Extremely rare 555.55-carat black diamond 'from outer space' to be auctioned in London

The 55-faceted rare gem is likely to sell for £5 million. Credit: AP/PA

An "extremely rare" 555.55 black diamond that is quite literally out of this world will be up for auction for millions of pounds in London next month.

The diamond, named The Enigma and is believed to have come from outer space, was unveiled by auction house Sotheby’s Dubai.

According to the auction house, it is the largest faceted Fancy Black Diamond known to ever appear at auction and was listed as the largest cut diamond in the world in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records.

Press were shown the 55-faceted gem, described as a "treasure from interstellar space", as part of a tour in Dubai and Los Angeles before it is due to be auctioned off in London in February.

Sotheby’s expects the diamond will be sold for at least £5 million - such a high sum that the auction house will accept cryptocurrency as a possible payment.

Black diamonds, also known as carbonado, are extremely rare and found naturally only in Brazil and Central Africa.

An employee of Sotheby’s Dubai presents the 555.55 carat black diamond Credit: Kamran Jebreili/AP

Explaining where The Enigma is likely to have come from, Sophie Stevens of Sotheby's Dubai, said: “With the carbonado diamonds, we believe that they were formed through extraterrestrial origins, with meteorites colliding with the Earth and either forming chemical vapour disposition, or indeed coming from the meteorites themselves."

The cosmic origin theory is based on their carbon isotopes and high hydrogen content.

Ms Stevens, who is a jewellery specialist at the auction house, said the number five bears an important significance to the diamond.

“The shape of the diamond is based on the Middle Eastern palm symbol of the Khamsa, which stands for strength and it stands for protection,” she said.

Khamsa in Arabic means five.

She added: “So there’s a nice theme of the number five running throughout the diamond."

The Enigma will be up for auction between February 3 - 9 in London.