On Monday, June 21, British auction house Sotheby’s announced that it will be accepting crypto payments against the sale of a 100-carat diamond. The auction will reportedly fetch $15 million in total.
After dabbling into the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) market, Sotheby’s is now willing to accept popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Besides, Sotheby’s has also partnered with Coinbase Commerce in order to process the transaction.
With a pear shape, the 100-carat diamond is “The Key 101.38”. It also has the highest clarity and D-color, reportedly the best for a colorless diamond. This is the first-ever time when a public auction of a 100-carat diamond will be fetching crypto payment.
The live single-lot auction of the diamond will happen next month on July 9, in Hong Kong. This will happen using Sotheby’s hybrid online and live bidding process. In a statement, Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia 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.”
Sotheby’s History with Diamond Sales
The British auction house has been popular for conducting the sale of precious diamonds. Last year, Sotheby’s Geneva sold a 14.83-carat pink Russian diamond for a whopping $26.6 million. The 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue holds the highest auction record with a sale price of a massive $26.6 million.
The name ‘The Key 10138,’ of the diamond for the upcoming auction captures the past-present, and the future, said Sotheby’s. Wenhao Yu, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia said:
“Diamonds are keys to understanding the history of the Earth, reminding us of our human condition and the transcendental power of beauty. With the name ‘The Key 10138,’ we wanted to celebrate this enlightening virtue, while also alluding to the crucial function of digital keys in the world of NFTs and cryptocurrency.”
It’s just the last month of May 2021 that Sotheby’s started accepting crypto payments for digital artworks. Recently, it has also started dabbling into the emerging non-fungible tokens (NFT) market. In April 2021, Sotheby’s facilitated a sale of $16.8 million for digital artworks by artist Pak.