Sotheby’s, the 277-year-old Britain auction house announced that it will accept bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), as well as the stable coin USDC for the sale of “The Enigma,” a rare 555.55-carat diamond.
Sotheby’s stated that the decision to auction the black diamond with cryptocurrency as a payment option stemmed from the success of a previous auction held in July. An anonymous buyer stunned diamond collectors when he paid $12.3 million in cryptocurrency for a rare 101.38-carat diamond known as “The Key 10138” throughout a single trade in Hong Kong.
The Enigma is currently touring, with halts in Dubai, Los Angeles, and London. Sotheby’s said that if the diamond has been purchased with cryptos, the transaction will be managed by Coinbase Commerce.
“A natural dynamic and multi black diamond of this size is indeed an extremely rare occurrence, and its origins are shrouded in mystery,” Sotheby’s said in a press release. “[It’s] thought to have formed as a result of a meteoric impact or as a result of a diamond-bearing asteroid colliding with Earth.”
Sotheby’s it seems to have recognised a new demographic and is now auctioning rare diamonds to the crypto riche.
The Pink Star currently holds the record for the most expensive diamond ever sold, fetching $71 million at a Sotheby’s auction in April 2017. Another notable sale was the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, which sold for $50.6 million at a Christie’s auction in May 2016. Sotheby’s sold a 14.83-carat diamond for $26.6 million in 2020.
About 80 percent of the white diamonds sold at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale this year have already been sold, with 30 percent of buyers visiting the auction house for the first time. It’s interesting to see how high these sales may soar now as crypto has been introduced in this world.
Sotheby’s has worked with artists such as Jay-Z, inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, and has auctioned diamonds for cryptocurrency earlier too. Besides Christie’s, other great auction houses like Phillips and Sotheby’s have also joined the NFT and blockchain space. Christie’s entered the crypto and blockchain space last year, selling its first NFT for $131,250.