Cryptocurrency To Be Accepted At Major Diamond Auction

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The crypto market can expect a rise in security token offerings soon. Flickr/ TLC Johnson

A rare 101.38-carat pear-shaped diamond will be auctioned on July 9 in Hong Kong and is expected to get bids in the neighborhood of $15 million.

The shape and size are not the only rare elements of this gem. For the first time, a high-value luxury item will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

Famed auction house Sotheby's announced Monday that the auction will be a part of its inaugural “Luxury Edit” sale series and will be the first time that a diamond of this size would accept a cryptocurrency as payment. 

Ether and traditional cash will also be accepted as payment.

The move helps cryptocurrency become a more familiar form for transactions. El Salvador recently became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, while residents in Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba are also reportedly turning more towards cryptocurrencies.

The live single-lot auction starts on July 9, but Sotheby’s will be using its hybrid online and live bidding process, as well. The online bidding will open on June 25.

“This is a truly symbolic moment. The most ancient and emblematic denominator of value can now, for the first time, be purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency," Asia Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s, said in a statement. 

This diamond will be one of 10 diamonds ever to be auctioned containing more than 100 carats, with only two of them ever being pear-shaped. Pear-shaped diamonds are among the most desired, part of Britain’s Crown Jewels includes a 530 carat Cullinan diamond in the shape of a pear.

The sparkly colorless diamond is named Key 10138 which goes in hand with the importance of “keys” in cryptocurrency. When using your cryptocurrency “wallet,” your account has an address that is seen as a public “key,” while the user also owns a private “key” only known to them to sign transactions.

“Diamonds are keys to understanding the history of the Earth, reminding us of our human condition and the transcendental power of beauty, with the name ‘The Key 10138,’ we wanted to celebrate this enlightening virtue, while also alluding to the crucial function of digital keys in the world of NFTs and cryptocurrency,” said Wenhao Yu, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry in Asia.

Sotheby’s stated that the sale of this diamond comes at a time when there is increased demand for white diamonds, particularly of this quality. Diamonds are attracting more young and new buyers.

The top price paid for a colorless diamond was $30.8 million. The bid took place in 2013 at another Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong for a 118.28-carat diamond.

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