The federal government is auctioning a 43.51-carat, flawless, fancy yellow diamond that was once at the centre of a money laundering scheme (via Forbes).The massive stone, known as “Golden Eye,” was seized in a drug sting in 2006 when an Ohio businessman tried to sell it to undercover agents posing as brokers for a South American drug cartel.
The businessman, Paul Monea, was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy in 2007; he tried to sell a 62-acre estate to the same agents, the Ohio Beacon Journal reported at the time.
The minimum bid for the rare stone is $900,000, according to Bid4Assets, the company conducting the auction.
But how much is it really worth?
According to The Plain Dealer:
In a 2009 interview, [Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert] Bulford said the diamond is unique, so that it is difficult to place a value on it. He said it could be worth as little as $3 million or as much as $20 million.
[Deputy U.S. Marshal Ryan] Helfrich agreed, saying the texture of the diamond is crystal with a “very, very slight” internal graining. He called the crown a brilliant cut with 25 facets.
“While we can’t be sure, we are expecting national and international bids,” Helfrich said. “What it is worth on the market is subjective. I’ve seen online articles saying it is worth between $15 million and $20 million, but it’s real worth will be how much the highest bidder is willing to spend.”
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