"Its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the rarest, billion-year-old cosmic wonders known to humankind."
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The 555.55-carat 'Enigma' Black Diamond
Credit: Michael Bowles/Courtesy of Sotheby's

An extremely rare 555.55-carat diamond, believed to have been created in space, is headed to auction next month.

"The Enigma," a massive black diamond is going to auction through Sotheby's and is believed to be created either from a meteoric impact or from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth.

"This diamond has been treasured for over two decades by the owner, and the diamond itself has never been exhibited publicly or offered on the open market, so we are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell its story to the world," Nikita Binani, Sotheby's Jewellery Specialist & Head of Sale in London, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. "Its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the rarest, billion-year-old cosmic wonders known to humankind."

"The Enigma" is both the largest Fancy Black Natural Colour diamond in the world and the largest cut diamond in the world.

Carbonado, or black diamonds, are believed to date back from 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago, according to Sotheby's. They are one of the hardest materials known to man and extremely difficult to cut and polish, thus making this diamond even more unique.

And the diamond has a particularly auspicious numerological meaning. Not only is the diamond 555.55 carats, it has exactly 55 facets. And its shape was inspired by the Hamsa, the Middle Eastern symbol of the palm, signifying protection, power, and strength. The Hamsa is traditionally associated with the number five.

The diamond was first on display in Dubai and is currently in Los Angeles where it will be on display from Jan. 24-26. The diamond will then travel to London, where it will be visible from Feb. 2-9. Bidding for the diamond will open online from Feb. 3 through 9.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.