By Staff writer
Most expensive gift was jewels worth $71,468 given to First Lady Michelle Obama by the Queen of Brunei
The US State Department revealed this week that last year President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle received a vast array of gifts, worth thousands of dollars, from various regional leaders.
According to official records from the Federal Register, President Obama received a glass amber-coloured sculpture of a falcon on a branch worth $10,400 from Qatar’s ambassador to the US.
Qatar also gifted him a silver platter engraved with major world cities from the Gulf state's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, valued at $6,500.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas gave Obama a painting of the president pictured alongside former US leader Abraham Lincoln, a photo album of Obama’s visit to the West Bank and a photograph of Palestinian-American veterans, worth a total of around $414.
The US leader also received a full felt-mounted zebra skin, a painting and sculpture worth $4,000 from the president of Tanzania, a $4,000 brown upholstered chair from the prime minister of Singapore and a large Azerbaijani rug with red, white and blue geometric designs worth $6,560 from the ambassador of Azerbaijan.
By far the most expensive gift given to American's first couple was a set of flower-shaped white gold earrings, a ring and necklace studded with yellow sapphires and diamonds, worth $71,468, which was given to First Lady Michelle Obama by the Queen of Brunei Saleha Mohamed Alam.
Under US ethics rules, leaders and their partners must hand over any gifts to the government for official use and storage.