A black diamond weighing a staggering 555.55 carats is going up for auction at Sotheby’s and is expected to fetch as much as $6.8 million.
Sotheby’s Dubai said it is the largest faceted Fancy Black Diamond known to ever appear at auction and was listed as the largest cut diamond in the world in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records.
But the gem is especially unique given that some scientists believe that it may have actually grown in outer space and fell to the Earth’s surface at some point in the past four to five billion years.
This particular type of black diamond is also called carbonado diamond — and this one has earned the nickname The Enigma from Sotheby’s.
Carbonados of this structure have only been found in Brazil and the Central African Republic, and scientists have long theorized about their origins.
‘They are shrouded in mystery as to the origin or formation because there’s not that many of them found on Earth,’ geologist Aaron Celestian, the curator of mineral sciences at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, told Reuters.
Celestian said that most carbonados are about 2.6 to 3.2 billion years old.
As Earth itself dates back to 4.65 billion years ago, carbonados were formed when Earth’s plates were still moving and the oxygenation of the atmosphere was taking place, he said.
‘We think that they could have formed super deep within the Earth’s interior, far deeper than what we know already of diamonds. There’s hypotheses that suggest that they formed at impact sites where a large asteroid hit Earth,’ Celestian said.
‘There’s also interstellar hypotheses that suggest that they grew in space and then later fell on the surface of Earth.’
According to Sotheby’s, this diamond was either created by ‘meteoric impacts producing natural chemical vapor deposition’ or it’s of ‘extraterrestrial’ origin, and was brought to earth by a ‘diamond-bearing asteroid.’
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SOURCE: Reuters / Daily Mail