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.