For 18 years bearded old Jacobus J. Jonker got poorer, greyer and dingier washing South African gravel in the prospector's enduring hope of someday finding a diamond as big as an egg at his feet. Three miles away from his miserable diggings at Elandsfontein another prospector had found the Cullinan Diamond, big as an orange, one hot January day in 1905. A $5,000 find several years ago enabled Jacobus Jonker to hire a black Kaffir boy to do his digging. One of the Jonker sons was watching the black one day last...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!