Crypto allowed at rare diamond auction

International auction house Sotheby’s says it will accept cryptocurrency as payment for a rare 101-carat diamond expected to fetch up to $US15 million ($A20m).

The world-famous broker said it was the first time a stone of such value had been offered for purchase by cryptocurrency, and hailed the move as a “significant moment in the evolution” of the market.

The 101.38-carat pear-shaped flawless diamond, dubbed The Key 10138, is one of only 10 diamonds of more than 100 carats to come to auction, the auction house says.

The diamond has an estimated sale price of between $US10-15 million dollars ($A13-20m).

It will be offered in a single-lot live sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on July 9, with bidding open online from June 25.

While traditional money will be accepted, buyers will also be able to use cryptocurrencies Ether or Bitcoin.

“This is a truly symbolic moment,” Yu Wenhao, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia, said. 

“The most ancient and emblematic denominator of value can now, for the first time, be purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency.”

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