During U.S. President Barack Obama’s first year in office, the First Family received nearly $200,000 value of gifts from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Among the gifts was a ruby and diamond jewelry set consisting of a pair of earrings and ring, bracelet and a necklace presented to Michelle Obama.
The overall set is valued at $132,000.
Among the new unusual gifts, the Deputy Commander of the Royal Saudi Air Force presented the United States’ Deputy under Secretary of the Air Force with an strange gift: “Large 8” x 15” x 4’ piece of ore, with what looks to be gold embedded throughout”.
It was the only gift listed with a mysterious value.
In total, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave U.S. Government workers over $323,000 worth of gifts in 2009, far surpassing the accumulated gifts of any other country.
The next uppermost amount of accumulated gifts was $73,000 from Qatar, Of sixteen gifts valued at more than $10,000, eight came from Saudi Arabia, three from Qatar, and all from the United Kingdom (a pen, wooden pen holder made from a slave ship, and 3 books worth $16,000), Italy, China, Germany, and Ghana.
Michelle Obama received the most luxurious gifts, besides the jewelry set from Saudi Arabia, she received an 18 karat gold watch with diamonds and skin worth $48,000 from Ghana.
The least luxurious gift listed was a $75 bottle of olive oil offered to President Obama by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. Abbas also offered a painting and books prized at $446.
Among other gifts were a $20,000 textile depicting the First Family from China, four boxes of dates and twelve bottles of wine from Algeria, and a cd holder, a book, and 15 cds from Russia’s President.
The King of Jordan presented Obama with six decorative traditional weapons prized at $1,265.
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