Dropping in Tuesday afternoon to Venus Jewelers, just a five-minute walk from the American Embassy, staffers bought a treasure trove of gems. The most expensive buy was a black star sapphire and diamond gold pendant and earrings, which was wrapped up for $650. One member of the Democratic administration's staff bought a gold elephant pendant, which in Thailand symbolizes the strength of the monarchy. Other buys included a white pearl ring, green jade earrings and gold earrings. About 10 staffers spent a total of close to $4,000 in their one-hour shopping spree.