According to Sotheby’s, a flawless 101.38-carat diamond sold at auction for over $12.2 million in cryptocurrency on Friday, making it the most expensive jewelery ever sold via crypto.
The giant diamond, dubbed “The Key 10138”, was sold to an undisclosed private collector in Hong Kong, the 277-year-old auction house said in a statement.
The gem is one of only 10 diamonds over 100 carats to have come up for auction so far.
The auction house had said it would accept payment for the diamond in bitcoin or ether, but it was unclear which digital coin was used to purchase the gem.
Despite record sales, the diamond sold for less than the upper end of its estimated value of $15 million.
Auction houses such as Sotheby’s and rival Christie’s have taken it increasingly to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment this year as the popularity of digital coins has grown.
In May Sotheby’s sold a Banksy piece for $12.9 million in crypto – the first example of a work of physical art sold by a major auction house in exchange for cryptocurrency.
And back in March, Christie’s made waves by selling non-fungible tokens for the first time. NFT, or one of its kind, blockchain-based, digital artwork, sold for $69.3 million.
Even though cryptocurrency has been rapidly adopted by institutions such as Sotheby’s, as well as banks and major US corporations, the value of digital tokens remains extremely volatile.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, touched an all-time high of over $64,000 in mid-April, then fell back and briefly fell below $30,000, erasing its gains for the year. Gone.
Bitcoin was last seen trading at around $33,500 per coin.