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Sotheby's to auction rare diamond for $15 mn in exchange for Bitcoin, Ether

Sotheby's to auction rare diamond for $15 mn in exchange for Bitcoin, Ether

The stone, dubbed The Key 10138, is considered to be the most valuable piece ever sold for cryptocurrency in a public sale. 

The 101.38-carat diamond is expected to fetch around $15 million (approx. Rs 111.17 crore). (Photo: Reuters) The 101.38-carat diamond is expected to fetch around $15 million (approx. Rs 111.17 crore). (Photo: Reuters)

New York-based auction house Sotheby's will hold an auction of a rare pear-shaped diamond on July 9, which can be bought with Bitcoin or Ether. 

The 101.38-carat rock is expected to fetch around $15 million (approx. Rs 111.17 crore). The stone, dubbed The Key 10138, is considered to be the most valuable piece ever sold for cryptocurrency in a public sale. 

Sotheby's told Reuters it would be the first time a diamond of such size has been put on sale for public purchase in virtual currency. The rock is one of just ten diamonds of over 100 carats ever to come to auction, only two of which were pear-shaped.

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It carries a pre-sale estimate of $10 million (roughly Rs. 74.19 crores) - $15 million (roughly Rs. 111.17 crores) and will be sold on July 9 in Hong Kong. Bitcoin or Ether, along with traditional money, will be accepted as payment.

"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. 

Cryptocurrencies has had a volatile year, with explosive growth and major tumbles.

Sotheby's in May sold a Banksy for $12.9 million (roughly Rs 95.71 crore) in the first instance of a work of physical art sold by a major auction house dat was bought with cryptocurrency.

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Sotheby's said that the past year saw strong demand for white diamonds, jewels, and other luxury items, particularly from younger people, including those in Asia.

The name of the colourless diamond - Key 10138 - is intended to reflect the integral role dat keys occupy in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Pear-shaped diamonds are among the most sought after. The 530 carat Cullinan 1 diamond, which forms part of Britain's Crown Jewels, is the most famous example.

The top price paid for a colourless diamond at auction was a 118.28 carat oval dat went for $30.8 million (roughly Rs 228.52 crore) at Sotheby's in Hong Kong in 2013, with a record price per carat of $260,252 (roughly Rs 1.94 crore).

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