Sotheby’s Sells Rare Diamond For $12.3 Million In Crypto, Sets World Record
Sotheby’s has now set the world record for the most expensive piece of jewelry sold for crypto last Friday. The global auction house had announced the intended sale earlier in the year of the 101.38-carat rare diamond. Sotheby’s had announced that the auction would be held with crypto as the buying currency. Stating that interested parties could place their bids in either Bitcoin or Ether.
The announcement garnered much coverage as the crypto world anticipated this unprecedented event in cryptocurrencies history. The event was held in Hong Kong on Friday and the auction was a single-lot sale. Before the auction, Sotheby’s had estimated that the diamond would sell for between $10 to $15 million and it seems they were right.
The pear-shaped diamond, which is only the second to be allowed access to the public, ended up selling for $12.3 million. Right in the middle of the price estimates given by Sotheby’s.
Charting New Courses With Crypto
Sotheby’s has been known to accept payments in crypto for art before. Earlier in May, the 300-year-old auction house had sold a Banksy artwork for $12.9 million. The global auction house has also been involved in the sale of NFTs. But nothing like this has ever been done before.
Sotheby’s had never accepted cryptocurrencies for a traditional sale like this and that is what makes it so interesting. And with the price tag on the diamond, Sotheby’s has effectively made a new world record.
According to the deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry in Asia, Sotheby’s wanted to allude to the crucial function of digital keys in the world of NFTs and crypto.
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While the auction house had announced earlier that it would accept bids in either Bitcoin or Ether, it did not disclose what currency the diamond was eventually purchased in.
The payment for the 101.38-carat diamond will be processed by Coinbase Commerce. A service that is provided by Coinbase to merchants to enable them to accept payment for goods and services in crypto.
This auction shows that Sotheby’s has now added cryptocurrencies as a supported system of payment.
A New Generation Of Collectors
The acceptance of crypto by Sotheby’s shows the company’s aim towards appealing to a newer generation of collectors. More and more Millenials are favoring cryptos over traditional methods of payment.
By opening up their doors to crypto, Sotheby’s effectively uses this to tap into an emerging market of collectors. Young people who want to be able to buy and sell things in crypto. And therefore, they want to be able to buy collector’s items.
The auction for the diamond has been marketed by explaining that this would be the most valuable item or piece of jewelry that has ever been purchased with cryptos.
While Sotheby’s offered cryptos like Bitcoin and Ether as a payment method for the bids, it also kept other traditional payment methods for the diamond. Sotheby’s aim was not to open the door to cryptos by completely shutting out collectors that preferred traditional payment methods. But rather, its aim was to open doors for even more collectors to come to the table, and it looks like it did just that.
According to Sotheby’s, only 10 diamonds larger than 100 carats have ever been offered up to the public at auction. And only one of those larger than 100 carats diamonds has ever been offered for purchase using cryptocurrencies.
The pear-shaped diamond known as “The Key 10138” ended up selling for 95.1 million Hong Kong dollars and the gemstone was sold to an anonymous private collector.