A unique diamond that is valued at around $7 million and which they suggest may have been generated in space is going up for sale next month, Live Science reported.
The 555-carat one-of-a-kind black diamond called “Enigma” was unveiled Tuesday by Sotheby’s Dubai and will be auctioned on Feb. 3 in London, but before that it is scheduled to leave Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where it is currently located, to be displayed in Los Angeles.
According to a statement from Sotheby’s, “thought to have been created either from a meteoric impact or having actually emerged from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth,” although many experts pronounced themselves skeptical of the company’s claim, which may well be more of a sales ploy.
“Not so sure it came from outer space,” Timothy McCoy, the curator of the Smithsonian’s meteorite collection, told NPR.
“Just at the Smithsonian alone, we have about 30,000 different meteorites. None of them contain anything like this. It’s millions of little crystals, all, like, a few microns in size, all stuck together to make this big 555-carat – what is really a rock more than a single crystal,” the expert added.
The Enigma, which has been cut to weigh exactly 555.55 carats and has 55 facets, is believed to be the world’s largest cut black diamond. As Sophie Stevens, the jewelry specialist at Sotheby’s Dubai, told the Associated Press, the number five has an important significance for the diamond.
“The shape of the diamond is based on the Middle-Eastern palm symbol of the Khamsa, which stands for strength and it stands for protection,” she said, and since Khamsa in Arabic means five, “So there’s a nice theme of the number five running throughout the diamond,” Stevens said.
In her argument that the mysterious diamond came from outer space, the expert claims, “With the carbonado diamonds, we believe that they were formed through extraterrestrial origins, with meteorites colliding with the Earth and either forming chemical vapor disposition or indeed coming from the meteorites themselves.”
The fact that the Enigma has been cut off also makes it more difficult to deduce clues about its origin, says Richard Ketcham, a geoscientist at the University of Texas at Austin, according to Live Science reported.
“The outer surfaces of carbonados likely have clues bearing on their origin, which are now probably lost,” added the geoscientist.
Black diamonds, also called carbonados, have previously been found in Brazil or the Central African Republic, although exactly how and where they form remains a mystery.
Sotheby’s estimates Enigma will eventually sell for at least $6.8 million. The auction house will also accept cryptocurrency bids.