Sotheby's is auctioning a rare diamond that is said to be out of this world
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST:
There's a diamond going up for sale. It's said to be out of this world. Get this; it's a black 555.55-carat diamond that fits in the palm of your hand.
A MARTINEZ, HOST:
The auction house Sotheby's says this rare gem may be a treasure from interstellar space. Now, that caught the attention of Tim McCoy.
TIM MCCOY: Not so sure it came from outer space.
ELLIOTT: McCoy's a curator of the meteorite collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
MCCOY: Just at the Smithsonian alone, we have about 30,000 different meteorites. None of them contain anything like this. It's millions of little crystals, all, like, a few microns in size, all stuck together to make this big 555-carat - what is really a rock more than a single crystal.
MARTINEZ: McCoy says the mysterious diamond is known as a carbonado, found only in Brazil and the Central African Republic.
ELLIOTT: No one really knows how carbonadoes formed. Mccoy says it could have happened underground 4 billion years ago.
MCCOY: We think of outer space as this really exotic place; but think of inner Earth as a really exotic place. We don't really know very well what the deep, deep Earth is like. You know, every rock has a story, and we just have to know how to listen to it. And I think this is a rock that we can't quite understand its story yet. But it's going to be a really good one when someone figures it out.
MARTINEZ: Sotheby's gave the diamond a nickname - the enigma. It's expected to sell for 6.8 million bucks at auction next month.
(SOUNDBITE OF RIHANNA'S "DIAMONDS (INSTRUMENTAL)")
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.