A large and rare yellow diamond has finally made it on the auction block from a money laundering case that took place in Ohio in 2007.
The U.S. Marshal’s Service put up the diamond, known as the Golden Eye Diamond, for auction on Tuesday starting with a minimum bid of $900,000. The diamond has already attracted offers and bidding will continue until Thursday.
The diamond was originally set to go to auction in January of 2011 but following a delay it finally made it to auction on Tuesday.
Since the diamond has been up for auction, 43,000 people have visited the auction site. Thus far, four bids had been submitted, one of them for $1.5 million.
A convicted money launderer and conspirator, Paul Monea, reportedly owned the diamond and attempted to sell the diamond to an undercover FBI agent that was known as “John Rizzo.” The FBI agent posed as a rep for a South American coke cartel.
Monea earned his fortune selling Tae-Bo videos in late night infomercials but reportedly spent much of his wealth on expensive cars and Mike Tyson’s former mansion in northeastern Ohio.
He attempted to sell Rizo both the diamond and the former Tyson estate for $19.5 million and a boat.
The Golden Eye Diamond is a flawless 43.5-carat Canary Yellow diamond that is believed to derive from the Kimberley region of South Africa. The diamond is said to be valued at $5 million and is reportedly the world’s largest diamond of that particular cut and color.
Mario Ianelli, co-owner of Ianelli Diamonds in Manhattan told the New York Daily News, “There’s nothing else like this diamond. It’s one of a kind.”