Drake Bought Tupac Shakur’s Self-Designed Crown Ring for $1.01 Million

Jason Merritt/Radarpics/Shutterstock ; Courtesy of Drake/Instagram

Move over “Hotline Bling,” because Drake has a new piece of jewelry to admire — and it’s the iconic ring that was owned and designed by the late Tupac Shakur.

Drake, 37, purchased the one-of-a-kind bauble during Sotheby’s Hip-Hop Auction earlier this month. “UTOPIA out now meltdown,” he captioned a Friday, July 28, Instagram Story photo of his new accessory while promoting fellow rapper Travis Scott’s latest LP.

The ring —  which featured gold, rubies and diamonds and sold for $1.01 million — was auctioned off by Sotheby’s earlier this week thanks to Tupac’s godmother and trusted advisor, Yaasmyn Fula. Drake’s bid made the ring the most valuable hip-hop artifact that has ever been sold at auction — and the only one that was purchased for more than $1 million.

“This one-of-a-kind, custom ring was meticulously designed by Tupac 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 both Hip Hop and global contemporary culture,” Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s Global Head of Science & Popular Culture, said in a statement on Friday. “We’re thrilled that this exceptional piece has entered a new chapter in the hands of another legendary artist.”

Tupac, who died in September 1996 at the age of 25, originally donned the ring for his final public appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. The starring facet of the rock is the gold circlet, which is studded with a cabochon ruby and two pavé-cut diamonds to form the “crown,” which sits on a diamond-encrusted gold band. The custom ring also features a “Pac & Dada 1996” inscription on the band, a nod to his relationship with his fiancée, Kidada Jones.

Drake Purchased Tupac Shakur’s Self-Designed Gold Crown Ring for $1.01 Million Because, Of Course

Tupac Shakur’s gold crown ring seen at Sotheby’s auction house in New York on July 20, 2023.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

Tupac designed the jewel for months in early 1996, as a way to commemorate his new era after his 1995 incarceration for sexual assault and inking a major deal with Death Row Records. According to Sotheby’s, Fula served as a liaison between Tupac and the jeweler to make sure everything was made to the rapper’s exact specifications.

Tupac modeled the crown design after Niccolo Machiavelli’s political manifesto The Prince and medieval royalty. According to Fula, his design was also meant to celebrate his survival “through a tumultuous year in an oft tumultuous life.”

Drake is known for his suave style and has even previously gotten creative with his jewelry. Designer Alex Moss revealed in December 2022 that Drake commissioned a necklace that had been made out of 42 diamond engagement rings that he never used with his past partners. “For all the times he thought about it but never did,” Moss captioned his Instagram post of the necklace.

Drake — who wore the statement piece during his set at Lil Baby’s concert in Atlanta earlier that month — has since been open about his reluctance to walk down the aisle.

“It seems like a thing of ancient times,” he said during the July 20 episode of the “Really Good” podcast. “You asked me why I haven’t gotten married. The truth? I don’t think I can offer somebody what they’d be looking for right now. I think my work is my priority, so I wouldn’t want to not be able to contribute as a partner. I just don’t want to disappoint someone.”

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