A 43-carat diamond seized from a convicted money launderer is coming to auction in the US.
Known as the Golden Eye, the huge flawless diamond will be sold at an online auction organised by the US Mashal's Service on September 6 with a $900,000 starting bid.
It was seized by the FBI from the possession of Paul Monea in 2006 and will go under the hammer through online auctioneer Bid4Assets.
The 60-year-old was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment for money laundering in 2007.
It is unknown how Monea came to own the jewel, which he used as collateral in financial agreements.
The value of the diamond is the matter for much conjecture among jewellery collectors.
"It could be $3m, or it could be $20m," assistant US attorney Robert Bulford told Ohio-based website CantonRep.com.
A set of his wife Ruth Madoff's 14-carat diamond earrings sold for $70,000 last year, more than trebling their $21,000 estimate.
And a similar case is currently being played out in the UK.
A giant gem known as the Wrekin Ruby, which had a forged valuation of £11m, sold for just £8,000 in 2010.
The gem is currently up for auction again, and attracting plenty of interest due to the possibility that it may contain several rubies.
It goes to show that when it comes to valuable jewels it is always important for collectors to do their homework.
Paul Fraser Collectibles will bring you the results from the Golden Eye auction next month.
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