The Story of 'The Jonker Diamond' (1936)

Approved   |    |  Documentary, Short

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

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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28 October 2009 | Michael_Elliott
Nice Short for the Legendary Director
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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