On the occasion of the funeral of the Queen of England, South Africans demand that the Cullinan I be returned to them, a South African diamond given to the British monarchy in 1907.
With a mass of over 3 carats, it is the largest rough diamond ever discovered. Today, the Cullinan is split in two, after Dutch diamond dealer Joseph Asscher failed to cut. Today, the Cullinan I adorns the Sceptre at the Cross, the British imperial scepter. As for the Cullinan II, it is set on one of the British Crown Jewels, the Imperial Ceremonial Crown.
The Queen's funeral was an opportunity to see the Cullinan I again. For spectators around the world, but especially for South Africans, who today claim that the Cullinan belongs to them.
Between two shots of the coffin of Elizabeth II entering Westminer Abbey, we learn that the royal scepter is 92 centimeters long. France 2 could have added that it supports the Cullinan I, extracted from the largest rough diamond ever discovered, looted in South Africa
- Nils Wilcke (@paul_denton) September 19, 2022
The “Great Star of Africa” — the nickname of the Cullinan I — was presented to the royal family two years after it was discovered in Cullinan. Gauteng was then under British rule, until 1905. It was in 1907 that the colony of Transvaal decided to offer the raw jewel to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, for his 66th birthday. A gift, also to thank him for having given independence to South Africa.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is therefore an opportunity for South Africa to claim the paternity of Cullinan. A petition is circulating, signed by several thousand people asking for the return of the diamond.
@Point : 💎 The #diamond brut #Cullinan was divided into multiple cut stones belonging to the British Crown.
▶️ The 2 biggest #diamonds cut are set on the scepter (Cullinan I) and on the Imperial State Crown (Cullinan II). https://t.co/vG9CHkJ87m pic.twitter.com/rT4Tt963mq
— Eric Gobillard 🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@EGobillard) September 16, 2022
The petition calls for the diamond to be placed in a museum. For activist Thanduxolo Sabelo, “the Cullinan diamond must be returned to South Africa with immediate effect. Minerals from our country and other countries continue to benefit Britain at the expense of our people”.
Today, the stone is said to be worth over £350million.