Top 10 Most Valuable Coke Bottles Worth A Fortune

Most Valuable Coke Bottles Worth A Fortune

Are you familiar with the pop culture reference that describes women with tiny waists, ample bosoms and bum as “Figure 8” and Coca-Cola bodies? Would it surprise you to learn that it wasn’t always this way?

Yes, this popular drink didn’t always come in a bottle shaped like the figure 8, neither did it have a short height. Over the years, the Coca-Cola bottle evolved and the story is quite exciting, from the original prototypes to the limited-editions and regular bottles.

Because the company made so many bottles, they aren’t as rare as you’d expect. Its value is so unpredictable that a rare 130-year-old Coca-Cola bottle sold for a measly $5 at a flea market while a modified root glass prototype brought in a whopping $240,000.

How can you determine which Coca-Cola bottle is worth keeping with inconsistent market values? Well, we are here to satisfy your curiosity and introduce you to the world of Antique and Vintage Coca-Cola bottles.

Most Valuable Coca-Cola Bottles in History

The Coca-Cola Company website admits that its vintage bottles aren’t typically valuable because they were mass-produced. However, a few rare designs can fetch a substantial amount of money. Here’s a comprehensive list based on Coke bottles sold on eBay.

First, let’s assess the most valuable Coca-Cola Bottles of all time at a glance.

No.
Coca-Cola Bottle
Year Produced
Year Sold
Price
1.
Coca-Cola Root Glass Co. Modified Prototype Bottle (1)
1915
2011
$240,000
2.
Coca-Cola Root Glass Co. Modified Prototype Bottle (2)
1915
2019
$108,000
3.
Unopened Coca-Cola Bottle
1974
2020
$29,900
4.
French Wine Coca
1880
2014
$5,000
5.
Dallas Cowboys’ Coke (Limited-Edition)
1984
2019
$5,000
6.
Hutchinson Coca-Cola Bottle
c. 1889 – 1906
2021
$4,000
7.
Thailand Coca-Cola ACL Bottle
1973
1973
$3,350
8.
Seoul Olympic Games Commemorative Bottle
1988
2021
$2,500
9.
1900s Coke Bottle
c. 1915 – 1923
2019
$2,375
10.
Chinese Coca-Cola Bottle
1992
2020
$1,500

10. Chinese Coca-Cola Bottle $1,500

Full Coca Cola Coke Green Glass Bottle China Chinese Print Asian 6.5 oz RARE

This Chinese Coca-Cola bottle is an unopened memorial limited-edition made to celebrate the first McDonald’s in China, 1992. This bottle was in mint condition at its time of sale despite its 28-year existence.

Coca-Cola’s collaboration with the franchise was a hit leading to a new McDonald’s launch in 1994. The new fast-food joint became the biggest worldwide with 700 seats and 29 cash registers. You’d want this piece of history, and it’ll only cost you about $1,500.

9. 1900s Coke $2,375

The early 20th century Coca-Cola bottles weren’t produced under the Roots Glass Co. patent with the classic hobble skirt design often have their logos embossed on the side. Each year’s body location (bottom, middle, and shoulder) is different.

This bottle came from a Jellico, Tennessee bottling plant and was sold on eBay in 2019.

8. Seoul Olympic Games Commemorative Bottle $2,500

Rare 1988 Coca Cola Seoul Olympic Games Commemorative Bottle
Rare 1988 Coca Cola Seoul Olympic Games Commemorative Bottle Source( Ebay)

The Coca-Cola bottling Company made this commemorative bottle especially for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. It used its game sponsorship, packaging the beloved American drink in a festive cardboard box.

There’s Olympic art on the bottle’s sides alongside the words “1988 Seoul Olympic Games Commemorative Bottle”. The package also has some texts in Korean and is the perfect collectible for sports hobbyists. This bottle was sold in 2021 on eBay.

7. Thailand Coca-Cola ACL Bottles $3,350

Thailand Coca-Cola ACL Bottles

Bottling companies, including Coca-Cola, adopted the Applied Color Label (ACL) bottles to phase out paper-labels reuse. Instead of spending money to wash the bottles and reapply custom labels -paper and molded – they embossed the brand’s name on the bottle.

1973 Coca-Cola ACL Bottle – Thailand 29.5 cl. (295 ml.) – Sold on eBay Oct, 13th 2020 for $3,350.00

6. Hutchinson Coca-Cola Bottle $4,000

Hutchinson Coca-Cola Bottle

The “straight-sided Hutchinson bottles with a metal stopper,” as popularly called, was the first design to package the non-alcoholic Coca-Cola drink. Unlike the later models with the red color and sometimes paper labels, this bottle has the brand’s name embossed on the side.

Hutchinson Coca-Cola bottles are rare because they stopped production within seven years, even though they produced many. Only a few of these are left, though other non-Coke Hutchinson bottles exist.

