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A mysterious black diamond up for grabs

A weekly round-up of news from the world of fashion, cars and auctions

Aaron Celestian, curator, mineral sciences at the Natural History Museum, looks at a 555.55 carat black diamond named The Enigma before it is auctioned at Sotheby's in Beverly Hills. (REUTERS)

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A black diamond, named “The Enigma”, is going up for auction at Sotheby’s next month. Weighing a staggering 555.55 carats, the stone’s bidding opens on 3 February and closes on 9 February.

Sotheby’s said 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, reports Reuters. Experts believe the black diamond, also known as a carbonado diamond, came from outer space. “They are shrouded in mystery as to the origin or formation because there’s not that many of them found on Earth,” geologist Aaron Celestian, the curator of mineral sciences at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, told Reuters. Celestian said most carbonados are about 2.6-3.2 billion years old. “We think that they could have formed super deep within the Earth’s interior, far deeper than what we know already of diamonds. There’s hypotheses that suggest that they formed at impact sites where a large asteroid hit Earth,” Celestian said. “There’s also interstellar hypotheses that suggest that they grew in space and then later fell on the surface of Earth.” The Enigma has not been exhibited before and is expected to sell for between $4 million and $7 million. Cryptocurrency will be accepted for payment of the diamond, the auction house said.

Bentley’s electric plans

Earlier this week, German-owned luxury carmaker Bentley announced its first all-electric vehicle will be ready by 2025. The news came as it unveiled major investment on becoming a fully carbon zero company, reports AFP. In a statement, Bentley said the first battery-powered electric vehicle will be developed and built at its factory in Crewe, northwest England. The carmaker, owned by Volkswagen, added it was investing £2.5 billion ($3.4 billion) “in sustainability over the next ten years”. “It’s an ambitious and credible roadmap to carbon neutrality of our total business,” Bentley chief executive and chairperson Adrian Hallmark added in the statement.

Volkswagen is investing 35 billion euros ($40 billion) into the shift to electric vehicles. It plans to become the world’s largest electric carmaker by 2025.

Oscar de la Renta goes vintage

Luxury fashion house Oscar de la Renta is moving further into the resale business. It will soon be offering customers vintage dresses from shows like Sex And The City and Succession, reports Bloomberg. Since late last year, the designer has been curating looks from past runway collections in its secondhand shop, Encore. In an interview, chief executive officer Alex Bolen said Encore is a valuable tool in retaining and acquiring customers. “We think about resale as a way for us to acquire new customers and most importantly retain existing customers.” The firm sees it “as a fundamental change in luxury fashion going from a consumable or disposable to an asset.”


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