Saudis Gave Hillary $500K in Jewelry
She can't keep it though; it tops list of gifts from world leaders
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2013 2:04 PM CDT
In this 2012 file photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal speak.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

(Newser) – With great power comes great swag. The State Department is out with its annual list of gifts bestowed upon US officials by foreign governments, and the most eye-catching item is the $500,000 worth of white gold jewelry that Saudi King Abdullah gave Hillary Clinton. Think "teardrop rubies and diamonds containing a necklace, a bracelet, earrings, and a ring," according to the official description. Alas, Clinton can't keep it, because rules prohibit US diplomats from hanging on to any gift above $350, notes the Wall Street Journal. Which means Clinton can't keep a $560 bottle of cognac from Vladimir Putin, either.

The full list will be published in the Federal Register, but the Journal, the AP, and the Hill pull out highlights:

  • President Obama got a 41-inch saber from the president of Mongolia worth $440. He also got an autographed basketball from Chinese President Xi Jinping appraised for the weird sum of $740.
  • Obama's priciest present: a $16,500 gold-plated clock from the Saudi defense minister.
  • Obama daughters Malia and Sasha received two brooches valued at $4,440 from the president of Myanmar.
  • Janet Napolitano got a “clear-glass perfume bottle with purple glass stopper” from Jordan.
  • Pakistan gave Mitch McConnell at $480 bottle of scotch.
Most of the pricey gifts go to the General Services Administration, where they usually get donated or resold to the public.