5. Dallas Cowboys Coke (Limited-Edition) $5,000

Dallas Cowboys Coke (Limited-Edition)
Dallas Cowboys Coke (Limited-Edition) Source: Auctionspear

One thing that makes the Dallas Cowboy Coca-Cola bottle invaluable is the game record list on the label. It’s a limited-edition anniversary product containing the Cowboys’ game record every year from 1960 until its production.

Although it’s a post-1915 model, it has a straight side and elongated neck with a shoulder-printed Coke logo.

4. French Wine Coca $5,000

French Wine Coca
This empty glass bottle, which was bought for just $5 at a flea market, is in fact an incredibly rare 130-year-old forerunner to Coca-Cola  Source: dailymail

Do you remember the French Wine Coca bottle from the beginning of this article? Experts appraised it after Mr. Vergo discovered the labeling and inner embossment and arrived at a whopping $5,000 value estimate.

This bottle attracted such high value because it embodied most of the value appreciating factors of antiques.

  • There are only three of these bottles left in existence. (Rare)
  • It has the original label intact (Excellent Condition)
  • It has Dr. Pemberton’s name embossed. (Historical Significance)

If you take only one thing away from this, it should be the importance of identification and evaluation. The person who sold to Mr. Vergo lost $4,995 while he gained more from paying attention.

3. Unopened Coca-Cola Bottle

Unopened Coca-Cola Bottle
Source: worthpoint.com

NOT FOR CONSUMPTION! This Unopened 1974 Coca-Cola bottle sold on eBay in 2020. It embodies the essence of vintage and antique items as truly collectible since you can’t drink the content. Rumor has it there’s a syringe stuck inside, but you can’t verify that.

Its value also comes from its preservation over the years as it’s still in perfect condition.

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

rare-Coca-Cola-bottle-auction
This recently-discovered early Coca-Cola bottle, a 1915 prototype of the design still used today, carried an auction estimate of $100,000-$150,000.  (Source: Luxury Launches)

This Coca-Cola Glass Co. Prototype Bottle was the first live creation of the hobble skirt design. In April 2019, an ex-employee of the bottling company bought it at auction, eight years after the first modified prototype sold for over x2 the price.

It’s one of only two copies left in the world, and the only reason it sold for significantly less is that it came to the market second. Learn more about rarity and value below.

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

This Coca-Cola Root Glass Co. Modified Prototype is the original model used for the patent in 1915. When Root Glass Co. won the Coca-Cola bottle design challenge, it hid the brand’s name on its application to preserve the secrecy and uniqueness of the new design.

As one of two test bottles left in existence, it’s the rarest and most expensive sold in 2011, eight years before the second prototype.

What did the First Coke Bottle Look Like?

In 1891 The Coca-Cola Company bottled its first Coca-Cola soda drink but didn’t sell until March 1894. It used the already popular Biedenharn Hutchinson bottle; however, it wasn’t the first Coca-Cola bottle ever.

BIEDENHARN HUTCHINSON COCA COLA BOTTLE-1ST BOTTLE--NR!
BIEDENHARN HUTCHINSON COCA COLA BOTTLE-1ST BOTTLE–NR! Worthpoint

Before it became a pure soda beverage, Coca-Cola was a mixture of Wine, Cocaine, and Alcohol sold as Wine Coca in the early 1880s. The original creator was a retired Civil War soldier turned Pharmacist Dr. Pemberton.

Pemberton introduced Wine Coca to the public as a nerve tonic for relieving headaches, constipation, and other mild illnesses. This drink came in a cylindrical bottle with an elongated neck like a modern-day red wine bottle. See the picture below.

Although Wine Coca became a consumer favorite, the government’s alcohol regulation in 1886 affected its production leading Pemberton to remake it into a non-alcoholic beverage. He replaced the wine with Kola nut, forming Coca (Cocaine) + Cola (Kola nut) = Coca-Cola.

This fact brings us back to the beginning, where we stated that the first Coca-Cola soda used the Hutchinson bottle. By 1929, the company phased out Cocaine from its ingredients, turning Coca-Cola into a legit soda beverage.

How to Age a Coke Bottle

EVOLUTION OF COCA COLA
EVOLUTION OF COCA COLA (Source: Fine Art America)

We’ll describe aging your coke bottle into two eras – pre-1915 and post-1915 – because the former is easier to do. All post-1915 bottles used the hobble skirt, otherwise called hourglass, figure-8, and lady shape, design, it’s tricky to distinguish them.

However, that’s going to end after you read this. Let’s age a Coke bottle, shall we?

Pre-1915

The Coca-Cola company first bottled its drink in 1899 in straight-sided Hutchinson bottles. Then in the early 20th century (1906 – 1907), Coca-Cola introduced the amber-colored bottle as a limited edition.

The pre-1915 bottles don’t have exact dates because each bottling company used different timelines to upgrade its design. We can, however, make an educated approximation based on the embossments.

The bottom and middle embossed Coca-Cola bottles were 1905-1910, while the shoulder embossed models were 1910 – 1915.

