Eco-friendly lab-grown diamond, vintage camera, antique book galley among gifts exchanged between Biden and Modi

U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted the Prime Minister for an intimate dinner at the White House, during which they discussed a range of issues, exchanged gifts and enjoyed a musical tribute

June 22, 2023 12:07 pm | Updated 12:49 pm IST - Washington

A 7.5-carat lab-grown diamond, gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to U.S. First Lady Jill Biden.

A 7.5-carat lab-grown diamond, gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to U.S. First Lady Jill Biden. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in the U.S. for a three-day state visit, has gifted an eco-friendly lab-grown 7.5 carat diamond, placed in Kashmir's exquisite Papier mâché box, to the U.S. First Lady Jill Biden.

U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted the Prime Minister for an intimate dinner at the White House, during which they discussed a range of issues, exchanged gifts and enjoyed a musical tribute to the regions of India.

"Bharat Ka Heera! (India's diamond) PM@NarendraModi ji gifts this beautiful eco-friendly lab-grown diamond, placed in Kashmir's exquisite Papier mâché box to the U.S First Lady @FLOTUS," commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet.

The diamond is eco-friendly as resources like solar and wind power were used in its making. The green diamond is sculpted with precision and care using cutting edge technology. It emits only 0.028 grams of carbon per carat and is certified by the Gemological Lab, IGI (International Gemological Institute).

India is promoting manufacturing of lab-grown diamond (LGD) in the country and for that the government announced steps in the last Union Budget.

‘Gift to President Biden highlights India’s traditional respect for experience’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gifted U.S. President Joe Biden a special sandalwood box which highlights the value and respect Indian tradition associates with experience, officials said.

Prime Minister Modi gave President Biden the unique sandalwood box sourced from Mysore with intricately carved flora and fauna patterns and handcrafted by a master craftsman from Jaipur during an intimate dinner at the White House on Wednesday.

The box contains the idol of Lord Ganesha, a Hindu deity considered the destroyer of obstacles and the one who is worshipped first among all gods, and its silver form has been handcrafted by a family of fifth-generation silversmiths of Kolkata, officials said.

Another gift to Mr. Biden is a tribute to the U.S. president’s admiration for Irish poet William Butler Yeats.

Mr. Biden has often quoted poetry from Yeats and made references to his writings and poetry in his public speeches, officials said, adding that Yeats had a deep admiration for India and was greatly influenced by Indian spirituality.

His friendship and admiration for Rabindranath Tagore is well-known and he helped popularise Gurudev’s Gitanjali in the Western world, officials said.

Biden’s gift to Modi

U.S. President Biden and First Lady Jill presented a handmade, antique American book galley from the early 20th Century as the official gift to Prime Minister Modi.

They also reportedly gifted a vintage American camera, accompanied by an archival facsimile print of George Eastman’s Patent of the first Kodak camera, a hardcover book on American wildlife photography, and a signed, first edition copy of ‘Collected Poems of Robert Frost’.

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