UPDATE: The auction finished this afternoon, and the winning bid was $2,843,623.
Hurry! The infamous “ Golden Eye” diamond is up for auction in Cleveland, and it can be yours when the bidding closes today at 3 p.m.
Of course, you do need to beat the current top bid, which was $1,523,613 as of this morning. And even that may not be enough — the reserve, or the unstated minimum amount the seller is willing to accept, has not yet been met.
The seller happens to be the U.S. Marshals Service, which seized the diamond from a businessman in northeastern Ohio named Paul Monea. He was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy in 2007. Prosecutors said he tried to sell the diamond and an estate once owned by boxer Mike Tyson for $19.5 million and a boat. The “buyer” he approached happened to be an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug dealer. Monea was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
The auction is being run online by Bid4Assets of Silver Spring, Md. You can find details at http://www.bid4assets.com/auction/index.cfm?auctionID=504373.
The rock weighs 43.51 carats, and the auctioneer adds, “A Master Gemologist Appraiser has thoroughly researched the provenance of this diamond, reviewing all available documents regarding known stolen historic diamonds. At this time there is no evidence that links this diamond to any known stolen or missing diamonds in the United States or abroad.”
The bidding began Tuesday morning at a starting price of $900,000, and as of late morning today there four bids. You can expect things to get a bit more serious as the 3 p.m. deadline approaches.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime offer. If you have the money.