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Sotheby’s to accept crypto for rare diamond auction

Luxury auction house Sotheby’s said it would accept cryptocurrency payments for its rare, 101-carat diamond auction sale.

Luxury auction house Sotheby’s announced yesterday that a rare pear-shaped diamond would be auctioned next month, and bidders can pay for it using cryptocurrencies. This would be the first time cryptocurrencies would be used to pay for a very valuable physical object.

According to Sotheby’s, the 101.38-carat pear-shaped flawless diamond is expected to fetch around $15 million. This latest development is considered a positive for cryptocurrencies as 100-carat diamonds are considered extremely rare, and pear-shaped, 100-carat diamonds are even rarer.

The auction house said the diamond called “The Key 10138” is the second-largest pear-shaped diamond ever seen on the public market. Sotheby’s said the diamond would be auctioned off via a single-lot live sale at its Hong Kong house on 9 July. The diamond would be on display at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction house for a week before the auction.

Josh Pullan, managing director of Sotheby’s global luxury department, said, “Over the past year, we’ve seen a voracious appetite for jewels and other luxury items from collectors across the globe. Increasingly that demand is coming from a younger, digitally native generation; many of whom are in Asia.”

Sotheby’s will also auction other objects, including jewellery, watches, handbags, and rare sneakers. However, the diamond will be the highlight of Sotheby’s Luxury Edit series in Hong Kong.

Pullan pointed out that Sotheby’s accepting Bitcoin and Ether as payment for the diamond and other objects indicates their commitment to innovation. Sotheby’s is not new to the cryptocurrency space. The auction house has sold several non-fungible token (NFT) art pieces in recent months, including a rare CryptoPunk NFT for $12 million.

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