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A gold, ruby and diamond crown ring worn by rap legend Tupac Shakur during his last public appearance sold for $1 million at auction in New York Tuesday. 

The winning bid was well above Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of between $200,000 and $300,000 and becomes the most valuable hip-hop artifact ever sold, the auction house said.

Shakur wore the ring during his final public appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards on September 4, 1996. 

He was shot dead by an unidentified assailant in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas just days later, on September 13. He was 25. 

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The ring is engraved “Pac & Dada 1996,” a reference to his girlfriend Kidada Jones.

Shakur designed the ring over the course of a few months, Sotheby’s said. He did so through his godmother, Yaasmyn Fula, who put the ring up for sale. 

Shakur was influenced by 16th century Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli’s political manifesto “The Prince,” which he read while in prison on sex abuse charges. 

He modeled the design on the crowns of the medieval kings of Europe, Sotheby’s said.

A gold circulet studded with a central cabochon ruby flanked by two pave-cut diamonds sits atop a diamond-encrusted gold band. 

The sale was part of a dedicated hip-hop auction to mark 50 years of the genre, which falls in August this year. 

Tupac Shakur is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time, selling over 75 million records. 

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Last week, Las Vegas police searched a home as part of their investigation into the clouded 1996 murder of Shakur, for which no one has ever been arrested to this date.

In June, Shakur received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; the late rapper’s sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, accepted the star on behalf of their family.

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During her speech, she shed tears while describing her older brother’s vision of being celebrated with a star in Hollywood.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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