Sotheby’s sold Friday a rare 101.38-carat diamond for $12.3 million in cryptocurrency in a Hong Kong auction to an anonymous buyer. As it’s the highest price paid for gemstone or jewelry in crypto, the auction house called it “a milestone was reached in the adoption of cryptocurrencies.”
According to Sotheby’s, a 101.38-carat pear-shaped D color flawless diamond was sold at auction for 95.1 million Hong Kong dollars or more than US$12.2 million in cryptocurrency on July 9. The diamond with the techy name of “The Key 10138” has become the most expensive single-lot piece of jewelry ever peddled through crypto.
“We are thrilled to witness a historical moment when one of the Earth’s oldest and rarest treasures was purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency,” stated Wenhao Yu, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia. “Today we saw active participation from collectors across the globe as well as interest from new clients well beyond the traditional pool of collectors. By introducing this innovative payment option to our luxury sale, we open up new possibilities and expand our reach into a whole new clientele, many of whom are from the digitally savvy generation.”
Cut by Diacore, the Key 10138 is one of only 10 diamonds over 100-carat to appear at auction ever. It is also the second-largest pear-shaped diamond that has ever been auctioned.
The auction house did not say in its release Friday which cryptocurrencies were used to pay for the diamond, but previously Sotheby’s said it would accept Bitcoin and Ether for what it had estimated would be a sale of $15 million.
Seems like, after the pandemic, the currency of choice started shifting among the wealthy collectors as well as their openness to sales in crypto. As reported before, Sotheby’s sold a Cryptopunk NFT for a record $11.8 million on June 10. The group of artworks under the title “Natively Digital” was presented by curators in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Later, the auction house sold on June 30 an NFT representing the original source code for the World Wide Web valued at $5.4 million.