Coca-Cola has been around for more than 120 years. While selling soda they have become the most advertised company in the world. The variety and depth of items that were used to advertise Coca-Cola would fill volumes. These are what I feel are the top 5 item categories sought by collectors.
At car shows and flea-markets collectors search for tin and porcelain Coke signs. Every Coca-Cola collection that I know of contains vintage advertising signs. Coca-Cola had some of the best illustrators and graphic artists working with them and made some great signs for the collector.
Cardboard signs were used in thousands of styles and date from the early 30s. They were used as temporary store displays, movie lobby signs and soda fountain displays. Prices for cardboard cutouts can often be higher than tin or porcelain signs. Far fewer good condition cardboard cut outs exist, as less survived in premium condition.
The earliest calendar referenced in the guide books that I have is a 1891 calendar valued at $15,000. I also found a 1892 valued at $25,000. Any calendar made by Coca-Cola before 1900 is considered a rare find and command high four and low five figure prices.
The Coca-Cola company had a great variety of bottles. The earliest is the Crown-top bottle made by Hutchinson. The rare Hutchinson, crown-top, or blob top bottle, can easily bring several thousand dollars. The famous Coca-Cola contour bottle was patented in 1915. Before that there is a wide variety of strait sided bottles in various colors with script and embossing variations. In modern contour bottles, different cities and bottlers can be harder to find than others and command a good price.
Ephemera is by definition fleeting. Ephemera refers to paper goods that did not usually survive decades. Collectors have a wide variety of paper to collect. Canceled company checks, menus, ink blotters, coasters, book marks, postcards, sheet music and a thousand other items were produced by Coca-Cola for advertising or company use.
Trays are a nice collector category as well. This could easily have expanded to a top 10, top 20 or top 100 list.
select one here...