DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Sotheby’s Dubai auction house has unveiled a diamond that is literally out of this world.
Sotheby’s calls the 555.55-carat black diamond — believed to have come from outer space — “The Enigma.” The rare gem was shown to journalists on Monday as part of a tour in Dubai and Los Angeles before going up for auction in London in February.
Sotheby’s expects the diamond to be sold for at least $6.8 million. The auction house plans to accept cryptocurrency as a possible payment as well.
Sophie Stevens, a jewelry specialist at Sotheby’s Dubai, told The Associated Press that the number five has significant significance for the diamond, which also has 55 facets.
“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. Khamsa means five in Arabic.
“So there’s a nice theme from the number five that runs through the diamond,” she added.
Stevens also said the black diamond probably comes from space.
“With the carbonado diamonds, we believe they were formed of extraterrestrial origin, with meteorites colliding with Earth and either forming chemical vapor or even coming from the meteorites themselves,” she said.
Black diamonds, also known as carbonado, are extremely rare and occur naturally only in Brazil and Central Africa. The cosmic origin theory is based on their carbon isotopes and their high hydrogen content.