Coming from artworks, video clips, and luxury goods, cryptocurrency now allows you to purchase rare gems.
Since the introduction of cryptocurrencies, companies like Tesla started accepting them as forms of payment. Sotheby’s first joined this trend when a Banksy worth $12.9 million was bought with cryptocurrency. This July, the auction house shifts to auctioning an object with a higher value: a rare, flawless diamond. Sotheby’s claims this is the first time a piece with such value will be offered for public purchase using fiat.
A rare piece
Called The Key 10138, the pear-shaped diamond weighs 101.38 carats. The name comes from traditional keys that symbolize power and freedom. At the same time, it reflects the digital kind of keys for wallets used in cryptocurrency exchanges.
The gem is identified as D-color, exceptionally rare for appearing colorless. Its remarkable transparency proves it is a Type IIa diamond, known to be chemically pure.
Out of the 10 diamonds with over 100 carats that have been auctioned, only two are pear-shaped. This type of cut is common but the largest that ever existed is the Cullinan I or Star of Africa. The 530.2-carat pear-shaped diamond takes up the main stone of Queen Elizabeth’s Imperial Scepter.
The star lot
The 101-carat diamond is expected to sell between $10 million to $15 million. According to the auction house, this is the first time a rare gem of such size can be bought using cryptocurrency.
Fiat is the customary payment, but Ether and Bitcoin will also be accepted as long as Coinbase Commerce facilitates it.
Given the travel restrictions, Sotheby’s continues its hybrid bidding process—online and live. The actual single-lot auction will be held on July 9 in Hong Kong. But the entire “Luxury Edit” sale series featuring the finest jewels, handbags, watches, and sneakers, will be held from June 24 to July 9, 2021.