It has recently been revealed that on a trip to Saudi Arabia, former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a half- million dollars worth of jewels from Saudi King, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. The Department of State recently stated that these gifts were received in 2012 during her visit.
Jewelry From Saudi Arabia
Exactly what kind of jewels was given to Secretary Clinton? Included in the half-million dollar gift were a diamond and ruby necklace, earrings, bracelet, and a ring. It was reportedly white-gold jewelry containing several diamonds and rubies. Diamonds and rubies are often considered the most sought after precious gems, which also include emeralds and sapphires. It is customary for Saudi women to receive jewelry for special occasions throughout their lives, especially gold. The Royal Saudi family have had several exquisite heirlooms through the years including blue diamonds, green diamonds, and rubies the size of eggs.
Rubies and Diamonds
The jewelry bestowed on Secretary of State Clinton was said to be adorned with teardrop rubies and diamonds. Teardrop jewelry, which is a pear shape, can come in a variety of sizes and styles. Often the necklace and earrings will consist of a large ruby in the center, surrounded by smaller diamonds. The necklace may have one teardrop or several placed along a strand of white or yellow gold. The bracelets sometimes have rubies along the center with the outer edges encrusted with diamonds.
The Heart of the Kingdom Ruby from the House of Garrard is one of the most expensive ruby and diamond necklaces in the world. The centerpiece is a 41 carat ruby surrounded by over 150 diamonds. While the price tag of $14 million is quite a bit pricier than the necklace Secretary Clinton received, we can be sure the jewelry bestowed upon her by the Saudi royal family is quite impressive.
The pieces given to Secretary Clinton seem to be representative of some of the more recent jewelry trends. Chunky pendants and teardrop shaped gems such as sapphires and rubies that are surrounded by clusters of diamonds are currently popular. White gold and necklaces with several pear-shaped drops are also in demand. It seems that the Saudi King is not only generous but demonstrates good taste in jewelry selection. Although colored gems, and in particular colored diamonds, are in demand, traditional combinations with white diamonds and rubies are considered classic and extremely stylish.
Where the Jewelry is Now
While many dignitaries traveling abroad often receive lavish gifts, the amount and type of jewelry Secretary Clinton received is staggering even by these standards. The United States Constitution strictly prohibits employees of the government from keeping gifts that total more than $350. In many parts of the world, especially in Asia and the Middle East, to reject such gifts is often seen as an insult. The United States Government said Secretary Clinton did accept the gifts to avoid any embarrassment. Although Secretary Clinton has the option of buying the jewelry, it was later stated by government officials that these gifts were being donated to the General Services Administration.