Kamran Jebreili / AP
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The auction house Sotheby’s Dubai 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 space – “The Enigma.” The rare gem was shown to journalists on Monday as part of a tour of Dubai and Los Angeles before being auctioned off in February in London.
Sotheby’s expects the diamond to sell for at least 5 million British pounds ($ 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 number five has an important meaning for the diamond, which also has 55 facets.
“The shape of the diamond is based on the Middle Eastern palm symbol of Khamsa, which stands for strength and it stands for protection,” she said. Khamsa in Arabic means five.
“So it’s a nice theme for number five that goes through the diamond,” she added.
Stevens also said that the black diamond probably comes from space.
“With the carbonado diamonds, we believe they were formed through extraterrestrial origin, with meteorites colliding with the earth and either forming chemical vapor disposition or actually coming from the meteorites themselves,” she said.
Black diamonds, also known as carbonado, are extremely rare and are found naturally only in Brazil and Central Africa. The cosmic theory of origin is based on their carbon isotopes and high hydrogen content.