The looting and plunder of Africa by the Europeans and Arabs is one topic that we will never get tired of talking about as conscious Black people. What fuels our anger more is the fact that Europe still makes hundreds of millions of dollars/Euros off of the jewels, artifacts, and resources stolen from Africa. As a matter of fact, they are currently still stealing Africa dry. The World’s Largest Diamond is one of the treasures taken from Africa by the Europeans.
After the invasion and dividing of Africa from 1885 (the Berlin Conference), European colonizers, went around Africa, stealing and collecting gold diamonds, artifacts, steel, bronze and everything ornament that was precious to the various kingdoms of Africa.
On occasions where the people refused to give up their possessions, the European soldiers, under the command of their royalties would commit murder and genocide, just to dispossess Africans of these priceless jewels, lands ad resources.
One of such priceless jewels is the world’s largest diamonds, which is called “The Star of Africa”. It was taken from South Africa during the colonial era, and since then has been kept by the British as part of the British crown jewel collection. They are referred to as the Cullinan diamonds.
Miners in South Africa discovered the huge Diamond at the Premier Mine in Pretoria on the 26th of January 1905. The diamond was recovered from the miner by the mine’s superintendent, called Thomas Cullinan. He then later sold the Diamond to the Transvaal Provincial government, whose officials then later gave the Diamond as a gift to the King of Britain, King Edward VII, for his birthday.
In its description of the uncommon diamond, the Royal Collection Trust said that “in its uncut state, it weighed 3,106 metric carats and boasted a size of 10.1 x 6.35 x 5.9 cm. This scale, coupled with its extraordinary blue-white color and exceptional clarity, made it the most celebrated diamond in the world.”
Before the British could settle in present-day South Africa, there was a war between them and the Boer republics, Orange Free State, and the South African Republic. As usual, the British and their allies had more bullets, guns, and firepower, so they won. After the British victory, they set up colonial governments and institutions all over the Southern region of Africa.
It was during this time that Britain took the Diamond. Although they claim that the Diamond was given as a gift by the South African people, under the Transvaal Government, which had borders with Zimbabwe and Botswana to the North.
The British claimed the diamond given to them was a symbol of friendship and peace. But history will recall that around that time, Britain was the one paying repatriations to the local people, for the invasion and war. It was reported that heavy police escort with guns took the diamond to Sandringham for King Edward’s 66th birthday.
When one adds this diamond and thousands of others that were mined illegally, stollen by the Europeans, and sold, it would be running into trillions of Euros, pounds, and dollars. The “star of Africa” was so big that it took another 8 months for three men, working 14 hours a day, to cut nine large diamonds out of it, and polish them.
The stones were named from I to IX accordingly, and remain so till this day. Even after the large nine stones were cut, another 97 pieces were gotten from the cuttings and carvings.
Today, many decades after colonialism, Britain is not remorseful for her legacies in Africa. European governments and organizations still hold unto the valuable treasure of African people, even after many African governments have demanded their return.
As we speak, the British monarchy still takes pride in the South African Diamond (Star of Africa) as it beautifies the Imperial State Crown with a magnificent 317.4 carats of Diamond at its front.
Some of the Diamonds were used for the Sovereign Scepter. The scepter was first made for the crowning of King Charles II in 1661, and then after the British took the “Star Of Africa” they redesigned the scepter in 1910. One of the 9 diamonds which is placed on the scepter can be removed and worn as a brooch.
A few of these diamonds were passed around as gifts to other royalties and sold to governments. But till date, none of these diamonds has been returned to the original owners.