A custom-designed ring last worn by Tupac Amaru Shakur in public has been sold for $1 million, according to People. The platform said the ring is the most valuable Hip Hop artifact ever sold at auction.
The ring was originally designed and commissioned in 1996 and he wore it during his last public appearance at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. The ring is engraved with the inscription ‘Pac & Dada 1996,’ an acknowledgment of his relationship with Kidada Jones, the daughter of music producer Quincy Jones and the late actress Peggy Lipton.
The auction comes nearly 30 years after the death of the legendary rapper who redefined hip-hop with his unique style of rapping. The jewelry, which was auctioned by Sotheby’s New York on Monday, sold for a record $1,016,000. The selling price of the piece of jewelry was reportedly influenced by a bidding war, resulting in the sale of the item three times the original estimate of $300,000.
“This one-of-a-kind, custom ring was meticulously designed by Pac and is among the final products of his boundless creative energy — a unique artifact from a period of time that is a testament to his enduring influence on Hip Hop,” Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s Global Head of Science and Popular Culture, said.
Aside from the ring being inspired by his relationship with Jones, Sotheby added that the custom-designed ring was inspired by his affinity for Niccolo Machiavelli’s political manifesto The Prince.
This is not the first time the rapper’s properties are sold at auction. His famous breakup letter with Madonna was auctioned although Madonna tried unsuccessfully to stop the auction. The letter was written while Shakur was an inmate at the Clinton Correctional Facility in January 1995. “For you to be seen with a black man wouldn’t in any way jeopardize your career, if anything it would make you seem that much more open and exciting. But for me at least in my previous perception I felt due to my ‘image’ I would be letting down half of the people who made me what I thought I was,” portions of the letter read.
Shakur was born in 1971. He grew up to become one of the most influential rappers of all time through his music, his portrayal in the media, and the government’s treatment of him. His death at just 25 years old has been a subject of discussion and controversy. Many still mourn the legendary artist while others believe that he is still alive, hiding somewhere in this world.