A self-described “little guy” from Cortland, Ohio, who builds houses and dabbles in gems on the side, submitted the winning bid at this week’s bid4assets online auction, and is now the proud owner of a 43 ct. internally flawless yellow diamond.
While the company had predicted the price could climb as high as $20 million, the winner, Jerre Hentosh, scored with a $2.8 million bid.
The stone, once nicknamed the “Golden Eye,” originally belonged to Ohio businessman Paul Monea. Monea was later convicted of money laundering in a scheme to hide the proceeds of drug trafficking, according to court documents. Federal marshalls seized the stone and gave it to bid4assets, which auctioned it off Sept. 6-8. (View the listing.)
Hentosh, whose name was first revealed by a local newspaper, tells JCK that he became interested in the stone after seeing it on the national news.
“I know a little bit more about diamonds than the average individual,” he says. “This one caught my eye so I figured I’d bid on it.”
Still, Hentosh never expected to win, and is “still in shock” from it. And while he’s not sure exactly what he will do with the gem in question, he is entertaining offers.
“I’m hoping someone calls me up and throws me out a nice number,” he says. “I already heard from a museum. This stone is so rare. I see Christie’s is auctioning off Liz Taylor’s jewelry. This stone is bigger than her 30-carat stone. It’s bigger than Kim Kardashian’s.”
And if he gets no buyers, there is always a fallback plan.
“My 45th anniversary is tomorrow,” he says. “My wife is thinking what a nice present that would be.”