Collecting bottles and bottle caps

Searching for metals, caps, bottles, jewelry and similar items can be very interesting if you like this hobby. Collectors spend years following the valuable items that are still out there, waiting for someone to find them. Practicing this hobby on a daily basis can be exhausting as the lack of motivation may appear after few failed missions. To be successful in this field, you might spend months or even years until finding something that you will be proud of. This fact should not discourage you. Instead, you should be determined to find what others could not. History is a very important part of the humankind and every piece of it adds up the image of specific time we have in our minds. Bottles and bottle caps may not count as too old but they are getting older every day and the past centuries stay behind, we need something to remind us of them and how the things used to be. Taking into account that you are interested in antique items, you must love history and ancient times. That statement implies that you look deeper into our history and lives, which makes you special.

If you are considering this as your future hobby and are making the first steps, you might want to get informed at the beginning.

To start off, think of the kind of bottles or caps you want to collect and the reason for it. Is it a personal reason? Some brand that you like especially? Trying to collect old items? There could be many factors that will motivate you so take them into account when starting your research. Here are some of the tips of the things you should think about:

What Tools Do You Need?

Finding goods, especially old ones mostly requires digging and looking deeper than the others can see. For this reason, you should take all the necessary items and tools to help you do your research. You can take a small or large shovel, leather gloves and basic things with you or take a good metal detector that will help you detect the bottle caps easily. This way, you may find other items apart from the ones you were looking for. Getting dirty and sweaty are essential parts of this hobby so you have to be prepared. Apart from that, considering you are looking for sharp items, you should take the first aid with you in the case of cuts or injuries. Make sure you have everything you need because leaving out some of these items can make your research go to the wrong way or fail completely.

Where Can You Start?

When starting your research, you should think of the places you should visit first. Populated areas and down towns are less likely to give you any opportunity of finding old bottles and bottle caps, which is why you should search for less populated places. Along the river and the countryside seem like places where people would go to have some fun and spend some time drinking and forgetting about the bottles. Places that were used before could also be a good target. Digging under the surface and looking around carefully may surprise you and bring you some nice parts for your collection.

Search For Caps With The Name Printed On The Top

Bottle caps with prints on the side are not worth a lot because it eventually fades away so all you have left is a metal without a brand. They are not really useful so try looking for the ones with famous or rare names on them. Afterward, you can make a collection of the same brand that might be worth a lot for collectors, especially passionate ones. If the caps are old and are not being produced anymore, their value will probably be even higher.


Decide What You Want To Collect

Some collectors are looking for a specific brand and if you are not planning to do this research to keep the bottles and caps for yourself, you might try getting informed which bottles and caps are wanted by them and do your best to find them before anyone else. Some people want to revive the memories of someone or some specific time so they are looking for old items, no matter the cost. If you are lucky and consistent enough to find these exact pieces, you could benefit from it a lot.

Choose A Specific Style Of Bottle To Focus On Your Collection

You can focus on finding bottles and bottle caps of alcohol drinks or limit your collection to the bottles and caps of fizzy drinks. Another idea is to use a specific bottler, such as Anheuser-Busch or a particular brewery. Buy bottle caps that collectors refer to as stronger. This means that printing at the top of the bottle is clear and free of blemishes or damage. You should also be able to see all the images in the lid of the bottle and the colors should be clear, that increases the value of the bottle cap.

There are few things that define the worth of a bottle, some of them are:

  • Condition
  • Rarity
  • Age
  • Historic significance
  • Design
  • Esthetic appeal
  • Size
  • Category

Collectors often get surprised by finding a very old bottle but without a huge value. The reason for this is the number of produced bottles that count in millions, which makes them less rare. However, there are some of the bottles with higher value than the others, some of them are:

  • Rare Hutchinson Bottles

These bottles are the hardest to find out of Coca Cola collection. They were used through the middle 1890s to the early years of the 20th Century. It was a limited edition and that is why they are rare and hard to find. On the Petretti’s guide, these bottles in a good condition are worth from $2,500 to $4,000.


  • Flavor Bottles

A long time ago, Coca-Cola company used to produce flavored drinks but they were not allowed to sell them with ‘’Coca-cola’’ mark so they were sold as ‘’flavored drinks’’. There were root beer, orange, strawberry and grape versions. These bottles are also rare and valuable.

  • T Sumida & Hoffschlaeger Co Honolulu

These bottles come from Honolulu, place in Hawaii. Their special feature is the glass and the mark, making it clear that they come from Hawaii.

  • Purple Amethyst Cheerwine Bottle

As the name implies, these bottles are purple and that is one of their main features. Cheerwine was produced long ago and is between the oldest fizzy drinks coming from North Carolina, USA. It is believed that purple amethyst has only 2 examples in the world and that makes it very rare and wanted by the collectors.

  • Fawn Beverage

This brand was very popular in the category of fizzy drinks during the 1950s in the USA. Today, the company does not exist anymore but the collectors still appreciate the bottles and caps from it.

  • Frosty Pepsi Cola

The special feature of this bottle was the frozen look it gave to the drinks. It was very popular throughout the 1920s-1930s and was especially attractive to the buyers wanting a refreshing drink during the hot and tiring day. Coca-Cola still has these frosty designed bottles but Pepsi ones are very rare or very expensive.

As previously said, collecting bottles and bottle caps can be very exciting, especially if you know exactly what to look for and how to do that. Finding valuable items is not always easy but the happiness after doing it is worth all the effort. If the profit is your only motivation then you can be sure that there will be many ways of selling or exchanging these bottles and bottle caps, once you find them and make a decent collection. E-bay and other online stores have many of these on sales and in case you need few items to complete your collection, you could also buy that last bottle from these websites and then sell them all together.

Apart from that, there may be antique shops or museums that could be intrigued by your finds; you just have to be patient. Patience is the crucial factor if you are planning to take this as your hobby. Getting annoyed or frustrated after days of not finding something worth mentioning is what you will face more than once. You have to be ready and not give up after first few obstacles. In the meantime, get more information about the places nearby that you could serve for your research and know more about valuable metals, bottles and bottle caps. Good luck!