Obamas Reap Windfall in Diplomatic Gifts

January 18, 2011 - 3:21 PM

Washington (AP) - Foreign leaders showered President Barack Obama and his family with hundreds of thousands of dollars in art, jewelry, rare books and other presents during their first year in the White House. Saudi Arabia's king was the most generous gift-giver.

Government documents released on Tuesday show that Saudi King Abdullah gave the Obama family nearly $190,000 in luxury baubles in 2009. That includes the single-most valuable gift reported: a ruby and diamond jewelry set worth $132,000 for the first lady.

The king also presented Michelle Obama with a $14,200 pearl necklace, the president with a marble-based clock adorned with gold palm trees and camels valued at $34,500 and their daughters with diamond earrings and necklaces worth more than $7,000.

The gifts have all been turned over to the National Archives.