A gold, ruby, and diamond crown ring, designed and worn by the late US rapper Tupac Shakur
A gold, ruby, and diamond crown ring, designed and worn by the late US rapper Tupac Shakur during his last public appearance in 1996, is displayed during a press preview at Sotheby's in New York City. Image Credit: AFP

New York: Canadian rapper Drake revealed Friday that he is the buyer of a crown-shaped ring that belonged to slain hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur, which sold at auction this week for a record $1 million.

Drake shared an Instagram story that showed him wearing the bauble, which sold Tuesday at Sotheby's for a total of $1.016 million, including commission and fees.

That was well above the pre-sale estimate of between $200,000 and $300,000, making it the most valuable hip-hop artifact ever sold, the auction house said.

Drake - the best-selling artist behind hits such as "Hotline Bling" and "Nice For What" - has spent lavishly in the past, including buying a Boeing 767 for personal use and paying $104 million for a Los Angeles home once owned by singer Robbie Williams.

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

Widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time with 75 million records sold, he was shot dead by an unidentified assailant in Las Vegas just days later. He was 25.

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Shakur, whose hits included "California Love," 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.

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

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 added.