Royal gift or ‘stolen’ gem? Calls for UK to return 500 carat Great Star of Africa diamond to Zambia
The stone, worth around £300million, is worth about £2.7million at today’s market price.
The UK Government has called for the diamond to be returned to ensure the peace of the region.
The diamond is made up of several parts and weighs just one carat.
It was stolen from an unoccupied South African road on August 3, last year.
It was taken from an unoccupied South African road in late August last year
It is made up of several parts and weighs just one carat.
The stone is part of the Great Star of Africa, a collection of 1,500 stones valued at up to £300m given by Queen Victoria in 1902.
The diamond was one of seven awarded to Cecil John Rhodes, Duke of PCIe, by the British Crown for services to diamond hunting.
The UK Government has called for the diamond to be returned to the country to ensure the peace of the region.
A report by the Home Office published in January concluded that because of ‘the unique political sensitivity’ of the matter, the UK government would only return the diamond if it was ‘demonstrably not in the public interest to do so’.
The diamond is made up of several parts and weighs just one carat
In their report, the Home Office said that since the theft of the diamond, there had been ‘no recorded offences’ connected to the gem.
However, a subsequent investigation by South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) found that the gem was used by the ‘underworld of crime to perpetrate violence and intimidation against police officers’.
‘The gem was found in the possession of an unknown person and it was confirmed as being stolen from an unoccupied South African Government road in August last year,’ the NPA said.
‘The item had been taken by two persons, who fled the scene while the vehicle was