The largest fancy black natural color diamond ever cut has been put on display by the 277 year-old British auction house Sotheby’s in Dubai ahead of its auction set for early February in London.
Sotheby’s has dubbed the diamond “The Enigma,” and the gemstone was shown to journalists during a tour of Dubai and Los Angeles, The Associated Press reported.
The gemstone is believed to be from space and arrived on earth around 2.6 billion years ago following an asteroid or meteor strike, Sotheby’s jewelry specialist Sophie Stevens said, according to France 24.
The diamond is “thought to have been created either from a meteoric impact or having actually emerged from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth,” Sotheby’s said in the listing.
The gemstone, owned by the same person for 20 years, has been cut down to a 55-faced, 555.55 carat diamond, France 24 reported.
Despite holding a Guinness world record, “The Enigma” has never been seen by the public, and is now ready for sale, France 24 reported. (RELATED: 1,098 Carat Diamond Found In Botswana, Third Largest In The World)
The shape was inspired by a Middle Eastern symbol for power and protection called “the Hamsa,” which is also associated with the number 5, according to France 24.
“There’s a nice theme of the number five running throughout the diamond,” Stevens said.
Sotheby’s expects to fetch at least $6.8 million for the diamond.
Sotheby’s will be accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum and the stablecoin USDC should the buyer wish to use cryptocurrency in the February auction, CoinDesk reported. This decision was made following a successful auction where a 101.38 carat diamond was sold for $12.3 million, paid for in crypto, according to CoinDesk.
“Cryptocurrency will be accepted as payment on the diamond, reflecting the fact that cryptocurrency has started to make its mark in the world of physical art and objects. Sotheby’s leads the way in the jewellery market, and last year The Key 10138 diamond — another rare treasure — was purchased with cryptocurrency for a record price,” Sotheby’s said.
‘The Enigma’ – a treasure from interstellar space and the largest faceted diamond to ever come to auction is unveiled today in Sotheby’s Dubai https://t.co/1nyUAsTe8j #SothebysDiamonds #blackdiamond #SothebysJewels pic.twitter.com/s713AVo14c
— Sotheby’s (@Sothebys) January 17, 2022
“This present sale is a continuation of our efforts to strive to lead the market given the strong cryptocurrency community,” Sotheby’s head of sales in London Nikita Binani told CoinDesk.