Sign over the entrance to the Sotheby's office in Zurich, Switzerland
Sign over the entrance to the Sotheby's office in Zurich, Switzerland, 24 June, 2015. Sotheby's is one of the world's largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewelry, real estate, and collectibles. Shutterstock

According to a 22 June report from Business Insider, Sotheby’s will accept bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) as payment for a rare 101-carat diamond. The rare pear-shaped diamond called “The Key 10138” has been classified as flawless and is set to be auctioned in Hong Kong on 9 July. Sotheby’s estimates the diamond’s value between $10 million and $15 million.

“The Key 10138 is the first important diamond in the world to be auctioned with cryptocurrency as an accepted method of payment. It was named to symbolise the unlocking of a new era in commerce and technology, and thus is a key to history” Sotheby’s explained on their website.

If the diamond is bought using cryptocurrencies, the payment would be processed by Coinbase Commerce. 


In May, the auction house announced that it will accept cryptocurrency in the sale of a Banksy artwork and in the auction of a “CryptoPunk” NFT in June. Other large global auction houses, including Christie’s and Phillips, have also announced that they will accept cryptocurrency payments for certain auctions. 

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