Confiscated outbound to Hong Kong CX flight 902
in a package addressed to Imelda Marcos, carried onboard
by a Greek National. March 9, 1986

top: Unfaceted ruby necklace held by then Christie’s appraiser, Russel Fogarty. We were never allowed to personally touch the pieces. If we needed to photograph them at a different angle, one of the appraisers or Central bank or Malacañang employees had to do it for us. We could not use the backdrop cloths we brought, which actually came in handy later to wipe the drool off all our faces after viewing some of these pieces!!!

On the night of February 25, 1986, President Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines with his wife Imelda Marcos for the United States.  They left behind them controversy which rages to this day. The rumors of the extent of the jewelry discarded in their hasty departure have been denied consistently by both the Marcos’ and their friends claiming that other jewelry that was found at Malacañang Palace was made of paste. It was at this time I suppose, the government felt that documents found left behind at Malacañang were the real treasures as they contained the evidence incriminating the Marcos’ in their money laundering activities and involving capital transferred from the Philippine treasury to several Free World Banks and ultimately to Swiss bank accounts.

Eleven days later, after the Marcos’ departure from Manila, on March 9, 1986 a Greek national boarding a flight to Hong Kong was detained by Philippines Customs officials. They were following up an anonymous tip, and the Greek was found to be carrying 60 pieces of expensive jewelry which was addressed to Imelda Marcos. These were Malacanang  Museo staff checking a bracelet against the customs list.confiscated and taken to the Central Bank of the Philippines for safekeeping and itemization. Both Imelda and the jeweler to whom the package was addressed were vehement in their denials that these were Imeldas'. Not only were Imelda and her jeweler friend disclaiming ownership of the jewelry, they also claimed that the pieces were paste! This has now been disproved by appraisers from Christie’s, who were brought in to evaluate the 60 pieces of jewelry. There are two other collections of jewelry; some were actually removed from the Marcos’ private chambers when they fled Malacañang Palace in 1986, some were removed from the plane carrying them into Honolulu, as the U.S. custom would not allow them to go further into the United States. I also have the Amrican Customs list of the items confiscated at that time.

The necklace (left) had diamonds that were faceted on the edges only and were so clear as to look like pure glass. It was approximately 192 cts. Although this piece is not glittery like faceted diamonds, it was nonetheless very impressive and I couldn’t stop staring at the stones.

Diana Limjoco with Christie’s appraiser Russel Fogarty. Aug. 1988- Bankgo Sentral de Pilipinas.

Imelda's Jewelry | Imelda's Amazing Jewelry | More  baubles | Even More |More Jewelry | The Story | Background Info | Gawad Kalinga | Probe Team Sound Byte

The photos on this site are from the private photo collection of Diana J. Limjoco. All rights reserved copyright 2005-2012

The photos on this site were given to Diana Limjoco as an exclusive photography session by PCGG as it’s measure then towards a transparent government in 1988. There are many more pieces NOT displayed on this site in Diana’s private photo collection- The Jewelry of Imelda Marcos.

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