Tupac’s Crown Rıng Expected to Go for $200K-$300K at Auctıon
Sotheby’s upcoming auction of hip-hop memorabilia will feature another crown but, this time, it is from the collection of a West Coast rapper.
Musician and actor Tupac Shakur designed a gold, ruby and diamond crown ring, and wore it at his last public appearance, the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).
Expected to sell for as much as $300,000—a conservative estimate considering Biggie’s plastic crown sold for nearly $600,000—it is set to be the highlight of Sotheby’s online-only hip-hop auction, which opens for bidding next week.
Shakur, who went by the stage name 2Pac and, later in his career, Makaveli, had just been released from jail when he commissioned the piece in early 1996. The ring represented both a coronation and rebirth for the rapper, who was looking to start over personally and professionally. As Sotheby’s put it, “To commemorate this momentous arrival into a new stage of life and illustrious career, Tupac got new bling.” His godmother, adviser, money manager, and lifelong supporter Yaasmyn Fula served as liaison between the young musician and jewelers in New York to craft the ring according to Shakur’s specifications. The crown in Shakur’s ring sits atop a diamond-encrusted gold band and features diamonds, faceted rubies and, at the center, a cabochon ruby.
Sotheby’s said the musician picked rubies for the piece because of their symbolic ties to monarchy and wealth, a continuation of the ring’s royal narrative.
He typically wore the ring on the ring finger of left hand, and that’s where it was spotted at the VMAs on Sept. 4, 1996 in New York.