Space diamond? All about the Enigma gem of the auction world

Date:5 February 2022 Tags:

The world is gushing over a slick black diamond that, in size and weight, has made all other diamonds mere star specs in comparison. It’s believed to be the largest cut diamond on the planet, is older than the dinosaurs and is up for auction at just under R100 million. But where did the Enigma diamond come from and why is it shrouded in quite so much mystery?

Here’s what we know: 

It’s a rare kind of black diamond

The Enigma black diamond is described by Sotheby’s as a carbonado diamond “a Portuguese name given to black diamonds in the 19th century”. A carbonado diamond is a type of black diamond and exhibits ‘radiation halos’ on the surface, making them opaque and much darker than other black diamonds. 

It’s considered extremely heavy for a diamond

Although it weighs roughly the same as a banana, the Enigma diamond is considered a hefty champion in comparison to other gems, weighing in at 555.5 carats. It was also listed as the largest cut diamond in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records.

It’s believed to be ancient 

The Enigma diamond is older than the dinosaurs on the basis that black diamonds are usually around 2.6 to 3.2 billion years old. 

It’s considered a natural phenomenon 

Because it is the biggest faceted diamond ever to appear at an auction, some consider it a ‘true natural phenomenon’.

It’s origins are shrouded in mystery 

Because of its natural faced nature and size, the diamond’s origins are somewhat shrouded in mystery said Sotheby’s.

Some theories claim that it is from space

Because of its mysterious origins, it’s thought that the diamond was created either from meteoric impact or a diamond-bearing asteroid that potentially collided with Earth, according to the auction house.

Its shape is inspired by the Middle Eastern Khamsa symbol which signals protection power and strength. The number 5 is associated with Khamsa, with the Arabic word translating to ‘five’. The diamond shares the same association as it is 555.55 carats and contains 55 facets.

The Enigma’s bidding began on 3 February and will end on February 9 as conducted by Sotheby’s UAE.

Picture: Supplied

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