Black diamond so rare it’s in the Guiness Book of Records can be bought with crypto

Sotheby’s will accept cryptocurrency for the rare diamond. (Credits: EPA)

A rare black diamond listed in the Guinness World Record as the largest cut diamond can be had with a bit of Bitcoin.

That’s because it’s expected to sell for between $4 -7 million (£3 – 5 million) at auction, and could be bought using cryptocurrency.

At that price (£5 million), you’d need about 160 Bitcoins to make the purchase.

Dubbed the ‘Enigma’, the 555.55 carat black diamond, went on public display at the Sotheby’s Dubai gallery in Dubai today, for the first time ahead of its sale.

According to Sotheby’s auction house’s jewellery specialist Sophie Stevens, the rare black carbanado diamond is believed to have been created when a meteorite or an asteroid hit the Earth more than 2.6 billion years ago.

One of the most difficult substances to cut, the 555.55-carat diamond has never been shown by its unnamed owner of the past 20 years, but experts turned it into a 55-face jewel.

Its shape was inspired by the Middle East palm-shaped symbol of power and protection, the Hamsa, which is also associated with the number five.

Sotheby’s says it expects to fetch between $4.1 million and $6.8 million. (Credits: AP)

‘It is very different,’ said Stevens, describing the jewel which will be the largest to ever appear at auction when it hits the market in February.

After being on show in Dubai, the ‘Enigma’ will then be taken to Los Angeles and London, before a seven-day online auction scheduled for February 3.

Sotheby’s calls the gem a ‘cosmic wonder’ and is willing to accept cryptocurrency for it, which the auction house has done for other important stones.

Last year in Hong Kong, the Key 10138 diamond sold for 12.3 million dollars and was paid for in cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin basics: what you need to know about the cryptocurrency

Bitcoin is a completely digital peer-to-peer currency (Credits: Getty Images)

Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, which is a virtual or digital currency – like an online version of cash.

It works without a central bank or any formal regulation and is usually exchanged from person-to-person when it is sold or exchanged.

Way back in 2008, someone called Satoshi Nakamoto published a nine-page white paper detailing a vision for Bitcoin — described as a ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash system’ that would function outside the reach of governments.

A few months later, Nakamoto released software that allowed users to ‘mine’ for the cryptocurrency.

Essentially, mining involves a computationally-intensive process to create new Bitcoins. The more Bitcoins are mined, the harder the process becomes – requiring more computer power which gives Bitcoin its environmentally-negative reputation.

There are only a finite amount of Bitcoins that can ever be produced and circulated which gives it its scarcity and, in theory, value.

People can track their ownership of Bitcoin by using a cryptocurrency wallet, which is a digital way to exchange payments.

It is easy to track as details are stored in a ledger called blockchain, which is publicly accessible and it includes all confirmed transactions.

The value of the cryptocurrency fluctuates all the time in a similar way to more conventional currencies.


‘The Enigma’ has never been publicly displayed or sold and has been held in the same collection for more than 20 years, auction house Sotheby’s said in a statement.

The 555.55-carat diamond has never been shown by its unnamed owner of the past 20 years(Credits: EPA)

The diamond is being offered with no reserve, meaning that it will sell to the highest bidder no matter the price, but Sotheby’s says it expects to fetch between $4.1 million and $6.8 million.

In 2006, the jewel was named the largest cut diamond in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, two years after both the Gemological Institute of America and Gübelin, a Swiss gem house, named it the largest fancy black natural colour diamond in the world. 

The gem’s unique design was inspired by the Hamsa, a Middle Eastern symbol of a hand meant to offer protection that is associated with the number five, which is reflected in both the diamond’s 555.55 carats and its 55-facet cut, Sotheby’s said.

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