Ever since the ancient days, ceremonial gifts are common especially in diplomatic visits. Up until now, every gift that is offered with thought is considered as a way of showing how well the relationship between the countries are and how respect is shown. Lately, Saudi Arabia has the most extreme measures in gift giving. It was only two years ago that the late King Abdullah gifted the first lady, Michelle Obama, two sets of diamond collections. The first one was set in emeralds while the others have pearls. Each of the set has earrings, necklace, bracelet and a ring. Both collections is said to have a total of over 1 million dollars. The daughters of the Obamas also received their very own diamond collection that cost around 80 thousand dollars.
According to the State Department’s chief of protocol, Peter Selfridge, none of the jewelries were worn because it is a custom that the First Couple will only view them and gave due appreciation before they are sent to the Gift Office and then included in the warehouse for the National Archives.
The Federal Register also shows that not only the First Family have received gifts but other U.S officials as well. In the same year, King Abdullah gifted at leadt 20 of the senior officials including their spouses some watches. The brands are Rolex and Bvlgari with a price range between four thousand to 71 thousand dollars. John Kerry, the Secretary of State, has a wealthy wife but it does not stop the kind from giving her set of jewelries and a Bvlgari watch with a total cost of $900,000. According to protocol, all of these gifts have to given to the National Archives. The same year, there are other gifts that falls under the perishables and perfumes category and they were all tossed away.
Up until now, there has been no knowledge of the exact secret location where all the Presidential swag is kept hidden. All of these personalized gifts are not used and only used for display. The recipient will only have a few minutes to admire the gifts before they are sent for recording.