000 000) and $2 billion (roughly R34 685 200 000). Now that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away, the question that lingers on everyone’s lips in the social media streets is will The Great Star of Africa be returned “home”? 

WILL THE DIAMOND ‘STOLEN’ FROM SA BE RETURNED? 

The British have reportedly claimed that the diamond was handed over to them as a symbol of friendship and peace yet this happened during the apartheid era in South Africa where there was no peace at all in the country. 

According to Africa Archives, the British replaced the name The Great Star of Africa with the name of the owner of the mine Thomas Cullinan. 

Other sources claim that the diamond belonged to Cullinan and it was purchased by the Transvaal Government and donated to King Edward VII. That is how Elizabeth inherited it. 

Upon receiving the Cullinan I diamond, the British Royal family reportedly cut it into several stones and strategically placed the biggest one—christened the Star of Africa—in the royal sceptre. 

According to Natural Diamonds, in 1910, after King Edward VII’s death, it was King George who had the royal sceptre redesigned with the Star of Africa as the centrepiece, surrounded by an enamel heart-shaped case and diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and a large amethyst.

diamond Queen Elizabeth The Great Star of Africa
The royal sceptre. Image via Twitter/@Africa_Archives.

The Star of Africa remains in the British Crown Jewels on display at the Tower of London, where millions of visitors come annually just to see the mediaeval regalia that has been used in royal ceremonies for centuries.

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