Grammy-winning artist, entrepreneur, and art collector Drake has revealed that bought Tupac Shakur’s gold, diamond, and ruby ring at a recent auction at Sotheby’s in New York.
The ring was sold at a Sotheby’s hip-hop sale on Tuesday. It went for $1.02 million, more than triple its $300,000 high estimate. According to Sotheby’s, the ring is the only hip-hop artifact to sell for more than $1 million at auction.
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While the identity of the buyer was not immediately disclosed following the sale, Drake flashed the ring on his Instagram Stories. Sotheby’s confirmed the news in a press release on July 28.
“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,” Sotheby’s global head of science and popular culture, Cassandra Hatton, said in a press statement. “We’re thrilled that this exceptional piece has entered a new chapter in the hands of another legendary artist.”
The ring was inscribed “Pac & Dada 1996” in reference to the artist’s engagement to Kidada Jones. It was offered for auction by Yaasmyn Fula, Shakur’s godmother.
Shakur designed the gold ring over several months after signing a deal with Death Row Records and serving eight months in prison. According to Sotheby’s, Fula said Shakur’s design was modeled on the crowns of the medieval kings of Europe in “an act of self-coronation” to celebrate his survival of a tough year.
The rapper wore it during the MTV Video Music Awards in New York in 1996. It would be the hip-hop artist’s last public appearance before he was fatally shot in Los Angeles three days later.
Drake has previously shown interest in rare collectibles and art, chasing a LeBron James triple Logoman card for months, collaborating with Sotheby’s in 2015, and performing in Miami Beach during the 2017 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach. He also invested $100 million in the restoration of the avant-garde carnival Luna Luna.
An Architectural Digest profile in 2020 also revealed that Drake’s 50,000-square-foot home in Toronto features two sculptures by KAWS, an iteration of Lobmeyr’s iconic Metropolitan chandelier, and a bespoke Bösendorfer concert grand piano designed by the interior designer Ferris Rafauli and the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.