20 Sep 2021
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World's Top Auctioneer To Accept Cryptocurrency In Exchange At HK Sale
In a radical move Sotheby's one of world's largest brokers of fine jewellery and premier auctioneer will allow buyers to pay in Bitcoin or Ether for all items at its upcoming Hong Kong auction
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 18 2021 1:48PM
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Reference: 25854  

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The Harry Winston necklace. (Sotheby’s)
The Harry Winston necklace. (Sotheby’s)

This is a followup of a successful experiment with cryptocurrency conducted by the auctioneer earlier this summer. A Harry Winston diamond necklace will lead the September 24 auction, which Sotheby’s has called “Diamonds: The Dazzling ∞,” using the mathematical symbol for infinity.

The piece is the auction house’s first signed jewel to be offered with a cryptocurrency option, it said last week. The necklace, which carries an estimate of HKD 36 million to HKD 46 million ($4.6 million to $5.9 million, or up to 128 bitcoins), contains a total of 177.51 carats of diamonds, designed as a cascade. This includes nine graduated pear-shaped, D-color, internally flawless stones.

The sale will also feature several loose diamonds ranging from 8.08 to 50.05 carats. A brilliant-cut, 11.88-carat, D-color, VS1-clarity diamond has a presale valuation of up to HKD 9.5 million ($1.2 million, or 26 bitcoins), while an emerald-cut, 10.88-carat, D-flawless, type IIa stone has a high estimate of HKD 8 million ($1 million, or 22 bitcoins).

Sotheby’s will hold the sale online. Bidding opened last week. Consumers also have the option to pay for items in traditional currency.

In July, the auction house sold a 101.38-carat diamond for cryptocurrency worth the equivalent of $12.3 million (approximately 366 bitcoins or 5,818 ether), the highest price for a jewel or gemstone purchased through that method. That sale was the first time Sotheby’s had offered jewelry for purchase with cryptocurrency.

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