Imelda Marcos’s $21 Million Jewelry Collection Will Go to Auction

Designer shoes weren't her only obsession.

An official from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) shows a piece of jewellery seized by the Philippine government from former first lady Imelda Marcos, at the Central Bank headquarters in Manila on November 27, 2015. Philippine authorities had the dazzling collection appraised by auction houses for a second day, ahead of a possible sale. AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS / AFP / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
An official from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) shows a piece of jewellery seized by the Philippine government from former first lady Imelda Marcos, at the Central Bank headquarters in Manila on November 27, 2015. Philippine authorities had the dazzling collection appraised by auction houses for a second day, ahead of a possible sale. AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS / AFP / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

It seems the spoils of political corruption didn’t only satisfy her taste for designer shoes. In a confirmed auction, former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos will see her multi-million dollar collection of jewelry surrendered to the highest bidders.

Over the course of her late husband Ferdinand Marcos’s 20-year presidential regime, the family amassed an enormous wealth of art, jewelry, and other valuable assets while the country experienced significant economic decline. According to the BBC, artworks reportedly confiscated from the family’s possession include paintings by Pablo Picasso, Fransico de Goya, and Michelangelo, among others.

An official from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) shows a piece of jewellery seized by the Philippine government from former first lady Imelda Marcos, at the Central Bank headquarters in Manila on November 27, 2015. Philippine authorities had the dazzling collection appraised by auction houses for a second day, ahead of a possible sale. AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS / AFP / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Jewellery seized by the Philippine government from former first lady Imelda Marcos
Photo: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images.

In an official statement by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), an agency formed in 1986 to recover stolen assets during Marcos’s dictatorship, Philippine authorities will auction off approximately $21 million worth of jewelry.

According to PCGG Commissioner Andrew De Castro, their immediacy isn’t spurred by the country’s upcoming presidential election in June, where Ferdinand Marcos’s son, Bongbong Marcos, is a candidate for vice president. “Plans for this were made even before Senator Marcos declared his intention to run,” he said. “It has nothing to do with that.”

Originally confiscated in 1986, Marcos’s collection of jewelry was recently appraised by experts from Sotheby’s last year. According to CNN Philippines, some of the pieces, which range from bejeweled necklaces to a 25-carat pink diamond estimated at $5 million, will reportedly fetch even tidier sums.

Christie's and Sotheby's auction house appraiser David Warren (R) examines diamond jewellery seized by the Philippine government from former first lady Imelda Marcos, at the Central Bank headquarters in Manila on November 24, 2015. Philippine authorities on November 24 showcased a dazzling collection of jewels seized from the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos appraised in preparation for a possible auction. The long-hidden collection, seized in three batches after Marcos was overthrown in 1986, also provides a stark look at how the Marcos family enriched itself while the nation sank deeper into poverty. AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS / AFP / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Jewellery seized by the Philippine government from former first lady Imelda Marcos
Photo: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images.

According to CNN, all 300 pieces will be displayed in a public exhibition before they hit the auction block. PCGG’s chairman Richard T. Amurao said that “the exhibition of these ill-gotten jewels will be a great vehicle to raise awareness—especially for the younger generation and those who have forgotten—and to remind the Filipino people of the perils of the two-decade regime of corruption that was under the Marcoses.”

The Philippine government is currently determining dates for the public exhibition and sale.


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