A 43-carat diamond seized from a convicted money launderer has trebled its starting bid at auction in the US.
The Golden Eye diamond sold for $2.84m at a Bid4Assets online auction organised by the US Marshals Service on September 6, after bids had started at $900,000.
The flawless yellow diamond was seized from the possession of Paul Monea by the FBI in 2006.
The 60-year-old was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment for money laundering in 2007.
It is unknown how the jewel, which Monea used as collateral in financial deals, came into his possession.
New owner Jeere Hentosh told US publication the Canton Repository: "We haven't decided what we're going to do with it yet; it's a speculative purchase," adding that the diamond was "very rare; there's nothing out there like it to compare it to".
The 63-year-old American explained that he had been prepared to pay as much as $7m for the jewel.
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.
Bernie Madoff's 18k gold Rolex Monoblocco 'Prisoner' watch (nicknamed as it was of a similar design to ones sold to British prisoners of war in the second world war), made $65,000 in 2010.
The majority of the Monea diamond's proceeds will reside with the US Marshals Service.
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