The Enigma Diamond Landed from Space
The Enigma natural diamond is a treasure from interstellar space. At a whopping 555.55 carats, it is the largest faceted diamond to come to auction. More than just its size, its cosmic origins and symbolic shape made it a collectible for the ages.
After all, it’s believed that the fancy black diamond was created either from a meteoric impact or a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth.
Sotheby’s is offered the Enigma diamond without reserve in an online auction happening from February 3 to 9. Its estimated value is between $4 and $7 million, but it could sell for much higher because of its record-breaking size and the market’s appetite for unique diamonds. The auction accepted cryptocurrency as payment and sold for £3.2 million/$4.3 million.
A Cosmic Wonder
“Much more than a jewel, it is a unique and precious object of curiosity,” says Nikita Binani, Sotheby’s Jewelry Specialist and Head of Sale, London. “Its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the rarest, billion-year-old cosmic wonders known to humankind.”
Known as a carbonado diamond, these black diamonds date to 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago. While most diamonds are uncovered in igneous kimberlite rock formed deep within the Earth, carbonados are found in alluvial sedimentary deposits, close to or on the Earth’s surface, suggesting extraterrestrial origins.
Diamonds like the Enigma contain traces of nitrogen and hydrogen, both abundant in interstellar space, and, most importantly, osbornite, a mineral uniquely found in meteors. This further underscores the stone’s roots.
A Symbolic Diamond
The Enigma was offered by a private collector who purchased the rough diamond more than 20 years ago. Rather than cut it into stones for jewelry, he had a vision to create something meaningful.
The Enigma’s unique form is inspired by the Middle Eastern palm-shaped symbol, the hamsa—a sign of protection, power and strength. The Hamsa is associated with the number five, which is imbued with symbolic meaning, and the diamond is not only 555.55 carats in size, but it also contains exactly 55 facets, a technical feat for one of the toughest diamonds in existence.
“The Enigma is a marvel of rarity and size, and its brilliance and high polish are a testament to the delicate and highly skilled undertaking of diamond cutting,” said Binani. “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.”