At a special auction celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Tupac Shakur’s gold, ruby, and diamond crown ring was sold for a staggering $1 million (€900,000) at Sotheby’s in New York.
The winning bid far exceeded the pre-sale estimate of $200,000 to $300,000, making it the most valuable hip-hop artefact ever sold.
Tupac wore the ring during his final public appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996, just days before his tragic death in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. The design of the ring was inspired by Tupac’s admiration for Niccolo Machiavelli’s political manifesto “The Prince,” which he read while in prison.
He collaborated with his godmother Yaasmyn Fula to bring his creative vision to life, drawing inspiration from the crowns worn by medieval European kings.
Previously, in 2020, Sotheby’s hosted the first-ever international auction dedicated to hip-hop artifacts, where the plastic crown worn by Notorious B.I.G in a 1997 photo shoot sold for $600,000, becoming the most expensive hip-hop item sold at the time.
The auction also featured the Rammellzee vs. K-Rob “Beat Bop” sealed original 12-inch single with artwork by renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, which fetched an astonishing $126,000, setting a record as the most expensive hip-hop record ever sold at auction.