For cast iron Identifying Tagging [Not talking Food Contents], we use brass tags (stamped)….and passing on a hint from a friend.
The hint being. Come up with your own code system. Make a tag for the bottom, and a tag for the lid if it has one. A system to match those two.
Tags for any matching set of cast iron, needs to be unique from anything else you have tagged. If you are a collector you might have to maintain some type of log sheet?
It is highly recommended you tag your cooking items. Especially important if cooking in competition or large gatherings. It helps avoid your valuables from walking away, or a conflict if someone moves your utensils, lids, lifters, etc. Or is saying a piece it theirs. We tag our lid lifters, stainless serving spoons, trivets, etc……. in addition to our actual cast iron cookware.
Shown in the image is a tagged trivet.
As you accumulate cast iron you also don’t want to mismatch your lids and bottoms. Often a matched pair. Those purchased together, always seem to fit together better. Tagging with a code system helps you quickly match up your original sets.
A code example
LAST NAME or initials
(Size and What) (Set alpha character(s)
Your last name makes for easy identification at Dutch Oven Gatherings.
8DO A in this example case, is the top and bottom tag for your first 8 inch, Dutch Oven, with A designating the first in your 8 inch Dutch Oven series. Both top and bottom tags need to match….in this example both top and bottom would be 8DO A. This could easily be 8DO 1 verses 8DO A
If you purchased a second Dutch Oven and it is also an 8 inch those next two tags (top and bottom tags) would be 8DO B or perhaps 8DO 2
Your first 10 inch skillet might be 10SK A, and its lid tagged the same.
We collect Cast Iron Cookware and have an extensive collection of Skillets. We have exceeded 125 skillets alone.
With that comes other information we would like to retain after doing research on many vintage pieces. We are working on our own system for that.
Name (our last name – could be initials)
What it is + Sequence Code (10 Inch Skillet + set sequence)
Foundry (i.e. Lodge, BSR, Griswold, Wagner)
Era or Circa (i.e. 1920, 1940-1950, Mid 1900’s, etc)
The Tag might look like:
Last Name [Name/Initials in case items are used in a cooking event]
10SK A or 10SK 1 [10 inch Skillet + first set in a sequence]
LODGE [Foundry or Manufacturer]
1940S [Era or Circa the 1940’s]
We prefer the round 1 3/8 inch Brass tags and 1 1/4 inch split rings. You can get a set of metal stamping letters/numbers at Harbor Freight for about $15-25.
We buy the tags and rings off the internet (Amazon) verses locally. Locally they are expensive.
We buy in lots of 100 off Amazon. But only when we get enough people in our (Local) cooking group wanting tags made to cover the cost and that amount.
We then split the costs per unit. Our cooking group did that a a year or so ago. We went through 200 tags rather quickly.
At current prices [December 2018] that amounted to about $0.70 each, for one tag including one split ring. That price would only be available for a local “meet up” at one of our get together/camp outs or Dutch Oven gathering. No mail type delivery at that price. If you can find them anywhere close to that price range you should snag them.
1 3/8 inch diameter brass tag
1 1/4 inch diameter split ring
There are smaller/cheaper tags & rings, but we do not prefer them. You will run out of room attempting to code them. Smaller rings are difficult to attach to thick lid and skillet handles.
During a local group meet-up we can bring stamps, anvil, and sledge, for those that want to stamp their own. Materials will be at our current cost per unit.
[Update 2021] We at one time took emailed orders, stamped the tags, then shipped to readers/clients.
We no longer take orders and mail/ship custom stamped tags.
Once we started factoring in replacing supposedly lost shipments, we had to eat the costs on. Or people changing their minds or coding, after tags were stamped……Then the need to compensate to adjust to those situations. Such as insuring and tracking, etc. The list goes on.
The costs to break even, without time, labor, and merchant account fee’s. Let alone add on some profit… which we weren’t. Sadly made this option really impossible for us. We ceased that offering in 2020. If you find any lingering web page info to that affect, please disregard.
We gladly offer any info we can, to help you produce your own.