Now that my kids live away from me, I've wanted them to have something special to remember me by when I'm not with them.
Now they are teenagers, a gift of jewellery isn't just about remembering me when we're not together. My family has a tradition where they have given jewellery to my siblings and I when they felt we were ready. That has been a tradition I wanted to carry on with my own children.
I have seen the kids develop in leaps and bounds, and I like to mark special occasions with gifts that will last a lifetime, rather than disposable things like games or toys.
As a woman, I've been able to pass on special items of jewellery to Miss 12 as she grows up. It's nice to know she has small items that have been special to me, that she might one day pass down to her own child or children. (For now, she's decided to leave most of those with me. She still has a couple of things that are special, and the others are here waiting for her when she's ready to wear them.)
But I have wanted my son to wear a piece of special jewellery for some time.
As with my daughter, the idea is to represent the link between us, the connection we will always have, and a reminder of how proud I am of how he has taken on the challenges and changes in his life with grace and strength.
I don't own any men's jewellery to pass on, and when I last bought him a ring, using a previous size as a guide and going a size up, it was still too small. (He had grown so fast!)
Plus it's difficult to know exactly what he will like, and I don't want to spend too much if I don't know A. that he will like it, and B. that it will fit.
At 14 1/2. he's already over 6 feet tall, and is developing his own style.
So I was thrilled when I was given the chance to review the service and products available at MensRingsOnline.com.au.
It was a perfect chance for Chase to choose a ring that appealed to him, and to take home something that I knew would fit and that he would be happy with.
The site was really easy to navigate and to be honest, there were so many styles on offer, he didn't know what to choose.
When he kids were last home, Chase and I spent hours browsing the MensRingsOnline website together - and in fact, that in itself was a lovely experience. Who would have thought that online shopping with a teenager could be so much fun?
To be fair, we also went shopping in actual stores, but there was nowhere near the range of rings on offer - and the prices were not competitive. Unfortunately, the service wasn't great either. And to be honest, there was nothing that really grabbed my son's interest.
Back online, I only had to send MensRingsOnline an email each time we had a question, and we received a reply back almost instantly.
When Chase was having trouble deciding which finger to choose to wear his ring on, an email came back advising it was a personal choice, but most men would wear the ring on the three centre fingers of their right hand or the middle/index finger of their left.
When Chase was stuck between a few styles, again, we received an email sharing the most popular choice on trend with males of his age right now - the carbon fiber rings. That helped him make up his mind.
The staff member had also taken into account that Chase wanted to be able to wear his ring daily if possible, and for it to stand up to quite heavy wear and tear, advising on the most appropriate material.
When we shared that the size we thought we was right for his finger was a bit tight, the staff member recommended going up a half size for a growing lad. And as it happened, the ring, when it arrived, was the perfect fit.
In fact, the piece was fitting in every way and far surpassed our expectations.
The ring arrived in a cool carry bag, the very day after we placed our order. Unheard of in country Queensland!
For Chase, what was important was that the ring felt really nice on his finger, without being too heavy, and it looked trendy and different - without being gaudy or flashy. Importantly, it was tough and very manly as well. Oh, and there were flecks of green in it, my son's current favourite colour.
All rings from the online store come with a ring sizer - so if the fitting isn't right, you can resize it yourself and have it replaced free of charge within 60 days, safe in the knowledge that the fit will be right next time.
The rings also come with a lifetime size guarantee, so if your finger changes size, as it can with age and weight, health etc, you can have the ring changed for a small fee to cover costs.
The ring Chase chose - which was gifted to us for the purposes of this review - cost $179, which included overnight shipping (even to the country!), gift bag, box, ring sizer and guarantee.
Everything that came with our order. Very classy.
It took Chase a couple of days to decide from the range on offer, and when he eventually chose the tungsten carbide ring, we loved the helpful tip:
Shopping could not have been easier.
And each time I sent off an email (and we had a few questions), my son would say: 'Mum have they replied yet?'
And most of the time I'd say: 'I didn't email them that long ago, I'm sure they haven't yet ...'
But sure enough, I'd sit down to my computer, and a reply was in my inbox!
MensRingsOnline also design wedding rings, and a really cool range of rings you might not have seen elsewhere including rings made from koa wood, Nebula rings, and a hammered-look collection.
I just wish they did a women's range as well.
The moment of truth - let's see what's inside the bag ...
The perfect fit
An on-trend accessory for patting small dogs ...
A close-up (Apologies for my photography skills ...)
The ring comes in an all-important classy box for safe-keeping
As stated in the post, we were gifted the described ring, valued at $179, for the purposes of this review. All opinions are honest and reflect the service and product we received.