A one-of-a-kind custom diamond and ruby crown ring, worn by murdered rapper Tupac Shakur during his last public appearance, sold for just over $1 million at a recent auction at Sotheby’s in New York.
The piece, which Tupac designed and commissioned in 1996, became the most valuable hip-hop artifact ever sold at auction, Sotheby’s said Tuesday. It is also the only hip-hop item to pass the $1 million mark. After a battle between several bidders, the jewel fetched more than triple its $300,000 presale high estimate.
The ring consists of a diamond-encrusted gold band, on top of which sits a crown studded with a cabochon ruby and two pavé-cut diamonds, with smaller rubies at the point tips. Tupac wore the crown ring at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, his final public appearance before his death, Sotheby’s explained. It was offered at the auction by his godmother, Yaasmyn Fula.
“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,” said Cassandra Hatton, global head of science and popular culture at Sotheby’s.
Image: Tupac Shakur’s crown ring. (Sotheby’s)