“You shouldn’t have your mom pick it out because she has better taste than you. It should be something special and that you’re proud of,” says the former Dancing with the Stars pro, who covers the current issue of PEOPLE with his bride-to-be. “If you have the ability to make it personal, you should make it personal.”
And that’s exactly what Chmerkovskiy did.
Partnering with the jewelers at Cantamessa — the dancer also works with the company on Cantamessa Man with — Chmerkovskiy used Skype to correspond with the team of Italian craftsmen.
“It was a very quick process because I knew exactly what I wanted,” Chmerkovskiy says of spending five weeks designing the ring. “I was skyping with these Italian guys all arguing amongst themselves about how the ring should be made and then I would give my thoughts. What came out of it was brilliant.”
The back-and-forth is business as usual for the Cantamessa team, who have been designing one-of-a-kind jewelry for five generations.
“It was an honor for him to help Maks design the ring for Peta,” says jeweler Robert Kheit. “Maks has been like family to me for a long time. And now, so is Peta.”
To keep the proposal a surprise, Chmerkovskiy had to size Murgatroyd’s finger with a string while she slept. But the sneaking around was worth it when she slid the ring on for the first time on Dec. 5.
“I’m obsessed with it,” Murgatroyd says of the ring, which showcases an emerald-cut diamond surrounded by even brighter diamonds. “It’s so classy and so elegant. I don’t know how he knew I wanted that Eiffel Tower look that is quite high. It’s the most beautiful thing ever.”
For more on Maks and Peta’s engagement, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE on newsstands everywhere Friday.
What do you think of her ring? Are you a fan of their love story? Sound off below.