Cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used in the art world. Now the traditional auction house Sotheby’s has sold a diamond of the type ” IIa ” – for a cryptocurrency worth 12 million dollars.


Can be paid in BTC or ETH

Sotheby’s is considered one of the world’s leading companies in the art and antiques market. The traditional company has existed since 1744 and has centres in New York, London, Paris, Geneva and Hong Kong. Now the famous auction house has announced: it has sold a Type IIa diamond for 12 million dollars and accepted a cryptocurrency as a means of payment.

The company about the sale:

“In recent months, cryptocurrencies have begun to make a name for themselves in the world of physical art and objects. Today, they are making their biggest move yet, as Sotheby’s announces that cryptocurrency will be accepted as a means of payment for one of the rarest and greatest treasures on Earth – an exceptional 101.38-carat pear-shaped D Flawless diamond.“

According to Sotheby’s, this is a particularly rare type of diamond, which is also considered the most chemically pure. Named “Key 101.38”, the diamond is Sotheby’s second largest pear-shaped diamond ever sold to the public. It goes without saying that the gemstone comes with a “certificate of authenticity” and a monograph:

“Type IIa diamonds are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency. The GIA report is also accompanied by a monograph.“

Diamond holds sales record

Sotheby’s emphasizes: cryptocurrency as a means of payment – this marks a significant moment in the development of the market. Because the diamond holds a special record: No other physical object with an estimate even close to the $ 10-15 million the diamond is worth has ever been publicly offered for purchase with a cryptocurrency (although the company is silent on which cryptocurrency the diamond was paid in).

Another art record is also directly related to cryptocurrencies: in December, the US artist “Beeple” sold a collection of his digital works of art at auction house Christie’s – for the equivalent of 69 million dollars in Ethereum.

This probably caused the decision makers at Sotheby’s to take notice, because shortly afterwards the New York auction house was also in the headlines on the subject of cryptocurrencies: At that time it was announced that they would now accept payments in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum (to buy from eToro or Libertex). The crypto purchases at Sotheby’s are processed via the crypto exchange Coinbase Commerce.

For auction houses, cryptocurrencies are attractive means of payment, as this automatically expands the range of potential customers. Conversely, blockchain technology is giving many digital artists the opportunity to monetize their works for the first time. The gigantic demand for corresponding offers has, for example, NFT portals such as, Mintable or OpenSea launched.