Set phasers on "Wow!"
A reputed piece of the final frontier is slated to go on the auction block as Sotheby's takes bids on a 555.55-carat black diamond dubbed "The Enigma."
Sotheby's expects the rare gem to sell for as much as $6.8 million, and the famed auction house said it will accept cryptocurrency as payment, "reflecting the fact that cryptocurrency has started to make its mark in the world of physical art and objects."
Cryptocurrency Making Its Mark
Cryptocurrency was used last year to purchase The Key 10138 diamond to an unidentified buyer for $12.3 million, Sotheby's said, making it the most expensive piece of jewelry ever sold via crypto.
True to its name, the Enigma's origins are unknown and it believed to have been created from a meteor's impact or emerged from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth.
A natural faceted black diamond of this size is an "extremely rare occurrence," Sotheby's said, and the interstellar phenomenon was listed as the largest cut diamond in the world in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records.
"Its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the rarest, billion-year-old cosmic wonders known to humankind," Nikita Binani, a jewelry specialist at Sotheby's in London, said in a statement.
The Enigma is slated to be auctioned next month in London after being exhibited in Dubai and Los Angeles.
The Eye of Brahma Diamond
Black diamonds, or Carbonado diamonds, go back 2.6 billion to 3.8 billion years and some experts believe they may have been formed in supernova explosions.
The diamonds lack traces of minerals found deep in the Earth’s mantle, which is typical of other diamonds and possess traces of nitrogen, hydrogen, and osbornite, a mineral otherwise found only in meteors.
The 67.5 carat "Black Orlov" is perhaps the most celebrated natural black diamond, according to the International Gem Society.
Also known as the Eye of Brahma Diamond, the Black Orlov is rumored to have been cursed after it was supposedly stolen from a statue of the Hindu god Brahma by a Jesuit priest.
The diamond has been associated with at least three suicides and was later cut into three pieces.
Diamond dealer Dennis Petimezas, who bought the Black Orlov in 2004, reportedly said said he was "pretty confident that the curse is broken."