Right now, Jenelli Frazer, the reigning Miss Universe Belize, is making her final preparations to travel to Bangkok, Thailand, where she will compete in the 67th Annual Miss Universe Pageant.
She's going up against contestants from countries all over the world, and as part of the pageant, she is required to carry a National Gift, which is representative of her country. NICH has her covered in that area, with a one-of-a-kind neckless and a pair of earrings.
It was created by jeweller Khadija Assales, and the materials she used to craft it are unique and valuable. It was made from the shell of the queen conch, and the spiny lionfish.
These pieces of jewelry are interesting because on one hand, you need a special permit from CITES to be in possession of anything made out of the Queen Conch. Without this permit, it is illegal to harvest or trade in endangered species, such as the Queen Conch.
The other unique material is the spiny lionfish, which, is a fish eater, with no natural predators, and so, the authorities are currently encouraging the overfishing of lionfish right now, to control its population.
So, the jeweler has created this set of contrasting sea-species, which NICH thinks will put Frazer a notch above at the Miss Universe Pageant.
Today, they formally handed over this distinctive National Gift, and invited the press as observers. We attended and found out more about the importance of this donation:
As you heard, NICH is hoping that Frazer's National Gift will make it into the pageant's auction, where it could fetch a very high price. If it is selected, the winning bidder will also have to carry that CITES' permit you saw Frazer holding, which makes it legal to have it.
While she was available for comment, the media also asked Frazer about her preparations for one of the Worlds 4 major beauty pageants, and here's how that conversation went:
The Miss Universe Pageant starts on December 16th.