Kanye West is reportedly in the process of designing a custom-made engagement ring for his new girlfriend Kim Kardashian, and the rapper has asked a private jeweler to incorporate pieces from his late mother Dr. Donda West's personal jewelry collection.
West, who began dating Kardashian shortly after she separated from her estranged husband Kris Humphries, is eagerly awaiting the reality TV star's divorce to be finalized before he pops the question, according to reports.
"Kanye picked out some of Donda's most expensive pieces, including some diamond earrings and a ruby ring. He then gave them to a private jeweler friend to make Kim a one-of-a-kind engagement ring," a source close to West told Radar Online.
"He's hoping to propose to Kim with the ring when she finally gets divorced," the insider added.
West, 34, was understandably "devastated" when his mother died in 2007 of complications from cosmetic surgery. He reportedly loves Kardashian, 31, "just as much" as her.
"Donda was such an important person in Kanye's life, he thought the world of her and was devastated when she died. So, he kept all her jewelry as keepsakes - a lot of the pieces were items he bought over the years after he made it as a hip-hop star," the source explained.
"And now, Kanye has found a woman he respects and loves just as much as his mom, so he wants to share her jewelry collection with kim," the insider said.
Despite West's enthusiasm, friends close to the rapper have objections and some reportedly believe that his mother's legacy should not be associated with Kardashian.
Donda was a Professor of English at Clark Atlanta University and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University, and Kardashian rose to fame in 2007 following the release of her homemade sex tape. Critics believe that associating the two could taint Donda's legacy.
"His friends think it's a terrible idea and are advising him not to give Kim the ring because it's a gift, it would be difficult for Kanye to ask for it back if they ever split up," the confidante alleged.
"They've also reminded him that Kim is not somebody who works hard for her money. She makes millions doing reality shows and selling her image, and Donda's jewelry shouldn't be part of that image," the source added.