Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England, calls for the return of the diamonds that adorn the British Crown Jewels back to their original owners have intensified.
South Africans, in particular, are seeking the return of Great Star of Africa, the largest known clear-cut diamond, back to their country.
The diamond, also known as Cullinan I, was cut from the larger gem which was mined in South Africa in 1905, according to a CNN report. The Great Star was handed over to the British royal family by the colonial rulers of Africa and is currently mounted on a royal scepter belonging to the Queen, the report added.
According to CNN, activist Thanduxolo Sabelo told local media that: “The Cullinan Diamond must be returned to South Africa with immediate effect. The minerals of our country and other countries continue to benefit Britain at the expense of our people.”
An online petition launched on change.org seeking the return of the diamond has been signed by thousands of people.
Vuyolwethu Zungula, a member of the South African Parliament, posted a tweet demanding “reparations for all the harm done by Britain” and “return of all the gold, diamonds stolen by Britain.”
ABC News said in a report that the 530.2-carat drop-shaped diamond was added to Sovereign’s Scepter with Cross, a sacred object dating back to the 1600s used during coronation ceremonies.
The diamond is on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London, ABC added.
The exact monetary value of the diamond is unclear although its rarity and history makes it worth a fortune.
Many social media users have also launched campaigns demanding the return of several diamonds in the possession of the British royal family back to countries they were taken from.