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The 277-year-old auction house, Sotheby’s To Accept Bitcoin For 101-Carat D-Flawless Diamond, estimated between $10 million and $15 million.

“The Key 101.38,” a pear-shaped diamond of 101.38 carats. Its estimate is $10 - $15 million Sotheby's

The rarity of a D-color, flawless diamond of more than 100 carats is being surpassed in the way Sotheby’s auction house will accept payment for such a gem.

The gem in question is “The Key 101.38,” a pear-shaped diamond of 101.38 carats with flawless clarity and D-color, the highest color and clarity grades for a colorless diamond. Along with fiat, the auction house will also accept bitcoin and ethereum as payment for the gem.

Its estimate is $10 million - $15 million. It’s the first time cryptocurrency will be accepted as payment in a public auction of a diamond weighing more than 100 carats. In addition, no other physical object with an estimate even approaching this amount has ever been publicly offered for purchase with cryptocurrency, according to the auction house.

The live single-lot auction for the diamond will be held in Hong Kong on July 9. However, Sotheby’s is again using its hybrid online and live bidding process. Online bidding will open on June 25 culminating with the live sale.

“The Key 101.38,” a pear-shaped D-Flawless diamond of 101.38 carats Sotheby's

“This is a truly symbolic moment. The most ancient and emblematic denominator of value can now, for the first time, be purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency,” Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said in a statement. “Never was there a better moment to bring a world-class diamond such as this to the market.”

The name of the diamond was chosen to capture both the past, the present and future, Sotheby’s said, adding that historically, keys, like diamonds, have been a symbol of power and of the freedom that comes with it. This sale represents keys of a digital kind that are critical to the functioning of cryptocurrency.

“Diamonds are keys to understanding the history o...

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