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Index – Science – Didn’t the world’s largest diamond come from space?

It is now the first time the crystal has been presented to the general public, as its owner has hidden it for more than two decades. The mysterious, shrouded auctioneer and owner are hoping for $7 million ($2.2 billion) for 555 carats and 555 carats (111 grams) at auction February 3-9.

This diamond is unique not only because of its unusual color, weight and shape, but also because it probably came from space. Enigma is one of the rarest billions of cosmic wonders known to mankind, and 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago The auction house said it hit Earth with a smashing meteorite or asteroid.

Like white diamonds, black was made of pure carbon and pressed into crystals under tremendous pressures. The only question is, did the miracle happen here deep in the earth, in the Earth’s mantle, or in another part of the universe? Now many scientists have spoken, and unlike the auction house, the ground configuration is considered more likely.

We didn’t know black diamonds for a long time: they were first discovered in 1841 by a Portuguese explorer in Brazil, who called it “carbonado” because at first it looked like simple pieces of coal.

Black, white, yes, no

Sotheby’s also describes Enigma as a carbon diamond, which is black because it contains high-density opaque mineral inclusions. While the luster and luster of white diamonds are given by a regular tetrahedral crystal structure, the carbon atoms in black diamonds are bound together in a complex hexagonal structure. That’s why they don’t shine.

Enigma is also special because it has a darker shade than many of its other counterparts. It also contains uranium-rich phosphate, which generates “radiant halos” around surface pores, which trap light.

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Are you up or down?

Can not rule out that a file carbonad, including Enigma, are truly aliens, the auction house declares. Hidden black diamonds were found in meteorites, but they were usually very small, not even close to a standard crystal. Therefore, geologists say that it is unlikely that such a large piece could have passed to us from other worlds.

Other theories suggest that they may have flown here on larger vehicles, such as asteroids that collided with Earth, and that diamonds were made in incorruptible supernovae, but so far neither idea has been supported by sufficient evidence.

Enigma’s home is likely as well

Specifically, in infernal places with a surface pressure of 1300 degrees Celsius and fifty thousand times the surface, at a depth of one or two thousand meters below our feet, where organic carbon is compressed into hard-bonded crystals by the forces of titanium, and we only need some volcanoes to bring it up To the surface – and happily before our very eyes – avoid uncut gems.

Interestingly, all known carbonado species are found exclusively in Brazil or the Central African Republic. The only reason it’s baffling is that the oldest of them is estimated to be around 3.8 billion years old. Although they are identical, the two countries were probably neighbors on the giant subcontinent formerly known as Rodinia,

But it is very embarrassing that there was no trace of life at that time.

Therefore, organic matter, such as carbon, cannot accumulate in large quantities. It took more than three and a half billion years for the carboniferous to suddenly become so large that we are still mining the remains of thriving plants.

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So it is not yet clear how the black diamond was formed. And Enigma doesn’t give up easily either, not least because it’s been beautifully and thoroughly cut and polished, removing any traces of it that could point to its provenance. It can only be trusted that the new owner will never again hide it from prying eyes and, instead of hiding it in his private collection, will present it to the public.

(Cover image: The world’s largest polished diamond, the Black Diamond, at Sotheby’s auction house in Dubai on January 17, 2022. Photo: Giuseppe Cacas/AFP)