The Trump administration is so obsessed, so obsessed that it has developed a series of elaborate, mysterious, and perhaps illegal ways to keep tabs on diamonds.
According to documents released Monday, the president has been looking for rings since at least March 2017.
His obsession has been fueled in part by a recent meeting in which Trump, flanked by two of his sons and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, told Kushner that the U.S. government should “investigate” the possibility of gold and silver.
“He wanted to see if there was any gold or silver in the country,” a former official familiar with the discussions told Politico.
“And then he said, ‘What if I buy some diamonds, and they all sell for a lot more than the price of the diamonds?’
And he said that was just a great idea, that the president should take a look at it.
It was a really interesting discussion.”
The official added that Trump also told Kushner and Jared that the government should look into gold and platinum jewelry, which are considered luxury items.
Gold and platinum are often coveted in jewelry shops, as they are widely sought by celebrities and powerful individuals, including presidents.
But, unlike diamonds, they are not commonly found on the market.
A recent report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that the global supply of gold is about 20 times higher than the world’s demand.
“Gold and Platinum are not as widely sought for sale in the jewelry industry,” the report states.
“In fact, the only diamond sold in the United States in 2016 was a tiny diamond, a 1-carat gold and a platinum engagement ring.”
According to the records obtained by Politico, Trump has purchased an average of two diamond rings a week over the last six months.
“The jewelry, watches, rings, and cufflinks in the first two months of 2017 totaled $5.7 million, or more than $10 million annually,” the records state.
“Since then, the number of diamonds purchased has risen by a factor of three.”
The records do not provide an exact dollar amount for the purchases, but it is estimated that Trump bought about 20,000 pieces of jewelry during his first six months in office.
The records do, however, show that the amount of jewelry bought by Trump has grown significantly.
For the first six weeks of this year, according to the documents, he bought an average 8,700 pieces of gold, with prices ranging from $2,000 for a small stone in a Tiffany collection to $2 million for a $1,000-an-ounce diamond.
“This is the first year since the start of the Trump presidency that the number has grown so rapidly, from roughly 200 pieces per week in January 2017 to nearly 5,000 per week during this same period in 2018,” the documents state.
The purchase of gold rings is not the only unusual element of Trump’s jewelry.
The president has also been wearing diamonds in several other places, including the Oval Office and the White House residence, according a person familiar with Trump’s personal collection.
“It is a matter of public record that Mr. Trump has been wearing gold, platinum, and other exotic stones around his White House for several years,” the person said.
“There is no question that he is obsessed with this.”
According the records, Trump was wearing a pair of “very expensive” diamonds, as well as a “highly coveted” ring with “very high-quality diamonds.”
“He is wearing these expensive pieces because he wants to have a high-end collection of rare and valuable diamonds, jewelry that is very expensive, and he is willing to pay a premium to obtain these diamonds,” the source familiar with his jewelry told Politico on condition of anonymity.
“He would rather pay a higher price for a more valuable piece of jewelry than a lower price for less valuable diamonds.”