Royal gift or ‘stolen’ gem? Calls for UK to return 500 carat Great Star of Africa diamond
Sale of the stone, which was cut illegally in a diamond trading scheme run by billionaire Henry MwanyObjective – which says the stone is not as big as the publicity suggestsObjective – which says the stone is not as big as the publicity suggests
Objective Diamond Research, a UK-based company that owns the diamond, has issued a detailed report saying it is not the big star of Africa, as its website claims.
Objective has called on the UK Government to make the return of the stone – which was cut illegally in a diamond trading scheme run by billionaire Henry Mwany – a priority.
The report, published this week, was commissioned by UK Treasury after Objectives’ chairman and chief executive, Simon Mwansa, appeared on a Channel 4 News programme.
Mwansa said it was “not the big star of Africa” and criticised the BBC for showing the clip, which sparked anger among many in the diamond industry.
The report details the work of research firm Objective Diamond Research Limited, which owns the diamond.
Objective’s head of research, David Mwansa, said the report made it clearer: “In my opinion, it makes it pretty clear this diamond is not the biggest star of Africa.”
Objective, whose website says it has been in business for 11 years, said: “The reality is that the diamond in question is not the largest rock on the planet but, rather, an extremely rare diamond, one of only a handful of diamonds in the world that would have been cut and polished using techniques that are unique to the diamond industry.
“It is therefore not surprising that the stone appears to have had a limited distribution, as the diamond industry has a long-established history of finding these limited editions and there is no reason whatsoever to believe it would not be available on the secondary market, if needed.
“It is my belief, however, that the stone would be an extremely rare one indeed.
“Unfortunately the UK Government’s approach to the case has been far less than transparent.
“It has been left