There are some stones that come up for sale which are literally out of this world, and the “Enigma” is one of them. The Enigma black diamond has never been publicly offered for sale before, and is due to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s next month with an estimate of between US$4.1 million and US$6.8 million (AU$5.7 million – AU$9.5 million).
The official weight of the Enigma is a nicely rounded 555.55 carats, making it the largest cut diamond in the world, a fact that was recognised in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records. As well as Guinness certifying its status, both the GIA and Gübelin have separately studied the stone, confirming it as a natural fancy black diamond.
However, as its name suggests, the origins of the Enigma aren’t perfectly understood. In the lot details outlined by Sotheby’s, the Enigma is, “thought to have been created either from a meteoric impact or having actually emerged from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth.” You read that right: an extraterrestrial diamond.
“With the carbonado (black) diamonds, we believe that they were formed through extraterrestrial origins, with meteorites colliding with the Earth and either forming chemical vapour disposition or indeed coming from the meteorites themselves,” said Sophie Stevens, jewellery specialist at Sotheby’s Dubai, to the Associated Press.
Black diamonds are only found naturally in South Africa and Brazil, making them extremely rare. As a result of this rarity, and the Enigma’s carbon isotopes and high hydrogen content, the theory of it being from outer space was posited as being most likely.
If all that wasn’t compelling enough, the Enigma also features 55 facets across its surface, neatly tying into its carat weight. It has also been cut to resemble the Middle-Eastern palm symbol called Hamsa, which not only represents strength and protection, but also means “five” in Arabic.
The Enigma is due to be auctioned at an upcoming Sotheby’s sale from February 3rd to 9th and will tour around the world at exhibitions in Dubai, Los Angeles, and London. The black diamond will be sold without reserve and Sotheby’s are also accepting cryptocurrency as payment for the Enigma.