Sotheby’s — the international art and jewelry auction house — has announced it would accept cryptocurrency as payment in an upcoming auction for a 101.38-carat pear-shaped diamond with flawless clarity. It would be the first time that a diamond of over 100 carats — which is roughly the size of a walnut — can be paid for in cryptocurrency.

Fast facts:

  • Sotheby said it would accept Bitcoin, Ethereum’s Ether, or fiat at an auction in Hong Kong on July 9.
  • “The most ancient and emblematic denominator of value can now, for the first time, be purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency,” said Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, in a statement. “Never was there a better moment to bring a world-class diamond such as this to the market.”
  • Cryptocurrency is becoming more common as a means of payment for high-end goods. Earlier this month, a Miami luxury apartment set a record for the highest price paid with crypto for real estate when it sold for a reported US$22.5 million worth of an undisclosed cryptocurrency. The sale also set Miami’s price-per-square-foot record.
  • In March, an NFT of digital artist Beeple’s piece “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” was sold by Christie’s, a competitor of Sotheby’s, at auction for a record US$69 million in ETH, fueling an NFT craze and setting a world record for the third-highest amount ever paid for an artwork by a living artist.