Beverly Hills, CA—In case you didn’t know Paris Hilton was engaged, you could spot the ring a mile away. The $2 million sparkler features a 20-carat pear-shaped center stone set on a platinum split shank halo band that has another two carats of accent diamonds.
Beverly Hills jeweler Michael Greene of Greene & Co. International was tapped to make the ring. Hilton’s fiancé, actor Chris Zylka, worked with the jeweler for several months in advance to make a ring that was exactly what Hilton herself would have designed. Left: Zylka proposed at mountaintop during a ski trip to Aspen, CO.
While women today typically are involved in the ring-buying process from the start, Hilton was not. Everything about Zylka’s proposal, from the surprise presentation of the ring to asking her parents’ permission, was done in the old-fashioned way.
So how did he get the ring right? By listening: Hilton has over time mentioned details, such as how much she loved the pear-shape diamond her father had given her mother, or that Greene was her family jeweler. Zylka filed those away in his memory so that when the time came, he knew not only what she wanted but where she wanted him to shop.
The Centurion spoke with Michael Greene about how any jeweler in any town can connect with celebrities and/or other local power moguls. We asked how it was that Paris Hilton had him in mind.
“The relationship started back in the late 1990s, going duck hunting with Paris’s grandfather Barron Hilton,” Greene told The Centurion. “He introduced me to Paris’s father Rick.”
Jeweler Michael Greene
To connect with important clients—who have the means to go anywhere and the ability to be selective—it’s not surprising that Greene says the three top things to do are service, service, and service. “Jewelers must have complete attention to detail, provide exceptional service, and have the willingness to do whatever it takes to keep the client satisfied.” In this case, he had craftsmen in his Los Angeles workshop working nights to turn the design around in two days instead of his usual three weeks.
Greene is confident this relationship will be lifelong. Whereas a surprising percentage of couples don’t buy their wedding rings at the same store where they got their engagement ring, Greene has no such worries about Hilton and Zylka. They’ll be back, he says. In fact, he’s already working on it. “We will be providing the couple’s wedding bands, and yes, we know exactly what they want. We will share it with the public after they share it with each other.”
A pensive Hilton admires her ring on Instagram.