Bottle Value

The value of antique bottles is determined by a number of factors which include not just the age and condition but also the bottles rarity, imperfections, color and historic value. I would highly recommend purchasing a good bottle value book. Its always interesting to see just how much your collection is worth. Note that most guides list value form mint condition bottles. I find a more realistic value can be found by searching for what similar bottles are actually selling for on any of the online auctions like ebay.

Age - In general older bottles of the same category are more valuable than their younger counterparts.

Rarity -How unique or rare the bottle is. It is not only
important for bottles to be rare but must also be
desirable to collectors.

Imperfections -This is a combination of uneven
characteristics, thickness and the presence of
bubbles in the glass. The more imperfections the
more valuable the bottle.

Condition - Bottles in mint condition with no scratches or
chips demand a much higher value. I have listed
below the standard definitions that determine the
condition of a bottle.
Mint: Perfect bottle with paper label intact
(if it had one) No chips, scrapes
or wear. Once a bottle is tumbled or
polished it can not qualify as Mint.
Extra Fine: slight wear, and light stains.
Very good: Light wear, missing label,
light stains.
Good: some chips, scrapes, additional
wear, label missing.
Fair: Considerable wear, label missing,
embossing damaged.
Poor: Large cracks and chips

Color -In some styles of bottles one color variation may be
more desirable and therefore more valuable. In general
aqua and amber are lower in value than black glass, clear glass, cobalt blue, purple and green. Producing colored glass was a challenge. Prior to 1840 colored glass was very expensive. Even producing clear glass was considerably more expensive than standard Aqua until around 1880 when manganese was found to bleach out the green of aqua glass.

Embossing- Most hand blown bottles with embossing have
some value. Embossing may include the
manufacturers name, state, trademarks, logo etc.
Basically the more extensive and elaborate the design
of the embossing the higher the value. Embossing can
also be helpful with ageing a bottle. For example,
bottles embossed with “Federal Law Forbids” were
made after Prohibition 1933 through the early 1970s.

Historic Value- some bottles can be associated with history
and therefore have a greater value. One example are bottles recovered from shipwrecks. These bottles are sought after not only by bottle collectors but also maritime historians. One example would be bottles recovered from the prohibition rum runner Lizzie D, off Long Island NY.. Some of these bottles are common 1920 vintage ABM but because they were recovered from this wreck they have sold for several hundred dollars. On that note its always advised to obtain a certificate of authenticity for any bottles recovered from a shipwreck. This document provides proof to the bottles origin and increases the associated historic value.





Captain Dan Berg's
Build a Ship in a Bottle
The complete how to guide to the ancient mariners art of ship in a bottle building

only $9.95

This heavily illustrated ebook is
5.5 x 8.5, 64 pages, 6.5 MB and loaded with color photographs and sketches. This printable ebook is available for immediate download as a PDF file.


Unlike other books on the subject, that provide a diagram and step by step instructions Capt. Dan attempts to teach model builders to understand the basic principals involved. After reading this heavily illustrated text, readers should have a good understanding of how to design rig and build both square sailed as well as fore and aft rigged vessels. They will then be able to apply the basic principles and techniques and build any type of sailing ship they choose. Please note that there are many different techniques used by different builders in creating their ship models. Some use elaborate mast hinges while others contend with a maze of rigging lines which all run through and under the hull. This book teaches Capt. Dan's basic and the straight forward simple techniques that the authors uses on all of his ship in a bottle models. These basics can be enhanced and modified as model builders become more proficient. Capt. Dan has included a showcase of ship in bottle images from some of the best master model builders in the world. Often the best way to improve skills and technique is to examine the exquisite work and detail of these masters.

Click for additional information



Hunting Antique Bottles in the Marine Environment.
By Capt. Dan Berg


Softcover, 5.5x8.5", 98 pages
printed in full color. $19.95 +P&H

Hunting Antique Bottles in the Marine Environment is the complete field guide for finding and identifying antique bottles. Capt. Berg has been searching for antique bottles in local lakes, rivers and on shipwrecks for over thirty years. Learn not only how to find submerged antique bottles but also how to clean them and how to determine how old they are. This text is packed with historical information that shows how bottles were produced and how each manufacturing process left distinct marks which can be used to accurately estimate any bottles age. Capt. Dan has heavily illustrated this text with over 200 color images depicting the types of bottles that can be recovered by searching local waters. He also uses over 10 unique 3D diagrams designed to give a better understanding as to the time line of glass blowing and bottle manufacturing. These 3D mold images are combined with drawings of the bottles they produced and highlight the distinct mold seam marks each created. This informative text tells all the tricks of the trade that until now have only been learned through years of experience. Bottle collectors, scuba divers and anyone interested in exploring the marine environment for these historic treasurers will reference this text often as they search for and collect antique bottles.


 Antique Bottle Identification Guide  Sample Pages


Sample Pages



This title is also available as a downloadable ebook
click here for details on all of Capt. Dan's downloadable products.


Hunting Antique Bottles in the Marine Environment.
By Capt. Dan Berg

Softcover, 5.5x8.5", 98 pages
printed in full color. $19.95 +P&H


This book is also available as a downloadable ebook

only $9.95
5.7 MB instant download, printable  PDF file





Hunting Antique Bottles
in the Marine Environment

Bottle Collecting
Bottle Characteristics
How bottles were made
Bottle Value
Bottle Types
  Screw Top
  Crown Top
  Blob Top
  Bromo seltza

  Black Glass

  Coca Cola
  Round and Torpedo
Water Hunting
  Scuba Diving
  Ferry Piers
  Dump Sites

Scuba Diving
Cleaning Bottles

Estimating Age
  Mold Marks
  Mold Mark Chart
Patent Numbers
Makers Marks
Just how old
Age Estimating Chart
Glossary of Terms

Scuba Equipment 
 Training Agencies
Equip Manufacturers






Shipwreck Expo Free Newsletter
Sign up for our free e-mail shipwreck, diving and Treasure Hunting newsletter. Capt. Dan Berg has designed this e-mail service for all wreck divers, maritime historians and treasure hunters.

Subscribe Now