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

(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.

In this 2012 file photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal speak.
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)
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