How Much Is a 1923 Coca Cola Bottle Worth?

Coca-Cola, the world’s most famous soft drink, has been produced in millions of bottles every day by over 900 factories worldwide. With such vast production, you might assume that their old bottles have little collectible value. However, that could not be further from the truth. Some bottles from a century ago can fetch thousands of dollars. So, let’s delve into the world of Coca-Cola bottle collecting and uncover the worth of a 1923 Coca-Cola bottle.

The Christmas Bottle, December 25th, 1923

When it comes to Coca-Cola bottle collecting, one of the most sought-after treasures is the 1923 Christmas bottle. These bottles, produced between 1923 and 1937, hold a special place in the hearts of collectors. The unique design and historical significance make them valuable pieces of Coca-Cola history. Here are some examples of the worth of these bottles:

  • Original Coca-Cola Christmas bottle with a metal cap of 20 inches (51 cm) – $995
  • Vintage glass Coca-Cola Christmas bottle, Milwaukee, WI – $255.75
  • Original vintage Coca-Cola Soda Coke without a cap, large 20 inches (51 cm) – $225
  • Rare vintage Coke-Coca Cola Christmas bottle, Gastonia, NC – $189.99
  • Original Coca-Cola Christmas bottle Casper, WY – $150

These prices highlight the desirability and value collectors place on these unique pieces of Coca-Cola memorabilia.

The History of Coca-Cola Bottles

To truly appreciate the value of a 1923 Coca-Cola bottle, it’s important to understand the history behind it. Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by Dr. John S. Pemberton, who initially created the syrup. The iconic soft drink gained popularity, leading to the need for bottling and mass production.

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Asa G. Candler, who acquired most of Coca-Cola’s interests, established the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in 1892. This marked the beginning of large-scale bottling. The company worked together with bottlers to develop a uniquely identifiable bottle shape that would protect the brand.

Joseph Biedenharn from Mississippi became the first to bottle Coca-Cola in 1894, and by 1920, there were over 1,200 bottling plants across the country. These early bottles had diamond-shaped labels that were prone to peeling. In search of a better solution, the Coca-Cola Bottling Association Trustees challenged American glass companies to create a distinctive design.

The Root Glass Co. won the competition, resulting in the iconic contour (hobbleskirt) bottle shape we know today. The company began producing the green bottles in 1916, with the city’s name embossed on the bottom, depending on where the bottle was delivered. This unique touch added an element of collectibility and led to the existence of over 1,450 different town-specific Coca-Cola bottles.

Ways to Date Coca-Cola Bottles

Dating Coca-Cola bottles is a fascination for many collectors. Several methods can help determine the age and authenticity of a bottle. Here are some key techniques:

  1. Hutchinson patent bottles: Used from the 1890s to 1907, these hand-finished bottles had a rubber-sealed stopper attached to a wire. Today, these bottles with Coca-Cola embossing are incredibly rare and can fetch prices ranging from $2,500 to $4,000.

  2. Straight-side bottles: Replacing the Hutchinson patent bottles, straight-side bottles were produced from 1900 to 1920. The colors varied, with amber being the most collectible. Dating these bottles can be challenging, but they generally fall within the $25 to $400 price range.

  3. Contour (Hobbleskirt) bottles: Introduced in 1916, these bottles became the quintessential Coca-Cola shape. The embossed lettering and patent statements on the bottle can help identify specific years of production. Contour bottles with unique features can command higher prices.

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The Most Expensive Coca-Cola Bottles Worldwide

While 1923 Coca-Cola bottles are not the most expensive, there are rare and special editions that have fetched significant prices. Here are some notable examples:

  • Root Glass Co. Coca-Cola bottle, 1915 – $240,000 (2011, modified prototype)
  • Root Glass Co. Coca-Cola bottle, 1915 – $108,000 (2019, modified prototype)
  • FIFA World Cup Coca-Cola bottle, 1974 – $29,900 (2020, unopened)
  • Hutchinson Coca-Cola Bottle, c. 1889 to 1906 – $4,100 (2021, straight-sided with a metal stopper)
  • Thailand Coca-Cola bottle, 1973 – $3,350 (2020, with applied ceramic label)
  • Seoul Coca-Cola Olympic Games bottle, 1988 – $2,500 (2021, commemorative)

These examples demonstrate the extraordinary value collectors place on rare and unique Coca-Cola bottles.

In Summary

The 1923 Coca-Cola bottle holds a special place in the world of collectibles. While it may not be the most expensive bottle, its historical significance and unique design make it highly sought after. Collectors cherish these bottles as a piece of Coca-Cola’s rich history. So, if you happen to come across one, consider yourself lucky and appreciate the value it holds. Remember, collecting Coca-Cola bottles is not just about the worth; it’s about preserving a piece of the past and celebrating the legacy of an iconic brand.

To learn more about the fascinating world of collectibles, visit 5 WS.

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