By 1915, the company’s trustees challenged the leading bottling companies in the USA to design an unmistakable bottle that even the blind could recognize, and the Root Glass Company rose to the occasion.

Post-1915

In 1916, the hobble skirt 14.5-ounces bottle entered the market and upgraded to the Georgian Green design in 1923 when it renewed its patent. The first white label with Coca-Cola and Coke bottles came in 1957.

Although the early 20th century contoured bottles are similar to the modern designs, they’re fatter and thicker. You can also do a quick appraisal if the bottle has a patent year at the end of the Coca-Cola moniker.

The 1923 Hobble skirt is slimmer than the 1915 patent, and the newer models have date codes on the bottom of the bottle.

Other Materials (Plastic and Aluminum)

PET Bottle

1980s US 2-Liter Coca-Cola PET bottle
1980s US 2-Liter Coca-Cola PET bottle (Source: Pinterest)

By 1978, PET (polythene terephthalate), a.k.a. Plastic bottle, entered the market. At first, it didn’t come in the contoured design but a cylindrical shape with a star-shaped bottom. Coca-Cola, however, formed the PET bottle into the 1915 patent design in 1993 to stand out.

2005 DISNEYLAND 50TH Anniversary Tinkerbell WRAPPED Coca-Cola BOTTLE
2005 DISNEYLAND 50TH Anniversary Tinkerbell WRAPPED Coca-Cola BOTTLE (Source: eBay)

The limited-edition aluminum contour bottles arrived in the early 21st century (2005) and the plant bottle four years later (2009). The first set of Share a Coke bottle launched in 2014, and its popular demand prompted a second set with more names in 2017, including locations.

Share a Coke campaign returns with holiday destinations instead of names
Share a Coke campaign returns with holiday destinations instead of names  (Source: The Drum)

What is the Value of Vintage Coke Bottles?

Overall, vintage Coke bottles aren’t worth a fortune because they’re often available in excess. However, specific rare designs and unopened Coca-Cola beverages cost five to six figures, although only two empty bottles ever sold for hundreds of thousands.

The typical factors that influence antique and vintage items in general also apply to Coca-Cola bottles. These include Rarity, Condition, Historical Significance, and Age.

The Relationship between Rarity, Age and Value

Essentially, age and rarity often work hand-in-hand because the older a Coca-Cola bottle, the less like it’ll be to find it in the marketplace. In this respect, limited-editions also fall under the rarity umbrella due to their limited supply (as the name implies).

Suppose you look closely at the list of the most valuable Coca-Cola bottles globally. In that case, you will notice a common theme of limited-editions (commemorative models) and rare antique/vintage designs like the late 19th century to early 20th century bottles.

How Condition Affects the Value of a Coke Bottle

It shouldn’t even be a question because vintage Coke bottles are glass. A chip, crack, scratch, or any other damage would significantly depreciate its worth because that’ll render it almost useless.

Then again, it depends on your reason for collecting a vintage Coca-Cola bottle. If you only want it as a keepsake, you may not mind a dent or damage, but if you intend to recycle the bottle by using it for something else, the excellent condition should be your priority.

So, even though personal preference affects individual value attribution, the consensus is that mint, excellent, and good condition vintage Coca-Cola bottles command the highest value in the market. For reference, see the unopened bottles above.

Historically Significant Bottles Are Worth Much

The name “historically significant” speaks for itself. Vintage Coca-Cola bottles that mark historical turning points for the household brand are worth thousands of dollars. Like the Wine Coca from the 19th century and the 1923 Christmas bottle.

They speak to the essence of antique and vintage collections – preserving history – so they’re often collectors’ favorites.

Final Note

Although owning a vintage Coca-Cola bottle isn’t likely to make you a millionaire, it can still be a great way to preserve history. Moreso, the listed models in this article are worth pretty substantial sums compared to others.

Overall appraisal of Coke bottles, as you’ve learned, isn’t a difficult task. You’ve seen how straightforward it is though you may need some practice distinguishing the Hobble skirt contoured bottles. Just remember;

  • The first Coca-Cola bottles before 1915 were straight-sided
  • Root Bottling Co. introduced the classic contoured (hobble skirt) bottle in 1915-1916
  • The thicker the hobble skirt bottle, the older it is.

FAQs

Q: How Much is a 1923 Coca-Cola Bottle Worth?

A: The 1923 Coca-Cola bottle, a.k.a. the Christmas bottle, was the first to renew its exclusive new design patent. It gained its nickname from its renewal date, which coincidentally fell on Dec. 25, 1923. As a 1900s model, it’s worth about $2,300 – $2,500.

Q: How Many Ounces Are in a Coke Bottle?

A: The initial contoured bottle from 1915 was 14.5 ounces but contained 6.5 ounces of Coca-Cola, totaling One Pound.

The Coca-Cola company realized its consumers had different cravings and needed more options than the standard 6.5 ounces. So, in 1955, it added four new sizes (10, 12, and 16 ounces), including a limited-edition 26-ounce king-size bottle.

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