Courtesy B&B Jewelers; Inset: Sonia Recchia/WireIm
At the end of last year, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi took then-boyfriend Jionni LaValle to B&B Jewelers to pick up her birthday present from her dad — a set of diamond bangles — but she also pointed out her favorite engagement ring settings while they were in the store. What she didn’t realize at the time was that her beau of a year and a half was taking notes.
“She wanted something very nice, something that’s gonna be timeless and with diamonds all around,” Ben Bekdas, the store’s owner, tells PEOPLE. “And that’s what he actually got her.”
Bekdas says that LaValle, 24, came back after that initial visit with specific ideas for the ring, and collaborated with the store’s staff until they came up with the perfect design: an eternity band containing two carats of diamonds and a central 3.2-carat princess-cut stone set in platinum — estimated at around $55,000. Last month, LaValle picked up the ring (first seen on RumorFix.com) and later proposed to Polizzi, 24, who is expecting their first baby.
“They’re phenomenal stones,” says Bekdas. “And it was all custom-built the way they asked for it.”