Camila Alves's Favorite Gift: A Ring from Matthew McConaughey

10/20/2011 at 04:30 PM ET

Camila Alves
Rob Kim/Getty

White diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but Camila Alves confesses her favorite stone happens to be brown.

The unusual gem tops “a ring from my man,” the best gift Alves told PEOPLE she’s ever received. (That man, of course, is Matthew McConaughey.) The Pomellato bauble, which she wore to a Lincoln Lawyer premiere in March, has “a rough brown diamond in it. It’s very unique,” she shared.

McConaughey doesn’t get his longtime partner jewelry too often. “It’s not a ‘thing’ that we do,” she told PEOPLE at the Brazilian Style book launch in New York on Tuesday. “So when he does, it’s special.

“I don’t spend a lot of money on things, but I love jewelry,” she added. “So people that know me know it’s the right thing to give me.”

The model-turned-designer attended the event at the Swarovski Crystallized Concept store to support her fellow Brazilians. “It’s very, very exciting to see people from my country doing collaborations like this, like what I’m doing.”

Radiant in a red draped jersey dress by Gomez-Gracia, Alves described what distinguishes Brazilian design. “It’s got a different flavor to it. We’re definitely a very unique, soulful, sensual people. We’re not really afraid to dare.”

She applies that philosophy to her Muxo handbag line, which she says might be expanding into accessories and shoes in the future. The latest collection comes out in a few weeks, Alves said.

But when and if she does create her own jewelry, Alves will definitely be looking to her personal favorites. “I love gold, but I also love diamonds,” she said. “What girl doesn’t like sparkle?”

–Asher Fogle

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