The pear-shaped gemstone sold Friday for the equivalent of $12.3 million, after the auctioneer announced it was accepting offers in bitcoin and ethereum, in addition to traditional forms of payment. Sotheby’s would not disclose which of the two cryptocurrencies had been used to make the purchase.
The diamond, dubbed “The Key 10138,” went to an “anonymous private collector,” according to a press release.
The gem is one of only 10 diamonds of its size and quality to appear at auction. Credit: Courtesy Sotheby’s
In a press statement, Sotheby’s deputy chairman for jewelery in Asia, Wenhao Yu, said the sale had attracted “new clients well beyond the traditional pool of collectors,” adding cryptocurrency purchases appealed to a “digitally savvy generation.”
Remarkably rare in its own right, the stone is the second largest pear-shaped diamond ever to come to market, according to Sotheby’s.
It is classified as a “D color” diamond, the highest such grade awarded to white diamonds, meaning it appears colorless to the naked eye. It is also verified as internally and externally “flawless,” meaning it is completely clear with no visible blemishes. It is one of only 10 diamonds of its quality weighing over 100 carats ever to appear at auction.
The sale took place at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, although bids were accepted from around the world. Credit: Courtesy Sotheby’s