Rare Diamond Sets Record For Most Expensive Item Purchased With Crypto

crypto diamond

An auction house in Hong Kong recently sold a 101.38-carat diamond, which now holds the title of the most expensive physical item to ever be purchased with crypto.

The “Key 10138”, as the pear-shaped jewel is called, was sold last Friday at Sotheby’s for the digital currency equivalent of 95.1 million Hong Kong dollars or $12.3 million. The buyer who made the record purchase has since remained anonymous.

Though Sotheby’s has declined to reveal which particular cryptocurrency had been used to make the purchase, the announcement had stated that it was accepting bids in fiat money, Ethereum, and Bitcoin.

Crypto Matches Diamond Hype

The hype Sotheby’s has placed around the diamond is certainly not unfounded, as Key 10138 is regarded to be quite a rare offering. The record setting piece is the second-largest pear-shaped diamond to be shown for sale to the public. The 101.38-carat gemstone is ranked as a D color flawless diamond, which is the highest grade awarded to white diamonds.

Key 10138. Image Source: Sotheby

It was mined by a multinational diamond company, Diacore, and will be quite an addition to the mystery buyer’s collection.

Only ten diamonds weighing more than a hundred carats have appeared for auction according to Hong Kong-based Sotheby’s. Apart from attracting the attention of new clients, Sotheby’s further acknowledged some perks from the sale of “The Key 10138”.

“We are thrilled to witness a historical moment when one of the earth’s oldest and rarest treasures was purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency,” said Wenhao Yu, the deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry in Asia.

Yu thinks payment options for diamonds and more expensive sales of this magnitude would only be more innovative in the future, and is confident the sale of the diamond with crypto opens new grounds, especially for a growing clientele that is “digitally savvy.”

Not only is the sale representative of the endless possibilities the future holds for convenient transactions, the sale also indicates that the choice of preferred currency is shifting in collector circles. Alongside Sotheby’s, other auction houses have also opened their arms to purchases made with digital currency. 

A few months ago, a famous painting, Banksy’s “Love is in the air”, was opened to payment via Bitcoin and Ethereum, and was sold for $12.9 million by Sotheby’s. Like “Key 10138”, the final crypto token used was not revealed.

Regardless, with the latest sale, Sotheby’s has now sold a significant number of pieces for BTC or Ethereum, and in millions of dollars, too.

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