"Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully or write poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That's how I get my kicks," Donald Trump wrote on Twitter in 2014. But, as Forbes reported this week, one deal that Trump, co-author of 1987's The Art of the Deal, bragged about more than a decade ago apparently never actually happened. According to the magazine, though Trump claimed in 2005 that he had secured then-fiancée Melania's engagement ring for less than half its retail price, Graff Diamonds has since revealed it gave Trump no such discount.
In January 2005, just over a week before the Trumps tied the knot in Palm Beach, The New York Times reported that Graff had given Trump the $1.5 million D-flawless, emerald-cut, 15-carat diamond ring for "half that price."
"Only a fool would say, 'No thank you, I want to pay a million dollars more for a diamond,'" Trump said at the time, implying that the discount was closer to a 70 percent price cut.
On Thursday, however, Forbes reported that the jewelry company's chairman, Laurence Graff, and two other sources have confirmed that the price of the ring wasn't slashed at all. Graff wrote in an email to the outlet that although Trump was "a pleasure to do business with," he was given "no favours" when purchasing the rock. Graff Diamonds CFO Nicholas Paine told Forbes that, "We don't sell items for publicity value." Neither Graff nor Paine specified the exact price Trump paid for the ring. A third, anonymous source corroborated the reports of Trump's claim to the Times. "He paid for [the ring] in full, and he paid immediately," they said.
Trump also reportedly paid in full for the massive, $3 million ring he gave Melania in 2015, for their 10th anniversary. That 25-carat diamond inspired major backlash last spring, when the first lady's official White House portrait was unveiled and prominently featured the giant piece of bling, which could feasibly cover the cost of several social programs Trump has vowed to cut from the national budget.