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Enigma Black Diamond: 555.55-Carat Gem Likely from Outer Space Now for Sale

Have you heard about the 555-carat black diamond found in Dubai? Multinational auction corporation Sotheby’s announced Monday that a rare black diamond called the Enigma will be up for auction. The 555.5-carat stone first gained recognition in 2006 when it set the Guinness World Record as the largest known black diamond in the world.

Besides being the first of its size, the Enigma black diamond is also the first black diamond at a public auction since 2001. Plus, scientists believe the rare black diamond is likely a gemstone from outer space!

The Enigma black diamond, found in Dubai currently, offers bidders a chance to own a one-of-a-kind, extraterrestrial diamond. The stone will be displayed in Dubai and Los Angeles before the online auction.

Given Dubai’s status as a metropolis of stunning architecture, luxury retail, and 130 world records, it’s the perfect place to display an equally out-of-this-world stone like the Enigma!

Sotheby’s announcement on January 17, 2022, marks the first time the massive 555-carat black diamond has been put up for auction or publicly displayed. However, the Enigma wasn’t just discovered.

So, when and where was the Enigma black diamond found? Read on for the answers to all your burning questions about the Enigma black diamond!


What We Know About the Enigma Black Diamond

First, where was the Enigma diamond found?

It’s currently unclear where the Enigma black diamond’s owner found the gem. According to Sotheby’s, the owner is an “anonymous consignor,” but we know that he found the massive black diamond rough sometime in the 1990s.

After finding the raw stone, the Enigma’s owner had it cut into its current shape and graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and Gübelin Gem Lab. Both organizations classified the gemstone as a “fancy natural black diamond.”

The Enigma diamond doesn’t have a standard shape, but rather a freeform faceted cut. The 555.5-carat black diamond maintains its “5” theme with 55 facets — an impressive feat most lapidarists (gem-cutters) probably wouldn’t even attempt.

Adding to its prestige, the Enigma black diamond is both the world’s largest faceted black diamond and the world’s largest faceted diamond – period!

The Meaning Behind the Enigma’s Shape

The Enigma’s overall shape is inspired by the hamsa, a hand facing palm-out named after the Arabic word for “five.”

In Middle Eastern culture, the Hamsa (or Hand of Fatima) is an ancient talisman believed to protect from harm, particularly the evil eye. The evil eye is a supernatural curse given through a glare. Carrying a hamsa or evil eye talisman is believed to protect you from the curse.

Buddhists and Hindus associate the Hamsa with the chakras, the five elements, and the five Ayurvedic mudras used to awaken each element in the body.

Since we don’t know who owns the Enigma, we can’t know why they chose the hamsa for the huge black diamond. Regardless, the rich history attached to the hamsa only adds to the Enigma black diamond’s intrigue!


All About the Enigma Black Diamond Auction Details

Sotheby’s will display the Enigma black diamond in Dubai’s International Financial Center from January 17-20, 2022. The gem will be displayed in Los Angeles from January 24-26 before heading to London on February 2.

The Enigma auction will be February 3-9. It is a no-reserve online auction, meaning there’s no minimum bid and the highest bidder will win, regardless of price.

Sotheby’s will accept cryptocurrency payments. Bidding registration is currently open online to the public. The auction house predicts that the Enigma black diamond will sell for $4.1-$6.8 million at least.

As if it couldn’t get more remarkable, gemologists theorize that the Enigma came from outer space. So, is it true?


Are Black Diamonds from Space?

The Enigma could likely be a diamond from space, according to scientific theories. It’s near-impossible to prove, as it would’ve come to Earth millions of years ago, but evidence shows the jewel didn’t form on Earth.

Sotheby’s described the Enigma as a “carbonado diamond,” a type of black diamond with a different chemical makeup and crystal structure than diamonds formed on Earth (terrestrial diamonds).

Carbonado Diamonds vs. Terrestrial Diamonds

The crystal structure of terrestrial diamonds is crystalline with a single line of symmetry. However, carbonado diamonds are polycrystalline, composed of many tiny crystals.

Chemically, terrestrial diamonds are solely composed of carbon, sometimes with minor impurities. In contrast, carbonado diamond is an aggregate of carbon, graphite, and amorphous carbon, a term for a mixture of graphite and diamond in a solid carbon matrix.

Perhaps the most compelling argument for carbonado being a diamond from outer space are the stone’s formation and unusual elements.

Terrestrial diamonds form deep in Earth’s mantle, coming to the surface through volcanic eruptions and typically found in kimberlite rocks. Carbonado diamonds are found in alluvial, sedimentary deposits (where water carries down sediment) near Earth’s surface, never in kimberlite.

Carbonados don’t have minerals from Earth’s mantle either, like pyrope and forsterite. Instead, they contain elements not found in terrestrial diamonds, namely hydrogen, nitrogen, and osbornite.

Osbornite is only found in meteorites. Therefore, scientists theorize carbonado diamonds either came to Earth on a meteorite (possibly forming from a supernovae explosion) or were formed on Earth from chemical vapor deposition caused by a meteorite impact.

Where are black diamonds found?

Carbonados have only been found in Brazil and the Central African Republic and date back 2.6-3.8 billion years ago. At that time, the two locations would’ve been part of Rodinia, a “supercontinent” that predates Pangaea.

Impressed yet? Not only is there really a black diamond from space, but there are plenty more black diamonds for sale that don’t cost millions of dollars!


Black Diamond Options

For most people hunting for a black diamond, the Enigma is probably out-of-budget. Luckily, you can find black diamond gem jewelry at much lower prices!

How valuable is a black diamond?

Black diamonds have a different grading process than white or colored diamond grading. Typically, the black diamond price is lower than the expensive white, blue, or pink diamond prices. Black diamonds weighing 1-3 cts can be $1,500-$3,000 per carat.

One famous black diamond is the “Black Orlov,” a 67.5-carat jewel said to be cursed.

Like many “cursed” gemstones, death seemed to follow the Black Orlov’s owners, including the alleged suicide of the stone’s namesake Princess Nadia Orlov.

Believers in the “curse” tie the origin to theft. Black Orlov is called the “Eye of Brahma” diamond based on rumors of it being stolen from an ancient statue of Brahma, the Hindu creator god, in India.

Like the Black Orlov, the Enigma black diamond is steeped in ancient religious lore, adding to the spectre and awe of this truly remarkable gemstone.

While most of us can’t afford to shell out millions for a black diamond, you can still rock one within your budget. Black diamonds offer the same celestial properties and sophisticated style as the Enigma black diamond, but at a fraction of the cost!


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