Sotheby lists rare diamond for $15M: buyer can pay in cryptos

By: Daniela Kirova
Daniela Kirova
Daniela was born in Bulgaria, grew up in Chicago, and then moved to Michigan to attend the University of… read more.
on Jun 21, 2021
  • Sotheby's is auctioning The Key 10138, a unique pear shaped diamond that could be worth $15 million.
  • The buyer can pay in BTC, ETH, or fiat
  • Sotheby's previously sold a Banksy picture worth $12.9 million for cryptocurrency

Auction house giant Sotheby’s announced Monday that a rare pear-shaped diamond will be up for sale in the coming month, but with a twist: the buyer could pay for their winnings in cryptocurrencies, according to Reuters.

Up for sale to the highest bidder is a 101.38-carat flawless diamond, known as The Key 10138. This happens to be one of just ten confirmed diamonds in the world of more than 100 carats and could be worth up to $15 million. Aside from a historic milestone for the jewelry industry, this is an iconic event for the cryptocurrency sector as no tangible item of this value has been available for sale via a crypto transaction.

All about The Key and other pear shaped diamonds

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Sotheby’s is auctioning one of just two pear-shaped diamonds in the world. The auction for The Key 10138 will be on July 9 in Hong Kong but online bidding will open on June 25. The buyer can pay in Bitcoin (BTC/USD), Ethereum (ETH/USD), or in traditional fiat currency.

In May, Sotheby’s auctioned off a Banksy picture for cryptocurrency worth $12.9 million. This was the first case in history of a tangible object sold for crypto by a major auction house.

Commenting on the new and unique auction of the diamond, Patti Wong, chair of the auction house’s Asian branch, said in a statement:

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.

In a seperate statement obtained by Forbes, 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.

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