Late actor & rapper Tupac Shakur's custom-made ring is expected to fetch around $300,000 at Sotheby's

Hip-hop sensation Makaveli’s treasured jewel, alongside several other rare hip-hop associated artifacts, will be put up for sale at the auction.

July 11, 2023: Auction house Sotheby’s, in association with entertainment company Mass Appeal, will present its third Hip-Hop auction, to celebrate the dance form’s 50th anniversary. Featuring original art, historic studio equipment, sneakers and jackets, archival flyers and posters, rare artifacts, and more, the auction spotlights iconic artists and trailblazers who defined not only the musical genre as we know it but also the global phenomenon of Hip Hop culture spanning art, fashion, and much more.

Tupac Shakur Crown Ring Sotheby's
Among the highlights is the late rapper, Tupac Shakur’s tailor-made gold, diamond, and ruby ‘Crown’ engagement ring. A significant part of the rapper’s life, the ring was worn by him during his final public appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards on September 4, 1996. According to the artist’s godmother, Yaasmyn Fula, who put the ring on offer, Tupac himself designed the piece inspired by the crowns of the medieval kings of Europe in “an act of self-coronation.”
A Hip Hop king of his own making, the artist was named after the Peruvian indigenous revolutionary leader Túpac Amaru II. Reflecting on his early childhood, Fula remembers Tupac’s mother Afeni teaching him the following mantra: “You are our black prince. You are my miracle, and you will make black people proud.”
The "Crown" itself, a gold circlet set with the three biggest gems in the entire piece, a center cabochon ruby, flanked by two pavé-cut diamonds, rests above a gold ring covered in diamonds. He himself designed the ring and had the words “Pac & Dada 1996,” engraved on it referencing his engagement to Kidada Jones. The ring will be kept at Sotheby’s Public Exhibition in New York from July 20 to 24. 

Tupac Shakur Crown Ring Sotheby's
Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s Global Head of Science & Popular Culture said, “Few, if any, cultural movements have made as explosive a global impact in such a short amount of time as Hip Hop. Coinciding with Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary this year, we are honored to present our third sale devoted to the multiple generations of Hip Hop artists whose indelible marks on music, fashion, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and social change continue to resonate. In collaborating with renowned storytellers Mass Appeal, we look forward to celebrating Hip Hop’s remarkable 50-year legacy.”
Hip Hop's tremendous influence on art and society over the course of five decades, from its birth in the South Bronx in 1973 to the present, will be highlighted through this sale. The online bidding will run from July 18 to 25, 2023.

- By Pritha Debroy

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