Nearly ten years after being unceremoniously dumped by banker beau Aaron Buerge, South Jersey beauty Helene Eksterowicz has finally found true love – with a one-of-a-kind, 2-carat rock to prove it.
The second season winner of ABC's hit reality TV series The Bachelor took to her Facebook Saturday to announce her engagement to boyfriend Andrew Goodman. She shared an image of her ring with People StyleWatch Wednesday afternoon, adding, "It's exactly what I've always wanted."
So what exactly did Goodman, a senior technology consultant for IBM, concoct for his lucky lady?
After stopping into Max Weiner (805 Sansom Street) along Jewelers' Row, Goodman designed an elongated rectangular, princess-cut ring with some help from sales associate William McMonnies. "Andrew and I met several times over the last couple weeks," said McMonnies over the phone Wednesday afternoon, admitting that Goodman's detailed input made the shop's work easier.
"He knew that she had something very specific in mind," said McMonnies. "To have a princess cut diamond that was longer, more rectangular shape … with more sparkle and brilliance," he added. The result was a 2.01 center stone offsetting half a carat of 34 smaller diamonds paved on a platinum mounting, Weiner confirmed. The gemologist shared an exclusive image of the ring with us, straight from his shop. See below.
The ring Goodman designed and presented to Eksterowicz. (Photo courtesy of Max Weiner Jewelers)
Just five weeks after the show had ended in 2002 with Buerge getting down on one knee and proposing to Eksterowicz with a 2.15-carat Harry Winston ring before 26 million viewers, the bachelor dumped his leading lady in a Starbucks near her Haddonfield apartment. "It changed things initially and for a short time," she told the Daily News in 2010. "But long-term, it didn't change anything," she added.
As for her previous ring? The Inquirer reported in 2004 that Eksterowicz had auctioned off the $34,300 item on eBay at a starting bid of $17,500. The winner of the 10-day auction turned out to be a stay-at-home wife from the suburbs of Houston who paid $28,300 for the ring, and the opportunity to meet Eksterowicz in New York.
Her ex, Buerge, is now a happily married husband and father who dealt with some financial strains in 2011. Goodman and Eksterowicz plan to get married this summer.