Coca-Cola has been around for over a century, and its presence in popular culture can hardly be ignored. It’s almost impossible to evoke the 20th century without thinking of Coke, and it is the ultimate symbol of nostalgia for many people across generations.
Coca-Cola’s timeless logo, classic glass bottles, and iconic advertising campaigns have become an indispensable part of our cultural history.
As a result, authentic vintage Coca-Cola items are highly sought-after by collectors worldwide. For those looking to start their own collection or add more items to their existing one, we’ve put together a guide that highlights some of the most collectible vintage Coca-Cola items out there.
Vintage Advertising Signs
One of the most popular types of vintage Coca-Cola items is advertising signs —these represent some of the earliest visual images associated with Coke and are considered true classics among collectors. If you’re lucky enough to find an early tin sign from the 1900s or even earlier, you’ll surely have something to brag about! These antique metal pieces feature graphics that perfectly capture different eras throughout Coke’s history.
Another timeless classic that makes a great addition to any collection is a piece from one of Coca-Cola’s oldest bottling lines which was introduced in 1899 –the Hutchinson bottle. This item can be hard to come by but holds an important place within collector circles because it directly precedes one of Coke’s signature styles, the straight-sided bottle. Collectors should also keep out for embossed bottles, and there were several design changes throughout the decades that impacted values among collectors significantly.
Dinnerware & Glassware
Coca-Cola glassware products typically feature either its iconic scripts logo formed by curvy letters on various glasses in textured patterns or alternatively metallic foil printed carafes on fine china crockery sets. Both capture the spirit of Coke in the most beautiful way possible. These sets were widely used in diners, restaurants, and bars throughout the mid-20th century, making them ideal collector pieces for those looking to add to their collection in a more practical manner.
Toys & Games
Coca-Cola has released hundreds of toys and games over the years. Some have even been sought after by collectors for decades –such as small handheld dispenser cases pushed on wheels or classic board games adorned with artwork inspired by classic advertising campaigns from the 60s’. These items are usually relatively inexpensive compared to other vintage Coca-Cola items. But don’t underestimate them; even common bottles offered many hours of entertainment to kids back when they were new releases.
Sports jerseys emblazoned with merchandise logos to tiny pins that customers received free with each purchase, Coke’s sports memorabilia is highly collectible due largely in part to the fact that these items were usually available for a limited time frame exclusive to events such as the Olympic Games or popular conventions.
Coke also once produced several types of portable coolers -most famously Red-colored models featured prominently at drive-in restaurants across American roadways during the 1950s, which can be worth thousands if obtained today. Some lesser-known older models were wooden cube-style chest coolers, while others were made from metal built into raised stand-alone cabinets with recessed handles. Each model features unique design elements prominent at different times during Coca-Cola’s history.
Throughout its history, Coca-Cola has frequently collaborated with recording artists and major motion picture studios. Items like vinyl records with music-themed graphics and posters promoting popular films have become prized possessions of vintage collectors these days. There is also a significant cross-over between vintage film memorabilia and Coke collecting simply because Coca-Cola arranged numerous promotional movie theater tie-ins, including licensed cups, popcorn buckets, and festooned crew jackets.
To sum up, vintage Coca-Cola items found within the above categories are highly sought after by collectors of all ages and backgrounds. Coca-Cola has a unique historical place in popular culture that guides the collecting process for many. With a little diligence and some investigation, you can find valuable collectibles hidden among ordinary things. The next time you stumble upon an antique shop or thrift store with classic pieces, be on the lookout for vintage Coke items; you may just discover a treasured find!