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Sotheby’s accepts bitcoin and ETH for the auctioned diamond
Sotheby’s accepts bitcoin and ETH for the auctioned diamond
Crypto

Sotheby’s accepts bitcoin and ETH for the auctioned diamond

By Stefania Stimolo - 22 Jun 2021

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Major auction house Sotheby’s is accepting bitcoin and Ether for the auction of ‘The Key 10138’ diamond, with an estimated value of $10-15 million. 

On 9 July 2021, during Sotheby’s Luxury Edit in Asia, there will be an auction dedicated to the 101.38-carat, pear-shaped, D-coloured Flawless diamond, which can also be purchased for the first time with BTC or ETH.

According to Sotheby‘s itself, this is an “unprecedented move”. And indeed, it appears that no other physical object with an estimate of this calibre has ever been publicly offered for purchase with cryptocurrency.

Specifically, Sotheby’s emphasize:

“The diamond will be offered in a single-lot live sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on 9 July 2021, with bidding open online from 25 June 2021. While fiat will be accepted as is customary, payment in either Ether or Bitcoin will also be possible – facilitated through Coinbase Commerce, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges”.

The reason that prompted the famous auction house to accept cryptocurrencies seems to refer to their explosive entry into the art world. And indeed, if you think about the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) market, you can see how well this combo has merged the two sectors: art and crypto. 

Not only that, but even the name of the diamond “The Key 10138” seems to have been chosen specifically to inaugurate the event.

Sotheby’s accepts bitcoin: diamonds, art and crypto the new universal combination

The diamond auctioned by Sotheby’s seems to be an extremely rare jewel, characterized by its 101.38 carats, but also by its pear shape that recalls that of the Cullinan I – perhaps the most famous diamond in the world. 

Not only that, Sotheby’s describes that there are less than ten diamonds of this importance of over 100 carats ever to be auctioned, and that only two of the ten are pear-shaped. In essence, the appearance of this flawless gem is an historic event in itself.

Not satisfied with the precious gem, the integration of bitcoin and Ether as a payment method makes the event totally unique. 

In this regard, Wenhao Yu, Vice President of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia, commented as follows: 

“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”.

He added:

“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”.

NFTs are continuously gaining popularity in the crypto sector. Recently, the exchange giant Binance also announced news of its upcoming NFT marketplace, which will go public on 24 June 2021.

Stefania Stimolo
Stefania Stimolo

Graduated in Marketing and Communication, Stefania is an explorer of innovative opportunities. She started out as a Sales Assistant for e-commerce, and in 2016 she began to develop a passion for the digital world, initially in the Network Marketing sector, where she discovered and became passionate about the ideals behind Bitcoin and Blockchain technology, which lead her to work as a copywriter and translator for ICO projects and blogs, and organize introductory courses.

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