If you have several vintage Coke bottles hidden away in your basement because you thought they might be worth something later, you may be right. However, you probably won’t be able to retire from your collection alone. That’s because old Coke bottles are not as rare as you may think. That is, unless you happen to have a Root Prototype bottle.

Regardless, there is something about Coca-Cola merchandise that reminds us of our youth. Having some of these reminders around is never a bad idea, so we never discourage fun collections. Here is a look at what vintage Coca-Cola bottles you should be trying to collect.

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10. Chinese Coca-Cola Bottle, $1,500


This 1992 Coke bottle in near-mint condition was sold in 2020 for just over $1,500. It wasn’t because it was unopened, but this particular bottle was part of a commemorative series in China to celebrate the opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant in the country. The bottle was purchased from a Coke executive who had kept it in storage and placed it on eBay in 2020.

9. 1900s Coke Bottle, $2,375

The Coca-Cola bottling plant in Jellico, Tennessee manufactured this bottle with an old-style embossed logo on the glass. The time period for manufacturing this bottle is believed to be around 1915 as the sides are curved instead of straight. It is almost impossible to find these antique, unlabeled bottles that remain unopened. This one bottle was sold on eBay in 2019 for $2,375.

8. Seoul Olympic Games Commemorative Bottle, $2,500


Summer Olympics 1988 were held in Seoul, South Korea. Coke sponsored the games, and amongst the sponsorship was a commemorative Coke bottle that was sold in a tall cardboard box. This bottle is ideal for you if you are an Olympic enthusiast and Coca-Cola collector.

The bottle has Olympic art on all the reverse sides. While most of these bottles were bought, opened, and drunk from, one of the bottles appeared on eBay recently in 2021 and sold for $2,500 at an auction.

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7. Thailand Coca-Cola ACL Bottles, $3,000


Admittedly, this is the best photo we could get considering the history of these vintage Coke bottles, but it is meant to show Applied Color Label (ACL) bottles from 1941. During that time, this kind of bottle was used by Coca-Cola instead of the custom-molded or paper labels, which had the labels built directly into the glass. The reason ACL became so popular was that the bottling companies did not need to reapply the labels again and again after washing and shipping. A bottle with an intact ACL can sell for over $3,000.

ACL labels were limited to two colors, but the process definitely made the entire production process easier. A bottle from Thailand was sold in 2020 for $3,000. The ACL process got its first major advancement in the 50s when the ‘lehr’ was invented. It was an oven that could reach 1200 degrees, which was enough to fuse the paint of the ACL label to the bottle’s glass.

6. Hutchinson Bottles, $4,000

The Hutchinson Bottles were the first bottles to be commissioned by the Coca-Cola Company after it was taken over by the original owner. The bottles had straight sides with a logo embossed in the center of the bottle and a metal stopper. These bottles were only used for seven years. By 1906, the company switched over to its more familiar-looking model. The original Hutchinson bottles are now in very short supply and can cost over $4,000.

The original owner, Dr. John Pemberton, died in 1988. Before dying, Pemberton sold the Coke syrup to local soda shops to mix with carbonated water so that it could be served as a fountain drink. By 1906, Coca-Cola switched over to its more popular-looking model, which was the amber-colored bottle with a triangular logo in the center.

5. Dallas Cowboys Coke Bottle, $5,000


Manufactured in 1984 to celebrate the Dallas Cowboys’ 25th Anniversary in the NFL, Coca-Cola released these limited-edition Coke bottles. The label of the bottle listed the team’s yearly game record and their greatest achievement from 1960 to 1983. One of these Commemorative Coke bottles was sold at an auction in 2019 for $5,000. Their value today is still high, which makes sense because of the demand from Cowboys fans everywhere.

4. French Wine Coca Bottle From The Late 1890s – $13,750


The French Wine Coca bottle from the late 1890s was a small green glass bottle with a cork stopper. The bottle was not yet in the shape many later knew as “Coca Cola” since it had smooth edges with no ridges or bumps. Plus, the coloring is green and orange, not red and brown. These original, vintage features create immense value in this collectible bottle.
The label on the bottle reads “French Wine Coca” in fancy cursive letters, along with the brand name,  ingredients, and the manufacturer’s name. The bottle was filled with a tonic made from wine and coca leaves, which was the first drink created by Dr. John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca Cola. It’s truly a piece of history and if you can ever get your hands on it, then you’re sitting on a big chunk of change.

3. Unopened Coca-Cola Bottle, $29,900


This is the first five-figure Coca-Cola bottle on this list. Its value comes down to three factors: condition, ingredients, and a hidden surprise. Specifically, it is an unopened bottle, which immediately creates a piece of history that was well-maintained. Secondly, this 1974 Coca-Cola bottle still has Cocaine in it from its original, controversial formula.

The claim by people familiar with this vintage Coke bottle is that there is a syringe inside hidden among the liquid. The reason for this is back in 1993, Pepsi was embroiled in a scandal that there were syringes packed in its soda cans. However, this was ultimately dismissed as a hoax.

This unopened bottle was sold for $29,900 on eBay in 2020.

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2. Coca-Cola Root Glass Company Modified Prototype Bottle, $108,000


There are two known examples of this prototype bottle in existence. This bottle was sold at auction on April 14, 2019. The other is #1 on this list and is more than double in value.

The Prototype bottle was sold at auction for $108,000 and was found by a retired Coca-Cola employee who worked for the original designer of the bottle, Chapman Root.

The bottle itself was in perfect condition, it doesn’t have any chips, cracks, or wear. This explains its unbelievable value and historical value as we can look back at the original design ideas before most of us were even born.

1. Coca-Cola Root Glass Company Modified Prototype Bottle, $240,000

The rarest vintage Coke bottle ever is known as the Root Glass Company Modified Prototype Bottle. It was designed in 1915 by the company’s parent bottling company in Atlanta. The bottle is believed to be one of the only two remaining test bottles from the original Atlanta facility. This bottle was sold at a 2011 auction for a whopping $240,000. It is truly a piece of history of not only a business, but of a product we still know and love today.

Clearly, we can see that most vintage Coke bottles are not worth a mega amount of money today unless they came out of the original prototype or product release years. It’s also unlikely that you will find a glass bottle from the 1900s in great condition today. That makes each of these bottles more rare, but you’d have to authenticate your find before you know for sure you’ve won the big bucks. Either way, we can cherish these rare finds and recognize how much of an influence Coca-Cola had over American culture.

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