FAQ’s ~ Common Collectibles

Please select from the commonly asked questions below. Click on the question for the answer.

A Few Important Points:

1. One of the most asked questions would be in regards to "error bottles and cans".  They are just as they are, errors. They hold no value. They can be empty, or full.  Printed wrong, in the wrong box if it is a can, or any other kind of error that might happen on a production line. Sorry to say, they really do not have a value.

2.  We do not provide appraisals nor authentications.  The best way to find out about an item you have is to look up one of the great reference books available.  Your local library might have one available. Petretti's Coca-Cola Collectibles Price Guide contains a great wealth of information, history, and photos. There are other reference books available, please see the Reference Material page on this website for additional book titles.


I’ve found an old Coca-Cola bottle. How much is it worth?

There are many styles – and even colors – of Coca-Cola bottles. The earliest bottles had very different shapes from the contour bottles we see today. And some early bottles used by Coca-Cola bottling companies may have contained a seltzer water or flavored soft drink. Because the bottles vary so greatly, using a collectibles guide to Coca-Cola bottles is a good way to learn more about what is available – and perhaps match a picture to the specific bottle you have. There are books with information about older bottles, and books devoted specifically to commemorative bottles.

I have an old wooden Coca-Cola case used to carry bottles. Can you tell me a bit about it?

Wooden cartons were generally used in the 1940s while paper was in relatively short supply due to the outbreak of World War II. These wooden cartons come in a variety of shapes and sizes with different designs. A guide to Coca-Cola collectibles will tell you more about the cases and their current values.

I found a Coca-Cola bottle with a patent date of November 16, 1915. Can you tell me about it?

Though often one needs to see the bottle in person to be sure, generally bottles with that date are those produced under the first patent registration for the famous contour bottle. Bottles of this type were produced between the years 1916 to 1923. Contour bottles have been produced for so long and are so durable that they are still quite common. As a result, they have not yet achieved a very high value. You can read an overview of early bottles in the Collectors Column on The Coca-Cola Company’s website.

Can you tell me a bit about Coca-Cola calendars?

Because so many calendars were produced for Coca-Cola through the years, it’s often best to see a picture of the item and match it to the one you have. That’s a great way to learn more about your calendar and learn its value. You can find information in guides to Coca-Cola collectibles or by talking to members of our Club.

I have an old Coca-Cola tray. How do I find out more about it?

Metal serving trays were produced as a way to help advertise Coca-Cola and remind people to drink the product. As with calendars, so many trays were produced that it’s best to use a collectibles guide to match the picture of your item with the year. Club members also would be good resources for you. Attending meetings and conventions is a great way to learn more about trays and other collectibles.

I have a small oval mirror with a Coca-Cola image on the other side. Can you tell me about it?

Pocket mirrors were produced for Coca-Cola in the early 1900s, but were reproduced in 1973. Mirrors in this style also have been manufactured over the last several years by enterprising individuals hoping to capitalize on collector interest in Coca-Cola memorabilia. Use a collectibles guide or talk to a Club member to learn more about the differences between reproduction and original pieces.

We have a bottle with "Sunrise Beverages" written on the front. It also says bottled at Coca-Cola at McComb, MS. Would like to see what year this bottle may have been made?

Prior to the introduction of Sprite in 1961,The Coca-Cola Company produced syrup for only Coca-Cola.  Most bottlers of Coca-Cola produced other soft drinks such as orange, grape, root beer, etc.  These could not be packaged in the patented Coca-Cola bottles.  The bottlers would purchase the bottles for the flavored drinks and would often mark them with their bottling company name.  These bottles would have been used from the late teens through the 1960's.  Most bottle manufacturers put a mold mark, and the date the mold was produced, that transferred to the bottle.  If you inspect the bottle closely, you may see a two digit date such as 49 that would indicate that the bottle mold used to produce that bottle was made in 1949.  Since each bottler tended to produce it's own bottles, you may want to search newspaper ads in the area for advertising showing your bottle.  It is most likely that the bottles was made from the 1930's through the 1950's.

I have a wooden ruler with “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” printed on it. Can you please tell me about it?

Rulers of this type – with the “Golden Rule” printed on them — were standard in the advertising and promotional programs of Coca-Cola bottlers for years. Beginning in 1925, these rulers were distributed to schools throughout the United States, and were still in distribution as late as the early 1960s. A large number of them still are in circulation. Because the rulers were distributed in such large numbers and can be found in almost every town, they have not achieved a very high value on the collectors market.

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