Sotheby’s is preparing to auction a rare pear-shaped diamond on June 25th. What is even more unique than the D-colour diamond is the fact that the auction house will accept payment for it in cryptocurrency.
While Sotheby’s has accepted payment in cryptocurrency for a small selection of artwork, this will be the first time the auction house will accept Bitcoin or Ethereum for a gem and the first time any gem of over 100 carats will be sold for crypto
Unlike other auction houses that have accepted cryptocurrency for non-fungible tokens (Sotheby’s included), the physical value of this diamond far exceeds any other physical offering that has been presented at auction with the option to pay in cryptocurrency. Online bidding will begin June 25th, with a live auction to take place on July 9th.
Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia commented on the significance of this auction and its payment options:
“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.”
Described by Sotheby’s as a 101.38-carat pear-shaped D Flawless diamond, the lot has a valuation of 79,000,000 – 118,000,000 Hong Kong Dollars or 10-15 million USD. Type llA diamonds are considered to be the purest type of diamond, and are colourless or transparent. They are referred to as “super deep” diamonds, and can be found at a depth of between 360 and 750 km into the earth’s mantle.
The relationship between diamonds and cryptocurrency can be extended to include similarities in the rarity and value of certain cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and they also share a similar ‘mining’ process, albeit crypto mining is simply a metaphorical ‘digging’ which occurs through the solving of a computational puzzle. Nonetheless, the symbolic significance is not to be underestimated, as the chairman of Sotheby’s Asia noted previously “the most ancient and emblematic denominator of value can now, for the first time, be purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency.”
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.