Sotheby’s, the 277-year-old British auction house, said it will be accepting bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and the stablecoin USDC for the sale of a rare 555.55-carat diamond dubbed “The Enigma.”
Sotheby’s said the decision to sell the black diamond with crypto as a payment option is due to the success of an earlier auction it held in July. Diamond collectors were stunned when an anonymous buyer purchased a rare 101.38-carat diamond known as “The Key 10138” for $12.3 million in cryptocurrency during a single-lot sale in Hong Kong.
“This present sale is a continuation of our efforts to strive to lead the market given the strong cryptocurrency community,” Nikita Binani, Sotheby’s jewelry specialist and head of sales in London, told CoinDesk. “I would hope that we’re able to attract them towards this diamond.”
Enigma is currently on tour and will be showing in Dubai, Los Angeles and London. If a diamond is purchased with cryptocurrency, then the transaction will be processed by Coinbase Commerce.
“To have a natural faceted black diamond of this size is an extremely rare occurrence and its origins are shrouded in mystery,” Sotheby’s wrote in a press release. “[It’s] thought to have been created either from a meteoric impact or having actually emerged from a diamond-bearing asteroid that collided with Earth.”
The Enigma will be auctioned in a single-lot online sale from February 3–9.
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