Elon Musk's college ex-girlfriend auctions off relationship mementos; birthday card worth P570,000 so far
When you break up with someone, don't resort to the proverbial burning of photographs, letters, and other gifts.
Aside from being harmful for the environment, your ex might get famous one day—and the mementos of your transient relationship might become collectors' items that you can sell for five- to six-digit figures.
It's precisely what Elon Musk's college girlfriend Jennifer Gwynne is doing: auctioning off their glossy candid photos—and other reminders of being the old flame of the world's richest man—on the Boston-based RR Auction website.
The photos show Musk during his "totoy" days in college, being wacky in front of the camera, hanging out with schoolmates, and being sweet with Gwynne.
The item that has the highest bid so far is the birthday card that Musk gave his former sweetheart, prized at $10,001 (P570,000+). "Happy Birthday, Jennifer (aka, Boo-Boo), Love, Elon," the future Tesla boss wrote in black ink.
It's authenticated by card grading authority Professional Sports Authenticator or PSA with the highest Gem Mint 10 rating, which denotes four perfectly sharp corners, sharp focus, full original gloss, and free of staining of any kind.
Another item up for grabs is a 14-karat gold necklace with an emerald from the Zambian emerald mine owned by Musk's father Errol, a property developer and engineer. To date, the highest bid is at $5,999 (P341,800+).
"I wore the necklace for a number of years on and off, but it's mostly been in my jewelry box for the last ten years (always reminding me of Elon, of course)," Gwynne said, as posted by RR Auction.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gwynne and Musk began dating in 1994 when they lived and worked as resident advisors in a dorm of the University of Pennsylvania. Gwynne is an English literature junior, while Musk is a senior with a double degree in physics and economics.
The following year, Musk moved to California after graduation, while Gwynne spent her summer vacation in London.
(Musk got accepted into the University of Stanford's doctorate program in material science, but dropped out after two days to launch his first startup Zip2.)
Gwynne told The Philadelphia Inquirer that after her vacation she visited Musk in his Palo Alto apartment, where he's attending pitch meetings.
Upon returning to Philly for her senior year, they ended their long-distance relationship, as Musk "didn't like" talking on the phone.
Their relationship lasted for almost a year, and they stopped communicating ever since. Gwynne, however, clarified that they left "on great terms."
Since crossing their separate paths, Musk went on to find several companies, as well as enter different marriages and relationships. He has 10 children, and his last known partner is musician Grimes.
Gwynne, meanwhile, is working for a large medical supply company. She lives in South Carolina and got married in 2020. She has a 13-year-old stepson with her husband.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Gwynne got inspired to auction off her Musk memorabilia upon learning that the homework assignment he signed while a university teaching assistant fetched $7,753 (P441,000+) on RR Auction.
She said she'd need funds for her stepson's college tuition one day.
“I ran upstairs and said ‘What do I have?’” Gwynne said. “With his media presence, I’ll get the most (return of investment) right now."
Asked how she feels that she once dated the soon-to-be world's richest man, who has a reported net worth of $219 billion according to Forbes, Gwynne said life is "just weird."
The auction runs until Sept. 14 (Sept. 15 Manila time), and Gwynne, though she said she "really do have fond memories" with Musk, is letting every item go for the sake of her stepson.
“It’s hard to explain how weird it is," The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted her as saying, "but to me, (Elon Musk) is just my first college boyfriend.”