Tupac Shakur’s iconic crown ring worn during his final public appearance in 1996 has been sold for a record-breaking $1,016,000 at a Sotheby’s auction.
The priceless hunk of jewelry is the “most valuable hip-hop artifact ever sold at auction” and is the only piece to be purchased for over $1 million, according to a release from the bidding house.
The late “California Love” rapper’s ring went for more than triple its $300,000 estimate at the Sotheby’s sale.
“This one-of-a-kind, custom ring was meticulously designed by Pac and is among the final products of his boundless creative energy — a unique artifact from a period of time that is a testament to his enduring influence on hip-hop,” Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s global head of science & popular culture, said in a statement.
The gold, ruby and diamond finger ice was worn by the “Juice” actor at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, just several days before his Sept. 13 death in a drive-by shooting when he was 25 years old.
Shakur’s godmother and trusted advisor Yaasmyn Fula offered the ring to Sotheby’s for purchase.
An inscription is engraved on the band that read: “Pac & Dada 1996.”
This was in reference to his engagement to Quincy Jones’ daughter, Kidada, whom he was with for several months until his death.
The custom ring was conceptualized by Fula after Shakur called her up in late 1995 to create a piece that would help signify the next step of his career.
Both designed the band together, as Fula also helped connect the Death Row Records singer and New York jewelers to ensure that the ring was crafted to his specifications.
The “Hit ‘Em Up” crooner was a fan of Italian Renaissance author Niccolo Machiavelli’s book “The Prince” after reading it during his jail time in 1995. He was inspired by the historical figure to compose the regalia.
Shakur — who also went by the moniker “Makaveli” — also wanted to model his ring after the crowns of the medieval kings of Europe in “an act of self-coronation,” according to Fula.
The ring itself has a gold crown that is studded with three large jewels — a central cabochon ruby and two pavé-cut diamonds.
Shakur’s selection of the ruby as the primary stone in the crown area “is a continuation of this royal narrative, as rubies have long been symbolically tied to the imagery of monarchy and wealth in our cultural imagination,” Sotheby’s explained.
The “Poetic Justice” alum was also recently posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 7, just nine days before what would have been his 52nd birthday.
He received his star in the category of recording.
The “All Eyes on Me” superstar’s sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur paid tribute to him at the unveiling.
“As the proud sister of Tupac Amaru Shakur, the daughter of Mutulu and Afeni Shakur, it fills my heart with honor to stand here today representing the Shakur family,” she proudly said.
“Before anyone recognised his name, he knew he had the dream to have a star here on the Walk of Fame,” she continued, adding that he would be grateful for his fans who came out to memorialize “the work and the passion that he has put into making his dreams come true.
“His heavenly star will shine a little brighter today.”
Source: New York Post