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The Story of 'The Jonker Diamond' (1936)

Approved | | Documentary, Short | 28 March 1936 (USA)
Re-enactment of how the 726-carat Jonker diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1905 by the family of Jacobus Jonker; how it was sold to Harry Winston; and how it was cut by Lazarre Kaplan.

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Storyline

In 1905, the cullinan diamond, the largest diamond in the world, was found near Pretoria, South Africa. General speculation was that it was once part of a larger diamond, that remaining portion still undiscovered. This led to a stampede of prospectors to the area, including a young man named Jacobus Jonker. As other prospectors gave up the search over the years, Jonker continued on this single minded search to the detriment of his family's welfare. But as close to two decades went past, his son, now a young man himself, joined his father's search. But as the elder Jonker gave up because of what he saw as the hardship he had caused his family, his son stumbled across a heavier than normal clay stone, which encased that long missing diamond, and what today is known as the 726 carat jonker diamond. As news of the find spread across the world, many interested buyers submitted bids, the winning bid eventually being that of famed New York jeweler Harry Winston, who received his new buy ... Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

Approved
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Release Date:

28 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Jonker Diamond  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.16 (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Short for the Legendary Director
28 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

Story of 'The Jonker Diamond', The (1936)

*** (out of 4)

Extremely interesting short has Pete Smith telling us about the title diamond, which at the time was the biggest stone ever found. After word of the large diamond got out, thousands of people went searching for it in Africa but one family finally found the thing after eighteen years of digging. Once the diamond was sold, a professional cutter had to decide the best way to get a profit out of the thing that was bought for one million dollars. I love coming across shorts like this that tell a very interesting story and that's the reason why I constantly record them because you never know when you'll get a real gem like this. I had never heard of this story so perhaps that's why I found it so interesting but I thought the first half of the film, dealing with the digging, was made very well but so was the second half when we learn what it takes to actually cut a diamond. Director Tourneur using this second half to create a great scene of tension when they go to make the first cut, which, if done wrong, could destroy the diamond. Fans of his will certainly like seeing this early example from the master but even those not familiar with his work should find plenty to enjoy here.


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