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Sotheby's Auctions Rare Diamond 'Key 10138' Using Cryptocurrency

The Key 10138. Photo via Sothebys.

The Key 10138. Photo via Sothebys.

According to Sotheby’s, the pear-shaped jewelry piece weighs 101.38 carats and has been graded by GIA as D Colour, Flawless, and Type IIa.

As cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity among users worldwide, an auction conducted by a British-American marketplace for art and luxury, Sotheby’s sold its most expensive piece of jewellery ever through cryptocurrency on Friday. The piece of jewellery was a giant diamond called The Key 10138 which sold for more than $12.2 million in cryptocurrency. According to Sotheby’s, the pear-shaped jewellery piece weighs 101.38 carats and has been graded by GIA as D Colour, Flawless, and Type IIa. The Key was bought by an unidentified private collector at an auction in Hong Kong. What makes type IIa diamonds “very rare” is their composition and characteristics. Type IIa diamonds contain no IR-detectable nitrogen or boron impurities in their chemical structure and represent less than 2 per cent of all diamonds mined. They display exceptional transparency as they are considered the most chemically pure diamonds.

In its statement,Sotheby’s said that the diamond piece known as Key 10138 is the first significant diamond in the world to be auctioned with cryptocurrency as an accepted method of payment. The name of the diamond symbolises the beginning of a new era in commerce and technology and hence is a key to history. Sotheby’s believes that Key 10138 will become a diamond that history will remember for combining humanity’s work and knowledge on diamonds this far, and “turning the key to unlock a still more brilliant future.”

Last week, Sotheby’s also auctioned the NFT of the original source code for the world wide web, written by its inventor Tim Berners-Lee. The source code was bought for $5.4m at Sotheby’s in an online auction. The contents of the NFT included the original archive of dated and time-stamped files containing the source code, written between October 3, 1990 and August 24, 1991; animated visualization of the code being written (Video, black and white, silent), lasting 30 minutes 25 seconds. The NFT also included a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) representation of the full code, and a letter written in the README.md file Tim in June 2021 that talked about the code and how he created it.

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first published:July 10, 2021, 14:22 IST