Dog Tags

We have recently added some new, men’s jewelry for Father's Day ~ among them are several dog tag necklaces (with more coming soon).  After doing a little research on dog tags, I learned that the first military ID tags were issued during the beginning of WWI by the British Army and their imperial forces.  Two round tags, one of red and one of green fiber, were hung around the neck by butcher's twine. 

On December 10, 1906, the Army tags were authorized in the US.  These were aluminum discs that were stamped with the name, rank, company, regiment or corps of the wearer.  In July, 1916, Army regulations decreed that all soldiers be issued two tags ~ one to remain with the body and one to be collected.  Two years later, the serial number system was adopted.*

One common tale regarding notched dog tags that were issued between 1941 and 1970 was that the notched end was placed between the front teeth of casualties to hold the jaws in place.  But the notch was actually to hold the blank tag in place on the embossing machine.*  
During the Vietnam war, US soldiers were allowed to place rubber silencers on their dog tags to prevent the enemy from hearing metallic clinking.  Some taped their tags together with black tape, while others wore one tag around their necks and the second on the lace of one boot.*

Non-military dog tags have become popular over the years.  Some are worn with personal or medic alert information; others reflect religious affiliations or favorite quotes.  At Viridian Gold, we offer a selection of engravable styles in sterling silver, such as our #5098, pictured above, as well as in stainless steel.  You may choose from a simple, unadorned tag or one that is fashioned with a religious motif, such as this Double Dog Tag with Cross #9048, or a patriotic one like our Dog Tag with Eagle Design #9059.  All include a 24 or 30" bead chain.

*Historical information condensed from


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