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Tupac’s Jewel-Encrusted Bling Ring Hits Auction Block

A gold, ruby, and diamond ring worn by the rap legend could fetch up to $300,000

A jewel-encrusted “crown” bling ring designed and worn by Tupac Shakur during his last public appearance is to go under the hammer and could sell for $300,000 ($229,488).

The extravagant gold, ruby and diamond sovereign ring will sell as part of auction house Sotheby’s sale marking the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

Widely regarded as one of the genre’s prodigal sons, rap royalty Tupac was gunned down in 1996 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, at just 25.

The killing came just three days after wearing the ring at his final public appearance at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.

The piece of hip-hop history is expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000 (£152,992 and £229,488) at auction in New York later this week.

Sotheby’s auction comes just weeks before the 50th anniversary of hip-hop – a culture founded by African Americans in New York incorporating rap, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti.

Two years before DJ Kool Herc’s back-to-school party, a young boy destined to take the genre to new heights was born in East Harlem, New York, the son of Black Panther Party members.

Throughout his career, the artist was also seen as a hip-hop fashion icon who redefined cool in the 90s with his streetwear and bling.

Tupac told his godmother Yaasmyn Fula, a friend of his mother’s who also served as his “advisor, auntie, money manager, caretaker, and lifelong supporter,” that he wanted a piece of jewelry which would serve as an act of self-coronation.

Following his release, Shakur designed not only the logo for his new media company but also two pieces of jewelry: a Euphanasia medallion and his opulent, 14-carat gold crown ring.

 The gold and diamonds “Popcorn Ring” designed by Carrera y Carrera is shown during the ‘Maja de los Goya’ by Carrera y Carrera ceremony at the Casa de Lorenzo del Castillo on March 1, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.on March 1, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.The self-designed ring marked a new phase in the rapper and actor’s life, in which he abandoned his “Thug Life” persona following a spell in prison and founded media conglomerate Euphanasia Incorporated. PHOTO BY FOTONOTICIAS/GETTY IMAGES  

The rapper’s godmother, Fula, who is selling the ring, explained that it served as a powerful symbol of responsibility.

On Tupac’s strict instructions for making the ring, she added: “He wanted rubies, he wanted diamonds – he wanted something elaborate.

The ring will be sold at Sotheby’s annual hip-hop auction in New York on July 25, and is on display to the public until its sale.

Cassandra Hatton, Head of Science and Popular Culture at Sotheby’s, added: “The crown jewel of our hip-hop sale this year is the crown ring that was designed by Tupac and then worn by him.

The majority of the other items in Sotheby’s hip-hop auction, including original artworks, historic studio equipment, trainers and jackets, archival flyers and posters, rare artifacts and more, derive directly from artist’s estates.


Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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