If you have several vintage Coke bottles hidden away thinking they will be worth something later – you may be right. However, you probably won’t be able to retire from your collection, and 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, and having some of these reminders around is never a bad idea. So here is a look at what vintage Coca-Cola bottles you should be trying to collect.
9. 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.
8. 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.
7. 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.
CHECK OUT: The 6 Ways To Identify An Old Pepsi Bottle
6. Thailand Coca-Cola ACL Bottles, $3,000
Coca-Cola used its Applied Color Label (ACL) bottles back in 1941. This bottle was used 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.
5. 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.
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4. 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.
3. Unopened Coca-Cola Bottle, $29,900
This is the first five-figure Coca-Cola bottle on this list. And much of its value is down to three factors, condition and because this 1974 Coca-Cola bottle still has Coke in it, and the claim is that there is a syringe inside the bottle.
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 2 known examples of this prototype bottle. 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.
1. Coca-Cola Root Glass Company Modified Prototype Bottle, $240,000
The rarest Coke bottle ever to be made 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.