Tupac’s Crown Ring Sells for Over $1 Million at Auction, Drake Revealed as Buyer

The “Hotline Bling” rapper is the new owner of a one-of-a-kind bauble designed by the late hip-hop legend. The 36-year-old rapper revealed he forked out seven figures to own the gold, ruby, and diamond crown ring that Tupac wore at his final public appearance in 1996. The Her Loss hitmaker wore the ring at the MTV Video Music Awards on September 4, 1996, just days before he died in a drive-by shooting.

It was a unique ring that Tupac designed for himself, reflecting the esthetic he developed while in prison and inspired by the crowns of medieval European kings, Sotheby’s said. The auction house added that the ring symbolized the artist’s “boundless creativity, uncompromising vision, and undying ethos.”

Originally estimated to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000, the piece went for more than twice that amount at Tuesday’s sale. Sotheby’s said it also became the most valuable hip-hop artifact ever sold at auction.

Tupac’s godmother Yaasmyn Fula offered the ring to Sotheby’s, which held the auction as part of a more significant event dedicated to hip-hop called I Like It Like That, marking what Sotheby’s calls the 50th anniversary of the genre. A slew of historic studio equipment, sneakers, jackets, and archival flyers and posters were also up for grabs at the Tuesday auction.

Drake’s collection of expensive jewelry just got even more impressive after he snagged the slain MC’s crown ring. The rapper shared a photo of himself wearing the ring on his Instagram Story on Friday. He penned a caption that proclaimed, “UTOPIA out now meltdown.” Drake then promoted his collaboration with Travis Scott’s Utopia album, which dropped at midnight.

It was unclear who won the bidding war for the ring, but it was only a short time before Drake came forward with confirmation of his purchase. “It’s official; I bought the ring from Sotheby’s. My new favorite piece,” he wrote.

The ring was designed by Tupac and was crafted from gold with 10 carats of cabochon rubies and nearly five carats of diamonds, Sotheby’s said. It reportedly had a circumference of about 15 inches. During the VMAs, Shakur wore the ring on his left ring finger. It was the last time he appeared publicly before he was fatally shot nine days later in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. He was 25 years old at the time of his death. The ring was the only item at Sotheby’s to sell for over a million dollars. Drake now joins a growing list of rappers who own the late icon’s precious belongings, including a 14-karat chain and a pair of shoes from Pharrell Williams. Earlier this year, Drake was the most-listened-to artist on Spotify and spun 2Pac’s songs for more than 246 minutes.

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