Elon Musk memorabilia auctioned by ex-girlfriend for $165,000

Jennifer Gwynne sold rarely-seen photographs and a necklace given to her by world's richest person

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Jennifer Gwynne, a former girlfriend of Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, has sold memorabilia from their time together for $165,000 at auction.

The lot, sold by RR Auction in Boston, was mainly made up of photographs from the pair's days when both were studying at the University of Pennsylvania, plus a birthday card and jewellery.

A 14k gold necklace with a small green emerald was the most expensive item, fetching $51,008.

Mr Musk presented it as a birthday gift to Ms Gwynne, and the necklace came with two original photos of the pair — one depicting them standing with Mr Musk’s mother, Maye, during a visit to New York City (date-stamped to May 13, 1995), and the other of Mr Musk and Ms Gwynne posing with four other Resident Advisers before an end-of-the-year formal at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.

“When we went to visit Elon’s mother in Toronto during the Christmas break of 1994, Elon gave me both the small ‘love, love, love’ note and the necklace,” Ms Gwynne is quoted as saying in the lot description on the RR Auction website.

“His mom had a number of these necklaces in a case in her bedroom and Elon told me they were from his father’s emerald mine in South Africa — he pulled one from the case. And because I had not gotten him anything as a Christmas gift (and I felt very guilty about that), he said we would consider the necklace an early birthday present for me.

“I wore the necklace for a number of years on and off, but it’s mostly been in my jewellery box for the last 10 years (always reminding me of Elon, of course).”

The birthday card, said to be in very fine condition, signed by Mr Musk, sold for $16,643.

The most expensive photo sold for $21,889. It showed Mr Musk as a 23-year-old senior at the University of Pennsylvania, “goofing about upside down on the floor of his girlfriend’s Quadrangle dorm room in 1994”, according to the lot description.

“Elon was usually very reserved, but occasionally he would just get very silly and just want me to laugh along with him. So I decided to document him actually smiling,” Ms Gwynne said.

Another photo showing Mr Musk relaxing sold for more than $10,000.

Mr Musk, who is also founder of SpaceX, is the world's wealthiest person. He has a net worth of $264 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, ahead of Gautam Adani ($147bn) and Jeff Bezos ($147bn).

“We broke up just before he started conquering the world,” Ms Gwynne told The Boston Globe.

Updated: September 19, 2022, 6:46 AM
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