- Tierney McAfee People
The jeweler who sold Donald Trump a 15-carat diamond engagement ring for Melania says the president is not quite the dealmaker he claims to be.
Graff Diamonds executives told Forbes on Thursday that Trump paid full price for the ring — which reportedly retailed at $1.5 million — despite his claim in a 2005 New York Times interview that he got a $1 million discount in exchange for publicity.
Because “only a fool would say, ‘No thank you, I want to pay a million dollars more for a diamond,’ ” Trump said at the time.
Trump, who co-wrote “The Art of the Deal” and often boasts about his negotiating abilities, also told the Times that wedding vendors gave him discounted rates because of the Trump brand. “Literally anything you can imagine from photos to flowers to food to jets to airports to diamonds,” he claimed at the time. “And for every item, there’s five people who want to do it. In all cases they don’t want anything, but they want recognition.”
Now, almost 13 years after that interview, Graff Diamonds chairman Laurence Graff is pushing back on Trump’s claim, telling Forbes that the real estate mogul was “a pleasure to do business with” but that he received “no favors” when purchasing the ring.
“We don’t sell items for publicity value,” Graff CFO Nicholas Paine added. A third unnamed source also said Trump “paid for (the ring) in full, and he paid immediately.”
The president also paid full price for a $3 million, 25-carat diamond he purchased from Graff for his 10th wedding anniversary with Melania, according to Forbes.