Industry / Technology

Sotheby’s to Sell NFT Jewelry Item at Upcoming Auction


NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have become all the rage in the art world, scoring millions at auctions. Could the same trend come to jewelry?

As part of Sotheby’s upcoming sale of artist-made jewelry, the celebrated auction house will sell a “phygital” ring, which it defines as “being simultaneously physical and digital.”

The 18k gold and emerald ring (pictured), produced by Francine Ballard of digital collectible producer Metagolden specifically for this sale, will have both a physical copy and a place in the metaverse.

The piece, titled Ethereum Expedition, was inspired by recent intercontinental rocket launches and designed to resemble a miniature geodesic dome.

Metagolden says its items’ “digital twins”—which can be a piece of digital art or an augmented or virtual item that can be worn in the metaverse—sometimes appreciate in value independently from the physical item.

“For under-30 consumers, digital assets have become as important as physical ones,” said Ballard in a statement. “Luxury is awakening to that fact now. And this is where our brand sits.”

The Ethereum Expedition will be part of Sotheby’s Art as Jewelry as Art sale, which features jewelry by classic and contemporary artists and will be held from Sept. 24 to Oct. 4 in New York City.

Items include pendants designed by Pablo Picasso, earrings designed by Salvador Dalí, and a piece by Man Ray. There are also pieces from contemporary artists such as Tom Otterness and Jean Boggio.

A recent JCK Pro article looked at the role NFTs and the metaverse might play in the jewelry market.

Top: The Ethereum Expedition ring by Metagolden (photo courtesy of CNW Group/Metagolden)

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By: Rob Bates

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