Roskin Gem News Report

Drake Outs Himself as Buyer of Tupac Shakur’s Iconic Crown Ring, Sold for $1 Million at Sotheby’s

Artnet News, July 28, 2023

Tupac wore the ring to the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards three days before he was shot in a drive-by attack

Rapper Tupac Shakur. On September 7, 1996. (Gary Reyes / Oakland Tribune Staff Archives) 

Earlier this week, Tupac Shakur’s iconic “crown” ring, which the rapper designed and commissioned months before his untimely death in 1996, sold for $1,016,000 at Sotheby’s New York. 

A bidding war pushed the purchase price up to more than three times the lot’s high estimate of $300,000 (estimates do not encompass fees; final prices do). Typically, auction winners remain anonymous, but on Friday, July 28, the victor outed himself as the new wearer of the crown. 

In an Instagram story, rapper Drake posted a picture of himself holding the newly acquired piece of jewelry. Sotheby’s confirmed that he was the buyer shortly afterward.  

Topped by a miniature crown crafted in gold, rubies, and diamonds, the ring represented “an act of self-coronation” for Tupac, according to Yaasmyn Fula, his godmother and money manager, who consigned the item. Engraved on its band is the inscription “Pac & Dada 1996,” referencing his engagement to Kidada Jones. 

Tupac wore the ring to the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards in what would turn out to be his last public appearance. Three days later, on September 7, the rapper was shot four times in a drive-by attack in Las Vegas. He died on September 13 at the age of 25. 

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Tupac Shakur’s self-designed gold, diamond and ruby “crown” ring. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.
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