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555-carat black diamond offered without reserve at Sotheby’s

‘The Enigma,’ a 555.55 carat black diamond, is being offered without reserve at Sotheby’s. Photos courtesy Sotheby’s
‘The Enigma,’ a 555.55 carat black diamond, is being offered without reserve at Sotheby’s.
Photos courtesy Sotheby’s

A record-breaking intergalactic black diamond weighing 555.55 carats has made its auction debut in a special single-lot sale at Sotheby’s.

Dubbed ‘The Enigma,’ the stone contains exactly 55 facets, making it the largest faceted diamond to ever appear at auction, Sotheby’s reports. Additionally, it is among the largest fancy black natural colour diamonds in the world, as reported by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and Gubelin.

With 55 facets, The Enigma is the largest faceted diamond to ever appear at auction.
With 55 facets, The Enigma is the largest faceted diamond to ever appear at auction.

The Enigma, which is believed to have formed either from a meteoric impact or emerged from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth, is “a true natural phenomenon,” says Nikita Binani, Sotheby’s jewellery specialist & head of sale, London.

“This diamond has been treasured for over two decades by the owner, and the diamond itself has never been exhibited publicly or offered on the open market, so we are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell its story to the world,” she says. “Its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the rarest, billion-year-old cosmic wonders known to humankind.”

The diamond, which was displayed in Dubai (Jan. 17-20), Los Angeles (Jan. 24-26), and is currently in London, will be offered without reserve, with purchase accepted in cryptocurrency.

At press time, the Enigma has 10 bids, the highest of which is £400,000 (C$691,779).

“This is the first time we are introducing our cryptocurrency offering in the UAE, a move that is in line with the government’s own commitment to exploring new digital, technological, and scientific advances,” says Katia Nounou Boueiz, head of Sotheby’s UAE.

The sale will take place online Feb. 9. For more, click here.

Additionally, check out the footage below (courtesy Sotheby’s).

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