Nowhere has the cartoonish, amplified sprit of bling is been more embraced than in the world of hip hop. One might even say hip hop invented bling – though surely karat loving proto-starlets like Elizabeth Taylor and her ilk played a role. While the history of such casually worn gargantuan rocks is up for debate it cannot be denied that many of the more humorous gem renderings come from the world of hip hop and R&B. Where else will one see a diamond encrusted Kaws figurine but on the neck of a sartorially inclined rap artist?

It is with this understanding that Phillips de Pury undertakes it’s landmark auction of Hip Hop’s Crown jewels – series of outlandish rings and things from the likes of Missy Elliot, Slick Rick and Tupac Shakur. The assortment includes a set of diamond eye patches (courtesy of Slick), bejeweled turntables and of course studded miniature headphones. Whether one finds such things aspirational or absurd the oddball originality behind these pieces is intriguing and endearing. Not to mention the added historical element of the gems from the collections of the genre’s true legends.

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