‘Extraterrestrial’ black diamond fetches millions

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A unique black diamond – named the Enigma – was sold for $4,292,322 at an online auction held by Sotheby’s on Wednesday. The auction house said the buyer chose to pay for the gem in cryptocurrency.

Sotheby’s did not disclose the name of the buyer, however after the event cryptocurrency entrepreneur Richard Heart claimed on Twitter that he had bought the gem and said he would rename it the ‘HEX.com diamond’, after the blockchain platform he founded.

The stone – weighing 555.55 carats (111 grams) and containing 55 facets – has been named the world’s largest cut diamond by the Guinness World Records. It’s bigger than the Golden Jubilee diamond of 545.67 carats, which belongs to the King of Thailand.

The Enigma is a so-called carbonado – a natural diamond that appears black and opaque because it’s composed of randomly oriented and innumerable tiny diamond grains. The aggregated structure of carbonados makes them the toughest diamonds, nearly impossible to cut and polish.

Carbonados are extremely rare, they date from billions of years ago and are believed to have originated from space, as they contain osbornite, a mineral uniquely found in meteors.

Sotheby’s has described the black diamond as “one of the rarest, billion-year-old wonders known to humankind” possibly of “extraterrestrial origins.”

It’s not the only such gem in existence – there are also the Black Orlov and the Amsterdam Diamond but those stones are much smaller, weighing only 67.50 carats and 33.74 carats respectively.

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