The first lady of Ghana, Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills has given America’s first lady Michelle Obama a gold watch valued at $48,000, according a US Federal Register report released in the US Tuesday.
Mrs. Mills’s gifts to Mrs. Obama is a Backes and Strauss “Black Star of Ghana” watch, “crafted in 18 karat gold with diamonds and leather,” according to the register report.
The blogger known as Craig M. describes the watch as an “automatic timepiece”.
Writing on his blog The Escapement, which he describes as a timepiece, related review and opinion blog, he said “during President & Mrs. Obama’s September visit to Africa the First Lady of Ghana, Mrs. Ernestina Mills, presented First Lady Michelle Obama with a stunning Backes & Strauss automatic timepiece. The 18kt rose gold watch contains 2.35 carats of diamonds with its dial adorned with the flag of the Republic of Ghana.
Contained within the graphic of the flag is the display for a moonphase complication. The watch was presented to her on behalf of Ghana by Backes & Struass, and the African Watch Trading Co Ltd. This is certainly no slouch of a watch but its extravagance comes second to the understanding that diamonds and gold are two of Ghana’s greatest resources.”
She also gave Mrs. Obama six pieces of ‘kente’ cloth and two glass bead jewelry sets, each consisting of a necklace, earrings, and two bracelets, all valued at $615, according to the register report.
The gifts are among a number of generous gifts given to the US first family and other public officials by government officials around the world.
All the presents, however, go to the National Archives because US law bars any US government official from receiving presents from foreign governments.
According to the register Obama and others accepted the gifts because “non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and US government.”
Other givers to the Obama family and others include the King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah. He was reported to have given gifts valued over $300,000.
He gave gifts worth $34,500 to President Obama, some $146,200 dollars worth to Mrs. Michelle Obama and $7,275 worth to their two daughters Malia and Sasha.
The monarch also gave gifts worth $108,245 to White House staff, presents valued at $23,400 dollars to a senior US diplomatic interpreter and gifts estimated at $12,000 dollars to the US charge d’affaires in Riyadh, the report said.
Among the gifts that the Saudi King gave to President Obama were a “large desert scene on a green veined marble base featuring figurines of gold palm trees and camels” and a large brass and glass clock by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
According to the register he also gave the Mrs. Obama a ruby and diamond jewelry set worth $132,000 as well as a pearl necklace valued at $14,200, while their daughters also received jewelry worth thousands of dollars in addition to books and DVDs.
The Chinese President, Hu Jintao gave President Obama a framed and matted fine silk embroidery depicting a portrait study of the First Family valued at $20,000, Miyuki Hatoyama, the wife of the then Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama gave Mrs. Obama a pearl necklace valued at $9,700 and Israeli President Shimon Peres gave President Obama got a bronze statue of a girl releasing a flock of doves valued at $8,000, the report said.