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.
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Tupac Shakur Ring Sold For Ksh. 14 million

Tupac Shakur ring has been sold for a record Ksh. 14m in a remarkable auction held in New York on Tuesday. The ring adorned with gold, rubies, and diamonds, once worn by the legendary rapper Tupac Shakur was sold for a staggering $1 million.

Sotherby’s had initially estimated its value to be between $200,000 and $300,000, making this winning bid an astonishing achievement and setting a record as the most valuable hip-hop artifact ever sold.

The iconic ring was donned by Tupac Shakur during his final public appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards on September 4, 1996, just days before his tragic demise. Sadly, he was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on September 13, at the young age of 25.

Tupac himself was involved in designing the crown ring, collaborating with his godmother, Yaasmyn Fula, who later put it up for auction. His inspiration for the design came from the crowns worn by medieval European kings. Drawing influence from 16th-century Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” a polictical manifesto Tupac had read while imprisoned on sex abuse charges, he crafted a unique and meaningful piece.

Engraved with the inscription “Pac & Dac 1996” referring to his girlfriend Kidada Jones, the ring features a gold circlet embellished with a central cabochon ruby and flanked by two pave-cut diamonds, all resting upon a diamond-encrusted gold band.

The auction, dedicated to hip-hop to celebrate the genre’s 50-year milestone in August, showcased Tupac’s legacy and immense influence in the music world. Renowned as one of the greatest rappers of all time, Tupac’s musical career saw the sale of an impressive 75 million records.

Throughout his time, Tupac was a central figure in teh West Coast hip-hop scene based in Los Angeles, which occasionally clashed with rival East Coast rappers from New York. His untimely death remains unsolved, with various theories circulating about the identity of his assailant.

Tragically, six months after Tupac’s murder, East Coast rapper Christopher “The Notorious BIG” Wallace was also fatally shot, fueling speculations of a rivalry between their music labels: Death Row, based in LA, and Bad Boy Entertainment, located in New York. However, some music historians argue that this coastal rift might have been exaggerated for commercial purposes.