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Meet the Key 10138, a 101.38 Carat Pear Shape Diamond up for Auction at Sotheby’s!

Jun 25, 2021

Meet the Key 10138

Move over, Hope Diamond – there’s a new diamond in town. Weighing in at a whopping 101.38 carats, Sotheby’s is auctioning off a pear-shape D color flawless diamond for an estimated $10-$15 million. Here’s the kicker: unlike past auctions, cryptocurrency will be an acceptable form of payment. 

Cryptocurrency is a term that’s been floating around for a while, but it tends to be somewhat vague in what it actually means. According to Nerdwallet, “Cryptocurrency is a form of payment that can be exchanged online for goods and services. Many companies have issued their own currencies, often called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the good or service that the company provides. Think of them as you would arcade tokens or casino chips. You’ll need to exchange real currency for the cryptocurrency to access the good or service.” 

It has become more and more commonplace for investors and individuals to make trades with cryptocurrency. However this is the first time that cryptocurrency will be accepted as payment in a public auction of a diamond weighing more than 100 carats. Additionally, no other physical object with the same monetary value has ever been publicly offered for purchase with cryptocurrency. 

This willingness to accept cryptocurrency marks a major shift in the auction industry. It acknowledges the role digital currency plays and recognizes that major luxury buyers are from a younger, digitally native generation – and largely from Asia. Accordingly, the live sale will take place in Hong Kong on July 9th. However, Sotheby’s is using a hybrid online and live bidding process, with the online bidding process starting on Friday, June 25.

Until now, fewer than ten diamonds weighing in over 100 carats have been brought to auction. And of those, only two were pear-shaped. This mega-diamond, christened the Key 10138, is all the more unusual for that reason. Its name refers to the unlocking of a new era in technology and commerce. Think of it this way: diamonds were once a form of currency themselves. And now, the newest form of currency is an option in purchasing one of the oldest forms of currency. Pretty cool, right? 

For viewers who wish to see the diamond, it is currently available to view by appointment at Sotheby’s New York. After July 3, it will be on public exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong gallery, leading up to the auction on July 9th. And don’t worry – if you have $10-$15 million laying around in cash, your money is still good – Sotheby’s is still accepting fiat.    

If the Key 10138 is a bit out of your budget, that’s okay. At Samuelson’s Diamonds, we have diamonds of all shapes and sizes – though we don’t accept cryptocurrency – yet. You can browse our collection of diamonds on our new online store or make a private appointment to stop in and shop our curated collection. Contact us today!


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