Sotheby’s Will Accept Cryptocurrency in Exchange for a 101.38-Carat Diamond

No other physical object with such a high price estimate has ever been offered to be purchased with cryptocurrency, Sotheby's says.

‘The Key 10138’ diamond for sale at Sotheby’s. Sotheby's

Cryptocurrency has recently been embraced by major auction houses as a payment option when it comes to hot new digital ephemeralities like NFTs, but recently, Sotheby's announced that cryptocurrency will also be accepted in exchange for a particularly noteworthy object: a 101.38-carat diamond, touted as the second largest pear-shaped diamond ever to appear on the public market’s main stage. The diamond, which is expected to sell for approximately $10 to $15 million, is one of several jewels that Sotheby’s has highlighted recently with encouraging results. Last week, Sotheby’s sold a diamond for $2.7 million, setting a new record for the highest price paid for a jewel in an online auction.

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According to the auction house, jewels in particular have steadily become reliable commodities: 80% of the white diamonds offered in Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auctions in 2021 have been bought, and 30% of buyers in the Sotheby’s luxury sales category are new to the auction house. The 101.38-carat diamond itself is in the grand tradition of pear-shaped diamonds, which are some of the most significant within history. For example, the pear-shaped, 530-carat Great Star of Africa is the largest faceted colorless diamond in the world; it’s currently being housed in the Tower of London.

Sotheby’s elected to call the diamond in question ‘The Key 10138’ because keys are historically symbols of power and freedom. “This is a truly symbolic moment,” Wenhao Yu, the Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry in Asia, said in a statement. “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.”

New on the Block is a series that looks at the most notable or unusual items to go up for auction each week. 

Sotheby’s Will Accept Cryptocurrency in Exchange for a 101.38-Carat Diamond