Barack Obama Drops 30 Large on Ring for Michelle (UPDATED)

Prez-Elect's pricey gift seen by some as bad taste amid teetering economy

Um, hello? Wasn't Barack Obama just talking about sacrifice in the months ahead? Doesn't he know better than anyone that not spending is the new spending? That flashy jewelry is totally inappropriate right now? That instead of dropping mad cash on a ring for his wife, he should have given her a nice jar of homemade jam? Or a fair-trade loofah? Or just had one of his speech-writers pen her a mushy haiku?

The New York Post (via The Cut) reports that the President-Elect placed an order for a $30,000 diamond-encrusted ring made of rhodium -- a.k.a. black gold, a.k.a. the world's most expensive metal -- that he plans to present to future First Lady Michelle Obama as a thank you for putting up with him over his two-year race for the presidency.

The bauble will be ready in time for the inauguration, confirmed a spokesman for the ring's designer, jeweler-to-people-who-can-afford-rhodium Giovanni Bosco.

The Post adds that "only about 25 tons of rhodium are mined every year," which drives its price up to about $7,000 an ounce.

Another famous rhodium-wearer? The Queen of England, whose crown jewels are encrusted in the stuff, and who also tends to get inappropriately spendy while her impoverished subjects are struggling to subsist on Marmite sandwiches.

UPDATE: He didn't buy her a cheap-looking piece of overpriced bling after all! The Cut reports that the whole thing was just a galloping rumor (albeit one that had real news organizations going for a while). Barack, we knew you weren't capable  of such poor judgment! Now we can go back to building that shrine to your perfectness in the corner of our bedroom.

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