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Sotheby’s To Accept Cryptocurrency For Rare Diamond

World-renowned auction house Sotheby’s has announced it will be accepting cryptocurrency for the first time as payment for a rare diamond which is expected to fetch bids in excess of £10 million.

Sky News reports that the auctioneers will still accept traditional currency, but the buyer of the 101.38-carat pear-shaped diamond will be able to settle their bill with cryptocurrencies Ether or Bitcoin.

The diamond, which has been dubbed The Key 10138, is only one of 10 diamonds of more than 100 carats to come to auction and will be offered in an upcoming single-lot live sale in Hong Kong on July 9, with an estimated sale price of between £7.1m to £10.7m.

If it is purchased with crypto, the sale will be processed by Coinbase Commerce, Sotheby’s said.

Yu Wenhao, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in 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.”

According to Sotheby’s, the rare diamond belongs to a unique subgroup called Type IIa, which comprises less than two per cent of all gem diamonds. The pear shape cut is similar to that of the Cullinan I, which is mounted in the Imperial Sceptre of Great Britain and kept in the Tower of London

Sotheby’s announced it had started accepting cryptocurrency as payment for artworks in May. The auction house sold a Banksy which was bought with cryptocurrency.

The artist’s Love is in the Air artwork sold for $12.9 million in an auction that lasted 14 minutes and involved four bidders.

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