President Obama left Michigan Feb. 10 with a
piece of the state.
When Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers in Marquette, Mich.,
heard Obama was visiting the area, the store contacted the mayor to see how
they could donate a signature piece of jewelry to the president.
Public affairs and marketing director Faye Nesbitt Elder
tells JCK that the store was selected by the city of Marquette to give Obama a
pendant shaped like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “We have lapel pins, pendants, earrings with the
outline of the U.P.,” Elder says. “But the pendant is our most popular piece.”
The pendant varies in style and can be custom-made.
Second-generation owner Chris Wattsson custom-designed the pendant with a white
diamond marking the location of Marquette. “It was gifted to Obama on Air Force
One on Feb. 10,” Elder says.
The presentation included a handwritten note with the
history of the company.
Elder says because Obama wears only the American flag on his
lapel, the jeweler opted to give the president a pendant. The president then
gave the pendant to First Lady Michelle Obama.
Chris and Ruby Wattsson (photos courtesy of Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers)
“According to the Obama administration, at the end of
Obama’s term, the piece will go to the Smithsonian,” she says.
The store’s founder, the late Ron Wattsson, created the
pendant in 1985. Elder says there has been a surge in sales following the
donation to the president. “Residents of the U.P. want something similar to what
Obama has or they want a custom piece.”
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