This Is How Much Imelda Marcos' Jewelry* Is Worth (And the Even More Real Price of Each Piece)
The stories of Imelda Marcos' extravagance and corruption are well-documented. From towering skyscrapers to her numerous pairs of shoes, her shopping list really knows no bounds. Even then, however, it's hard to put into perspective just how much these have cost us.
Another hurdle is knowing the entirety of it all. But, a viral Twitter thread offers a tiny view of Imelda Marcos' jewelry collection and the price of each of the pieces in it. The user shares a museum visit where she saw the jewels, saying: "went to the art museum yesterday and look at this one exhibit. its 3d printed replicas of imelda marcos’s jewelry. beneath it is an analogy of what that jewelry is worth."
The exhibition's 3D-printed replicas offer analogies of the cost of the pieces, which range from earrings to necklaces and even a tiara. And, each piece is even more eye-opening than the next.
A single pair of earrings, for instance, is the same price as the full immunization of 20,000 children plus 17,600 pneumococcal vaccines for senior citizens and infants. Meanwhile, a tiara is equal to 2,000 college student's four-year tuition in a Philippine state university.
The 3D-printed pieces are the work of Filipino artist Pio Abad in collaboration with Frances Wadsworth Jones from 2019. It uses 24 reconstructions of pieces that were seized from the Marcoses after they landed in Hawaii on February 27, 1986. The family brought with them 23 wooden crates, 12 suitcases, and more that contained 413 pieces of jewelry, 24 gold bricks, and P27 million in cash.
The entire jewelry lot is called the Hawaii Collection, and was given to the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). Abad states in the artwork's page that the jewelry pieces haven't been seen since 2016.