The diamond on Queen Elizabeth II’s crown stolen from Africa?
On Monday, September 19, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest. Her remains have been placed in a place where royals and people from all walks of life can pay their respects. The Crown atop Queen Elizabeth’s casket and the diamond put in it are two conspicuous features of her death.
There has been a growing agitation by the government of South Africa to the British Crown states that the 500-carat clear diamond cut from a more extensive piece be returned. The calls for repatriation intensified with the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
South Africans believe the diamond needs to be returned because it was stolen and given to the royal family. The precious rock came from a mine in South Africa in 1905. It is also known as the Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa.
The former colonial rulers who ruled South Africa had gifted it to the British royal family and put it in the royal sceptre of the Queen.
The petition demanding the return of the diamond to South Africa has gotten about 6,000 signatures. A South African lawmaker, Vuyolwethu Zungula, insisted on the return of all precious rocks and gold and reparation for all the ills the British had caused while ruling South Africa.
The precious rock was sent to Asscher of Amsterdam to be cut into the shape in 1908 after it was presented to Britain’s royal family.
Worth billions of dollars
Some jewelers have estimated it to be worth between £3 billion and £5 billion, with the 317-carat Cullinan II (the diamond at the center of the piece) alone being estimated at £400 million. The diamond weighed about 3,06 carats.
According to claims by the Royal Ascher, it was given to King Edward VII as a birthday gift by the Transvaal government, which bought it from someone. The diamond was cut into several pieces of different sizes, and two smaller sizes were named the Great Star of Africa and the smaller one named the Smaller Star of Africa.
The smaller stone was placed on the Crown of the monarch. The Queen has been painted in many portraits with diamonds.
Britain has pledged to return a few artifacts to Nigeria stolen in a military operation in 1897. Before Charles became the new monarch, his net worth was around $440 million, an estimate by the research institute Wealth X says.
Fortune reports that King Charles III’s Wealth will now be inherited by his son, Prince William. Charles has made hundreds of millions of pounds since he was 21 years and in the 2021-2022 financial year, he got 23 million pounds in surplus payments, an annual account by Duchy says.