Global auction house Sotheby’s is no stranger to crypto. In fact, the leading auctioneers have been hosting NFTs, such as multi-million-dollar CryptoPunks. This week, they are kicking off the auction for the code of the World Wide Web. Now, Sotheby’s is integrating crypto for more than just NFTs and their payments – and is allowing crypto to be a form of purchase for a more traditional auction item, an upcoming 100-carat diamond.
Sotheby’s Has Crypto On The Rocks
The auction will be a single-lot sale hosted in Hong Kong, featuring an astounding 101.38-carat diamond. The auction will take place on July 9 and the diamond is expected to fetch north of $10-15M. Sotheby’s will also offer a hybrid online bidding process, which will start later this week.
Accepting cryptocurrency for a traditional sale like this will be a first for the nearly 300 year old auction house. Sotheby’s had also allowed for crypto transactions for previous Banksy physical art pieces and NFTs, but nothing outside of those. Should the winning bidder pay in crypto, Coinbase Commerce will process the transaction, according to Sotheby’s representatives.
Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, described the auction as 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”.
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Describe That Diamond
Beyond sheer size, the diamond is a pear-shape with a D-color and flawless GIA rating, called “The Key 101.38”. The name, according to Sotheby’s, was chosen to embrace the past, present, and future – stating that keys, like diamonds, symbolize power and freedom. “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 Sotheby’s deputy chairman of Jewelry in Asia, Wenhao Yu.
The color and clarity are the highest possible grades for a colorless diamond. Additionally, Sotheby’s has said that 100+ carat diamonds have achieved “mythical status”; making this auction the first diamond, and certainly the first diamond of such a size, to be open for bidding at such a major level with crypto. Less than ten 100+ carat D-Flawless diamonds have ever come to auction. Diamonds have been an increasingly hot seller for the premium auction house in recent years.
Furthermore, Sotheby’s engagement in cryptocurrency continues. Earlier this month, the auction house sold CryptoPunk #7523 for just shy of $12M as part of their “Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale” series.
The full list of supported cryptocurrency payments from Sotheby's has not been disclosed, but previously the company has accepted ethereum. | Source: ETH-USD on TradingView.com
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Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com