Royal gift or ‘stolen’ gem? Calls for UK to return 500 carat Great Star of Africa diamond stolen from UK
The theft of the 4,900 carat Great Star of Africa diamond from the UK is one of the biggest heists in history.
According to the Guardian, the diamond is a so-called “satellite” stone, in the shape of an ancient sun disk, and was purchased by an anonymous investor in Johannesburg in January this year.
While the stone is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion, it is unlikely to ever be sold due to its unique status.
The report said: “It is claimed to be the largest known jewel in the world, with a diamond the size of a fist and weighing about 4,900 carats.
“The diamond is a so-called satellite stone, in the shape of an ancient sun disk, and was purchased by an anonymous investor in Johannesburg in January this year.”
The Guardian said the UK Government believes the stone was stolen from the premises of the Dusseldorf-based Gem Diamonds, a subsidiary of German-based De Beers Group.
“We would like to find out how it was stolen and, more importantly, to trace its owner,” said Caroline Russell, head of communications at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
A diamond is a gemstone, meaning it is part of gemology, which is the study of everything in a stone that makes it unique. When the stone is cut into fancy shapes, it is one of the greatest gemological works of art.
In fact, it is hard to imagine what something this unique would look like, given that it is made up of tiny diamond and garnet-like stone, surrounded by white gold and platinum.
It is generally accepted that most such gems are cut by hand, with the finest stones being created in a process called “lost-wax casting.”