Sotheby’s to Accept Crypto as Payment in Auction of Rare 100-Carat Diamond

Sotheby's diamond auction Bitcoin

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A BRITISH auction house that’s nearly 300 years old has said it will accept cryptocurrency as payment in a £10 million diamond auction.

Sotheby’s has announced that whoever buys the rare 101.38 carat pear-shaped D colour flawless gem, known as The Key 10138, will be able to use either Bitcoin or Ethereum to settle the bill.

According to Sky News, it’s the first time that such a stone has been available to buy with crypto.

The winning bid will still be allowed to use fiat currency if they choose, but the sale in Hong Kong on July 9, 2021, has been dubbed a “symbolic moment” by Yu Wenhao, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia.

He said: “This is a truly symbolic moment. The most ancient and emblematic denominator of value can now, for the first time, be purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency.

“Never was there a better moment to bring a world-class diamond such as this to the market.”

A significant moment in the evolution of the market


A Sotheby’s spokesperson added: “Diamonds of this importance are exceptionally rare, with fewer than ten 100 carat+ examples ever having come to auction, only two of them pear-shaped – making the appearance of this flawless gem a landmark event in itself.

“The fact that cryptocurrency is to be accepted as payment also marks a significant moment in the evolution of the market: no other physical object with an estimate even approaching the US$10-15 million estimate this diamond carries, has ever been publicly offered for purchase with cryptocurrency.”

Josh Pullan, managing director of Sotheby’s Global Luxury Division said demand for jewels and other luxury items is increasingly coming from a younger, digitally native generation.

The diamond’s name – Key 10138 – is a nod to the function of digital keys in the world of NFTs and cryptocurrency.

Bids open on June 25 and payment will be facilitated by Coinbase Commerce.

The diamond’s price tag pales into insignificance though following the recent boom in NFTs.

Not that long ago an NFT entitled ‘Everydays: The First 5,000 Days’ by Beeple, sold at Christie’s auction house for $69 million.

Picture: Sothebys.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial or investment advice.

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