Diamonds are Forever

Rudy Giuliani downplays the value of his jewelry collection

But the rings, the tickets, the jackets, the caps, and the autographed balls—all detailed in last week's story—weren't the only Yankees loot that Giuliani collected.

He also has a Joe DiMaggio uniform. When Avenue magazine did an extended photo shoot and cover story entitled "At Home with Judith Giuliani" in November 2003, it ran a picture of what it called "the framed, glass-encased shirt of another Giuliani idol, Joe DiMaggio." The Number 5 shirt with the signature "Best Wishes, Joe DiMaggio" hangs in Rudy's den. Judith told the magazine: "When I put that up, Rudy smiled because he knew it was going to be a room that he'd enjoy just as I promised." Avenue staff writer Jill Brooke says that Nathan-Giuliani led her to believe the shirt was authentic. In fact, it's a replica. When Giuliani received the shirt in June 2002 at the Joe DiMaggio Award Gala, sponsored by Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, in June 2002, Daily Variety reported it was "the Number 5 jersey worn by DiMaggio in the 1951 World Series," the Yankee Clipper's final games. But Xaverian principal Sal Ferrara told the Voice: "I gave Giuliani a certificate to say what it was, so he definitely knew it was a replica."

Morris Engelberg, who manages the DiMaggio estate and donated the replica to the school, still estimates that it, plus the Tiffany crystal DiMaggio bat Giuliani was given at the same event, were worth about $25,000. The original jersey sold for $195,000 at Christie's. Engelberg, who sits on the Xaverian committee and goes to the annual dinner, couldn't understand why the school gave the shirt to Giuliani rather than auction it off for the disabled kids who are the beneficiaries of the event. Indeed, Ferrara had described the shirt in earlier news stories as one of the principal objects donated by Engelberg that the school planned to auction, but says he decided to give it to Giuliani instead. "When I gave them the pieces," Engelberg recalled, "I said to Ferrara, 'Auction all these pieces off to raise money for scholarships.' I'm not going to make an issue of it."

The Yankees are only tangentially connected to the Xaverian event. The team makes a significant annual donation and the Yankees' president presented the award in 2000—the first year of the DiMaggio gala.

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