Tupac Shakur's custom crown ring sells for over $1 Million in Sotheby's auction | World News - Hindustan Times
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Tupac Shakur's custom crown ring sells for over $1 Million, setting new record at Sotheby's auction

Jul 26, 2023 12:30 PM IST

Tupac Shakur's gold, ruby, and diamond crown ring sold for over $1 million at auction, becoming the most valuable Hip Hop artifact ever sold.

A gold, ruby and diamond crown ring that belonged to rapper Tupac Shakur sold for over $1 million on Monday, breaking the record for the most valuable Hip Hop artifact ever sold at auction, according to Sotheby’s New York.

(FILES) A gold, ruby, and diamond crown ring, designed and worn by the late US rapper Tupac Shakur during his last public appearance in 1996, is displayed during a press preview at Sotheby's in New York City on July 20, 2023. A gold, ruby and diamond crown ring worn by rap legend Tupac Shakur during his last public appearance sold for $1 million at auction in New York on July 25, 2023. The winning bid was well above Sotheby's pre-sale estimate of between $200,000 and $300,000 and becomes the most valuable hip-hop artifact ever sold, the auction house said. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP)(AFP)
(FILES) A gold, ruby, and diamond crown ring, designed and worn by the late US rapper Tupac Shakur during his last public appearance in 1996, is displayed during a press preview at Sotheby's in New York City on July 20, 2023. A gold, ruby and diamond crown ring worn by rap legend Tupac Shakur during his last public appearance sold for $1 million at auction in New York on July 25, 2023. The winning bid was well above Sotheby's pre-sale estimate of between $200,000 and $300,000 and becomes the most valuable hip-hop artifact ever sold, the auction house said. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP)(AFP)

The ring, which Tupac designed and commissioned in 1996 and wore at his last public appearance at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, was expected to sell for $300,000 but fetched $1,016,000 after a bidding war.

“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, Sotheby’s Global Head of Science and Popular Culture.

The ring has “Pac & Dada, 1996” engraved on the band, a reference to his relationship with Kidada Jones, the daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton.

The “All Eyez on Me” singer’s design was inspired by the crowns of the medieval kings of Europe and by Niccolo Machiavelli’s political treatise The Prince, which he read while in prison. He also adopted the alias “Makaveli” after reading the book.

FILE PHOTO: A person holds a picture of Rapper Tupac Shakur next to his star during its posthumous unveiling ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 7, 2023. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A person holds a picture of Rapper Tupac Shakur next to his star during its posthumous unveiling ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 7, 2023. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo(REUTERS)

According to his godmother Yaasmyn Fula, who offered the ring for auction, Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur taught him to think of himself as a “Black prince.” Fula was Tupac’s godmother, advisor, “auntie,” money manager, caretaker, and lifelong supporter.

This is not the first time a Pac item was auctioned off. In 2018, a breakup letter he wrote to Madonna while in jail was sold by Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction house. Madonna tried to stop the sale but failed. The letter started at $100,000 and revealed why Tupac ended their relationship.

“For you to be seen with a black man wouldn’t in any way jeopardize your career, if anything it would make you seem that much more open and exciting. But for me at least in my previous perception I felt due to my ‘image’ I would be letting down half of the people who made me what I thought I was,” he wrote in part. He also said he had “grown both spiritually and mentally.”

On June 7, the deceased rapper received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, spoke for him at the ceremony.

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“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 said.

“Before anyone recognized his name, he knew he had the dream to have a star here on the Walk of Fame,” Set said, adding that his fans came to celebrate “the work and the passion that he has put into making his dreams come true. His heavenly star will shine a little brighter today.”

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