Queen’s death prompts questions over ‘stolen’ Great Star of Africa diamonds

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Queen Elizabeth ll’s death has renewed questions surrounding the rare diamonds that adorn the royal crown and scepter as some believe the jewels were “stolen” from African soil.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, the largest diamond ever found was first discovered in a South African mine and two of its pieces adorn the British Sovereign’s Royal Scepter and the Imperial State Crown, which currently lies on top of the Queen’s coffin.

Affixed to the Royal Scepter is the Star of Africa, or Cullinan, a 530-carat fine-quality colorless diamond, which has an estimated worth of $400 million. The Star of Africa ll, or Cullinan ll, is a 317-carat diamond that adorns the crown.

Both of the gems were originally cut in 1905 from a 3,106-carat diamond that was found in Pretoria, South Africa at the Premier Mine, owned by Sir Thomas Cullinan.

The diamond was reportedly presented as a gift in 1907 to reigning British monarch King Edward VII for his birthday.

However, some believe it was actually stolen from indigenous South Africans.

Hours before Her Majesty’s death, Africa Archives, a Twitter account, shared an image of the Queen wearing the Imperial State Crown and called out the monarch for owning the “stolen” South African diamond.

“Queen Elizabeth II owns the largest clear-cut diamond in the world Known as ‘The Great Star of Africa’ the 530 carats gem was mined in South Africa back in 1905,” the now-viral tweet reads. “It was stolen from South Africa. It has an estimated worth of $400 million.”

According to the Royal Collection Trust, the diamond was given to King Edward Vll “as a symbolic gesture to heal the rift between Britain and South Africa after the Boer War.”

“The British claim that it was given to them as a symbol of friendship and peace yet it was during colonialism. The British then replaced the name ‘The Great Star of Africa’ with name of Chairman of Mine ‘Thomas Cullinan,’” Africa Archives wrote.

Black township leaders previously urged Queen Elizabeth ll to return the Great Star of Africa during her 1995 visit to South Africa, the Atlanta Black Star reports.

The Azanian People’s Organization said the diamond was “stolen from the treasures of the Azanian (African) soil.”

“She must be reminded that the diamond belongs to the Black people of this country, and to them alone,” Azapo spokesperson Zithulele Nxawe said.

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