Royal gift or ‘stolen’ gem? Calls for UK to return 500 carat Great Star of Africa diamond to Kenya Published duration 27 November 2016
media caption WATCH: Great Star of Africa, one of Africa’s most famous diamonds
Diamonds are for eternity and only a few diamonds in the world are likely to outlive ours, experts say. But what if one day they are stolen?
The stone that makes its owner’s heart beat is the one on which he or she has the freedom to live their dream. So what if its owner were in grave danger as a result of the theft of a diamond, leaving them without the means to live out that dream?
That is what happened to an elderly Canadian diamond jeweler in Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, who decided to give away most of his wealth to charity.
The man, who has never given any interviews before, gave away some of his most precious possessions – including a diamond ring of over 500 carats, as well as his entire collection of more than 500 diamonds – to charity just days before he was due to return.
“I was going to give away more things, just small things,” he told BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.
“Once I am financially stable, I will do a large donation, once I am financially stable.”
He said he had no regrets about doing so, adding: “I don’t regret anything to give anything to anyone.”
image copyright Reuters image caption The elderly man chose to gift all his jewellery to the Royal British Legion after his wife became diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
But he is clearly struggling now to pay rent and feed his four daughters.
He is now living in a rented house with his daughters and has lost his job as a diamond cutter, which is why he needs the money.
We asked the man why he donated to charity.
He said: “I don’t know about the charity, I think it is an organization in Kenya for the people who have been orphaned by the war.
“They are the ones who have been in conflict for so long. We are kind here, we do good things for one another.”
His eldest daughter – aged 17 – said her dad told her not to worry about what happens to him.
“He said as long as he is alive and can still work, then he has given everything to his family.