*Can you imagine how many gifts the wife of the leader of the free world must get? And for all kinds of reasons; from all kinds of people. State leaders, dignitaries from around the globe, entertainment people – not to mention family and friends.
But did you know that they can’t even keep the gifts given exclusively to them? For example, in 2013 the Queen of Brunei gave Mrs. Obama a pair of flower-shaped white gold earrings, with a ring and necklace of diamonds and yellow sapphires.
The gift was valued at $71,468; and as grateful as Mrs. Obama was to receive it, she knew that she couldn’t keep it.
Federal ethics rules require all gifts be turned over to the government for official use and storage.
But… if the First Lady really, truly, wanted to keep that jewelry, she could buy the gift back from the General Services Administration.
Though not many choose to do this, some actually do. Both Hillary Clinton and Teresa Heinz Kerry purchased jewelry they received from leaders of state, and each of them spent less than $1,000 to buy them back.