The Today co-anchor tells PEOPLE that fiancé Joel Schiffman consulted her friend and jeweler Jennifer Miller to create the perfect ring

By Kaitlyn Frey and Charlotte Triggs
November 25, 2019 04:24 PM

Hoda Kotb has some new bling to show off!

The Today co-anchor, 55, announced her engagement to longtime boyfriend Joel Schiffman, 61, on Monday morning’s episode of the show, and flashed her gorgeous new diamond ring on air.

“I have to tell you something. A friend of ours asked me to let you guys in on a secret. Her initials are Hoda Kotb and she’s engaged,” the star said on Today as she held up her left hand and unveiled the enormous engagement ring.

Credit: NBC's TODAY

Kotb’s ring features what looks like a massive radiant-cut bezel-set stone, surrounded by a halo of pavé sapphires. The band is also covered in pavé diamonds to give the design even more glitz.

When PEOPE caught up with the newly-engaged star to get all the ring details, Kotb had an adorably funny way to describe the design. “The diamond part is square and around it, it looks like a stop sign. And it’s blue on the edge. Sapphires? I don’t know. But I love it.”

“He put it on and I was blown away by his choice, but I have to tell you I know so little about rings. I just don’t,” Kotb tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I have worn the same bracelet and earrings for a year. If someone were to quiz me on what rings are which, I would be in last place. I wouldn’t know anything.”

Credit: NBC's TODAY

Luckily, Schiffman consulted Kotb’s friend, jeweler Jennifer Miller, for help creating the perfect design. “What touched me so much about this ring is that he thought about it,” Kotb shares. “And he thought about what I might like. He went to [Miller] and they were sharing things back and forth unbeknownst to me. He was giving her ideas.”

Credit: Hoda Kotb/ Instagram

But to Kotb, it’s the meaning behind the ring that matters most. “It’s a beautiful ring, don’t get me wrong. If it was anything I would have been 1000 percent equally as happy — but the fact that he cared over the course of months to try to figure it out — I just assumed if it ever were to happen that he would have gone to a store and bought one. It’s beautiful.”

She continued, “He knows I don’t care. He really does know that. But he said it was important for him to choose. And he did.”

Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC’s TODAY

The Today star said that Schiffman proposed during their “usual vacation” while they were having “a little dinner on the beach,” telling her, “Be my wife.”

She added, “He said some beautiful things.”

“My heart has literally been pounding,” she told her excited co-hosts, adding, “I was totally shocked. He had a good poker face.”

Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC’s TODAY

Kotb and Schiffman, who share Haley Joy, 2, and Hope Catherine, who she adopted in April, haven’t told their daughters the exciting news just yet. “How are we going to explain, your parents are going to get married. We’re still trying to figure out that part of how exactly to explain that to them,” she said.

The NBC co-host, who was previously married to Burzis Kanga for two years from 2005 to 2007, has been with Schiffman for the past six years.

Back in 2015, Kotb gushed about her relationship with Schiffman. “He’s the guy that gives me butterflies at 50 years old,” she said.

“It’s one of the most natural relationships I’ve ever been in,” she previously told PEOPLE of her romance, and added, “I’m so happy, I really am. But you know sometimes you hate to jinx something. I’m like, ‘don’t jinx it!’ ”