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Crypto per carat: Sotheby’s to accept bitcoin or ether in diamond auction

sothebys diamond auction
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 16:50:52-04

Sotheby’s will be auctioning off a diamond that is more than 100 carats Friday, and while the large size and clarity rating make it exceptional, it is also making news because the auction house will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

The diamond, called Key 10138, “was named to symbolise the unlocking of a new era in commerce and technology, and thus is a key to history,” the company said.

It is expected to go for up to $15 million, and the auction house will accept bitcoin, ether, or traditional forms of money for payment. Sotheby’s says this is the first time something of such size and high value has been available for sale with cryptocurrency.

The diamond weighs 101.38 carats and has been graded as D color and type IIa. This type of diamond is reportedly so rare it represents less than 2% of all diamonds mined; they contain no detectable nitrogen or boron impurities.

It is one of just ten diamonds weighing more than 100 carats to ever go to auction.

The auction is taking place in Hong Kong on July 9.

Sotheby’s sold a Banksy piece of art for $12.9 million in May, and it became the first piece of physical art sold by a major auction house bought with cryptocurrency.