Diamonds are a President’s Best Friend
By Devorah Isenberg , Monday, February 07, 2011
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 – In 2009 and 2010, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdallah showed his diplomatic savvy and gift-giving know-how when he gifted President Obama and family with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of diamond jewelry. According to a State Department report, this makes the Saudi royal one of the most generous gift-givers of the year.
First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, is known for her fashion sense—she’s been hailed as the first fashion icon of the 21st century. So when the Saudi king presented Michelle Obama with a diamond jewelry gift, he knew it had to be classy, elegant, and fashion-forward. Michelle was presented with a ruby and diamond necklace and earring set valued at $132,00, plus a strand of pearls with a sterling silver pendant valued at $14,200.
A pearl necklace makes a lovely gift for any lady, not just the First Lady
You just have to wonder whether the king of Saudi Arabia knew that gemstones like rubies have never been hotter in high-end jewelry, and that pearl necklaces fit perfectly with Michelle Obama’s ladylike yet modern aesthetic
But the First Lady wasn’t the only Obama presented with stunning diamond jewelry. Malia Obama, 13, and Sasha, 10, have for the most part stayed away from the Presidential limelight, but King Abdallah still showed his diplomatic appreciation for the First Daughters with diamond jewelry gifts including diamond earrings and necklaces reportedly worth more than $3,500.
A simple diamond pendant with a floral motif is a cute and exciting gift for any girl
But before you imagine Malia or Sasha wearing dramatic chandelier earrings to middle school, remember that the Obama parents are pretty strict on keeping their daughters’ lives as normal as possible while they live in the White House.
And the President himself? He wasn’t left out of the gift-giving spree either. King Abdallah reportedly presented President Obama with solid gold figurines and a medallion valued at $34,000. Senior White House officials were also gifted with tens of thousands of dollars worth of high-end diamond jewelry and watches, including lots of rubies and diamonds.
But before you start looking for the ruby and diamond sparklers on the First Lady’s neck at the next State dinner, keep in mind that gift-giving is a time-honored tradition in foreign diplomacy. Many foreign governments give gifts representing their unique cultures to the First Family, although few display the kind of luxury and opulence of the Saudi gifts. Regardless, the gifts are primarily symbolic, because the First Family does not actually keep any gift valued at over $335.
The real moral of the story is that diamonds are simply the best gift—whether you are a Saudi royal showing respect to Michelle Obama, or just a guy trying to show your girlfriend how much she means to you.
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