Sotheby’s is hosting an auction that will feature a 555.55-carat black diamond. What’s the big clincher? Crypto enthusiasts are welcome to the table and can bid on the item with digital currency.
Sotheby’s Says “Yes” to Crypto Bids
Known as the “Enigma,” the diamond is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest cut diamond in the world. It will also be part of a special sale that is allowing crypto bidding. Among the currencies that Sotheby’s is willing to accept is bitcoin, Ethereum, and the stable currency USDC. In addition, traditional currencies are also welcome, so people don’t have to bid using crypto if they still prefer cash.
The diamond boasts a whopping 55 facets. Sotheby’s estimates that the item is worth a minimum of $6.8 million. Sophie Stevens – a jewelry specialist at Sotheby’s Dubai – said in an interview that she believes the diamond could be from space. She mentioned:
With the carbonado diamonds, we believe that they were formed through extraterrestrial origins, with meteorites colliding with the Earth and either forming chemical vapor deposition or indeed coming from the meteorites themselves.
This is not the first time the auction house has said “yes” to crypto bids. The first time occurred last July, in which Sotheby’s hosted an auction of a 101-carat diamond and a crypto bid of more than $12 million was accepted for the item. The diamond was extremely well received given that it was pear-shaped, which is extremely rare and often drooled over by collectors. A spokesperson for Sotheby’s said:
Many of the most important diamonds in history are pear-shaped, including those of royal provenance… The stone is the second largest pear-shaped diamond ever to come to market.
The product featured perfect cutting, and both bitcoin and Ethereum were accepted forms of crypto at the auction. During the time, Sotheby’s put out a statement explaining:
No other physical object with an estimate even approaching the $10-$15 million estimate this diamond carries had ever been publicly offered for purchase with cryptocurrency (sic).
The diamond was known as “the Key 10138,” and was the second pear-shaped jewel to be sold publicly. The product was provided to Sotheby’s through a diamond company known as Diacore.
This Isn’t the First Time
According to Wenhao Yu, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry in Asia, accepting crypto payments is a fantastic way to bring younger bidders to the playing field. He says:
By introducing this innovative payment option to our luxury sale, we open up new possibilities and expand our reach into a whole new clientele, many of whom are from the digitally savvy generation.
The diamond is set to remain on exhibit in Dubai until January 20. It will then be displayed in both London and Los Angeles through early February when the bidding is set to kick off online.