Record-Breaking Black Diamond From Space Fetches Millions At Auction 

Black diamonds are not uncommonly known as one of the toughest materials to cut in existence, but one special black diamond dubbed “The Enigma” is making headlines. The Enigma is a 555.55-carat Fancy Black Diamond that was first featured in headlines for holding the Guinness World Record as the largest cut diamond in the world featuring 55 facets. 

The Gemological Institute of America and the House of Gübelin both declared The Enigma black diamond is the largest known of its kind making it the Guinness World Record book in 2006. The House of Gübelin is a Swiss, family-owned firm founded in 1854 gaining a reputation as a luxury purveyor of high-end gemstones, jewelry, and watches known for their unmatched level of expertise. 

The Enigma diamond is believed to have extraterrestrial origins as rare black diamonds to contain small amounts of hydrogen and nitrogen that are estimated to be up to 2 billion years old according to carbon testing. Another term for black diamonds is carbonados which are believed to be formed out of a meteoric impact on Earth deriving from blasting out of the asteroid itself.                        

Though The Enigma broke records in 2006, the first time the black diamond was shown publicly was in January 2022 at the Dubai Diamond Exchange before arriving at the London Sotheby’s auction house. A jewelry specialist of Sotheby’s Dubai, Sophie Stevens, explains the shape of the unique diamond was inspired by the Middle Eastern palm symbol of Hamsa (five translated in Arabic) that stands for protection and strength with the number five serving as a central meaning for features of the jewel. 

The previous owner of the black diamond remains anonymous without details of where or how it came into existence. Traditional standards prize diamonds based on clarity and absence of color with black carbonados are not normally used in jewelry with the primary use for industrial drilling. 

Over the last several years, natural black diamonds are being recognized as a prized commodity. With the growing desire for black diamonds, The Enigma sold at auction for $4.3 million (£3.8 million) without a reserve price with the high value attributed to the unique cut and finish of the black diamond. 

The limited history behind The Enigma black diamond started with the purchase of the raw gemstone in the late 1990s weighing over 800 carats in the rough. It took artisans over three years to sculpt the black diamond into the current shape with rare features with 55 facets with a high degree of polish that is ‘almost inconceivable’ according to Tobias Kormind, the managing director and co-founder of the online European jeweler 77Diamonds. Kormind also notes the common practice of cutting a diamond comes down to 10 traditional shapes that are more popular, but The Enigma is unique for the shape resembling a hand. The Enigma diamond was estimated to sell for $6 million but at least the owner gets the bragging rights to owning the world’s largest cut diamond.