A Private Collector Used Cryptocurrency To Buy This Diamond

AuctionsJul 12, 2021

A Private Collector Used Cryptocurrency To Buy This Diamond

It is a 101.38-carat D flawless stone that sold for more than $12 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Sotheby’s called the 101.38-carat diamond it sold last week “10138 The Key,” a nod to its weight and the fact that digital keys are vital to the use of cryptocurrency. A buyer paid $12.3 million in cryptocurrency for the stone.
Hong Kong—An anonymous private collector used cryptocurrency to buy a big, perfect diamond at Sotheby’s late last week, the auction house announced.

The diamond, a pear-shaped 101.38-carat D flawless stone dubbed “10138 The Key,” sold for $12.3 million. Sotheby's is not disclosing whether the buyer paid in Ether or Bitcoin, the two types of cryptocurrency it was accepting for the sale.

The sale price fell in the middle of the diamond’s $10 million-$15 million estimated range.

The auction house said it is the highest price achieved for any gemstone or piece of jewelry purchased using digital or virtual currency, though it’s not the first pricey auction item to be offered or sold this way.

In March, the buyer who paid a record $69.3 million for the NFT “Everydays—The First 5,000 Days” by digital artist Beeple paid in Ether (a type of cryptocurrency) and Phillips said it would accept Ether or Bitcoin for a painting by Banksy it sold last month.

Sotheby’s said the 101.38-carat diamond is the second-largest pear-shaped diamond of this quality ever sold at auction, narrowly topped by the D flawless 101.73-carat “Winston Legacy” sold in 2013. 

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Sotheby’s offered the stone in a single-lot live jewelry auction held Friday in Hong Kong. 

It was the highlight of the auction house’s inaugural “Luxury Edit” sale series in Asia, offering high-end goods across various categories.

Remarking on the diamond’s sale, Wenhao Yu, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia, said: “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.  

“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.”

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