Sotheby’s to Accept Bitcoin, Ether as Payment for 101.38 Carat Diamond Facilitated via Coinbase Commerce

Sotheby’s, the top global auction house, says it will accept cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin or Ether, as payment for an enormous diamond.

The 101.38-carat pear-shaped D colour flawless diamond, said to be one of the largest of its kind to go to auction, will go under the hammer on July 9, 2021. Expectations set the price at between $10 to $15 million – but you never know as it could go for much higher. ‘The Key 10138’ is described as the second largest pear-shaped diamond ever to appear on the public market.

Southeby’s says the fact that cryptocurrency will be accepted as payment marks a significant moment in the evolution of the market: no other physical object with an estimate even approaching the US$10-15 million has ever been publicly offered for purchase with cryptocurrency. Of note, is that NFTs, or digital art, has sold for more.

Southeby’s is also keenly aware of the marketing potential of accepting BTC or ETH, as well as the fact there are a multitude of crypto millionaires and billionaires that may be induced to win the gem.

Wenhao Yu, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia, commented:

“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.”

The diamond will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery, from until July 8th. It will be the star lot of Sotheby’s inaugural ‘Luxury Edit’ sale series in Asia, bringing together other luxury items like jewels to watches, handbags and rare sneakers.

The sale will be facilitated via Coinbase Commerce.

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