I get a lot of questions about relatively new Coca-Cola collectibles. People often wonder what they are worth.
In the world of Coke collectibles, something that is even 30 years old isn’t really an old piece. Because Coca-Cola began in 1886, and items such as Coke calendars and trays started appearing in the 1890s, there are decades’ worth of collectibles out there.
Generally speaking, a Coke item made in the 1970s or after is fairly new, and will not have a significant monetary value. Many serious collectors do not even include these pieces in their holdings.
The reason that pre-1970 materials hold their value is because they were not produced as collectibles, but as sales aids. The posters, trays, calendars and signs that fetch significant prices at auction sites and flea markets were never intended to be collected.
In the 1970s, there was a surge of interest in memorabilia produced by the Company. Reproductions of serving trays, bottles and fountain glasses were produced as consumer promotions, and a wide variety of “new” collectibles entered the market.
Beginning in the 1980s, the Company has licensed a large number of third-party manufacturers to produce goods bearing the Coca-Cola trademark. Many of these materials are highly decorative and colorful, but do not have much value as a collectible. Rarely do they achieve values much beyond the original purchase price.
How do you find the current prices?
If you want to get an idea of current value of newer items, look at recent auction results. The Coca-Cola Collectors Club has a site with results from auctions at its conventions . Checking an online auction site such as eBay also is a great way to see today’s prices for an item.
Whether you’re buying or selling a Coke piece, do your research and check today’s values.