President Donald Trump apparently lied about how much he paid for his wife’s engagement ring.
The real estate developer and former reality TV star told the New York Times in 2005 that Graff Diamonds gave him a $1 million discount on the engagement ring he gave to Melania Knauss, but the company’s chairman later denied the claim, reported Forbes.
Trump claimed the jeweler gave him a discount due to his fame, but multiple Graff officials said the company did not offer reduced prices in exchange for celebrity endorsements.
“We don’t sell items for publicity value,” said Graff CFO Nicholas Paine.
Laurence Graff told Forbes via email that Trump was “a pleasure to do business with,” but the Swiss billionaire said the future president was given “no favours” on the emerald cut D-flawless diamond weighing more than 10 carats.
Trump paid for the engagement ring, which retailed for $1.5 million, immediately and in full, a source with direct knowledge of the transaction said.
He also paid in full for a second Graff ring he gave to Melania to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.
That engagement ring, which weighs 25 carats and cost $3 million, attracted attention after the first lady posed with it for her official White House photo.
Critics noted the ring cost as much as the federal government spends each year on the community development block grant program that funds programs such as Meals on Wheels.