Sotheby’s sells a rare diamond for $12 million in cryptocurrency.

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It’s the most money ever paid in cryptocurrency for a diamond. At the very least, through a public auction house.

Yesterday, Sotheby’s sold a unique pear-shaped diamond for $12 million in bitcoin. As a result, it is the most costly diamond ever auctioned for cryptocurrency.

The 101.38-carat diamond, the second pear-shaped diamond ever sold at auction, was a steal for the anonymous Hong Kong bidder.

Sotheby’s had estimated the diamond, called “The Key 10138,” would sell for up to $15 million.


The auction house welcomed bids in fiat or cryptocurrency—Bitcoin or Ethereum—to be paid via Coinbase Commerce for the diamond, which was carved into form by gem firm Diacore. It was unclear which cryptocurrency was utilised to purchase the diamond.

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In October, Sotheby’s auctioned off—for cash this time—a 102.39-carat oval diamond at what diamond experts called a cheap price of $15 million.


Sotheby’s and crypto

Sotheby’s began taking cryptocurrencies in March, when it joined the NFT market in collaboration with the Winklevoss brothers’ crypto art marketplace Nifty Gateway. On April 16, it auctioned off a piece of art by Turkish 3D artist Murat Pak for $17 million.

Last month, the auction house sold a CryptoPunk NFT to DraftKings’ top shareholder, Shalom Meckenzie, for $11.8 million. Sotheby’s auctioned off World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-30-year-old Lee’s source code of his creation as an NFT for $5.4 million the same month.

Berners-Lee’s NFT was subsequently discovered to have an inaccuracy, which one potential buyer argued may boost its worth. Sotheby’s, on the other hand, firmly called this diamond “flawless.”

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