Collections of Americana can include items from countless walks of life, from baseballs signed by the likes of Babe Ruth to Mickey Mouse ears to Matchbox cars. No such collection is complete, though, without at least one – and more often several – Coca-Cola items. In fact, many hobbyists have entire sections of their collections – or even entire collections – of nothing but Coca-Cola paraphernalia. The company has carved itself a place of its own in the hearts of Americans and the psyche of the country as a whole. Now thanks to a Fijian issue, one of the company’s most iconic pieces is available to collectors in .999 fine silver.
Coca-Cola started as a headache syrup created by Dr. John Pemberton in a small pharmacy in Atlanta in 1886. One of his friends added water and carbonic acid to it, and what has since become – and remained – the tasty beverage was born. Benefiting from what could only be described as some of the most ingenious marketing work in the history of the world, the company exploded to worldwide success and continues to be enjoyed from Algeria to Zimbabwe. Cuba and North Korea are the only countries in which Coca-Cola cannot officially be bought or sold.
Of course, being a popular beverage is one thing, and making an impact on popular culture is another. What sort of an impact did Coca-Cola make? It changed the perception of Santa Clause. The change in the colors of Santa’s clothes have often been misattributed to Coca-Cola advertising, but it was Thomas Nast’s work that changed his color from tan to red. What is true, though, is that Haddon Sundblom’s depictions of Santa in Coca-Cola’s advertising, which started in 1931, transformed the figure from a strict-looking figure, who was sometimes even depicted as a gnome, into the jolly old elf that we know today. Sandblom’s images showed Santa doing things like enjoying a Coke while reading a letter from children to whom he delivered toys to playfully raiding refrigerators on Christmas Eve.
One of the things that fueled the company’s expansion – and its unique place in the hearts and minds of Americans – is the unique bottle design. The contoured bottle was patented by the Root Glass Company, which was located in Terre Haute, Indiana. According to the creative brief that the company received, Coca-Cola wanted a bottle “that could be recognized when broken on the ground or by touch in the dark.” The bottle was hugely successful and remains today one of the top symbols of the Coca-Cola company. Although the classic glass version’s use has diminished considerably, it remains popular in many locations and has been largely replicated in the beverage’s plastic bottles.
With such a famous bottle, it is little wonder that the Coca-Cola bottle is a top choice for those who want a classic piece from the company that epitomizes the global marketplace and the expansion of American influence and commerce throughout the world. Of course, that bottle would be nothing without its cap, which offers a far more efficient option for collectors. Taking up less space and showing off the company’s familiar red and white colors, a Coca-Cola bottlecap from one of the company’s glass bottles is a must have not only for any Coca-Cola themed collection but any collection of popular items from American history.
For coin collectors, looking to bring together their favorite beverage with their favorite hobby, Fiji recently released a Coca-Cola bottlecap coin. Through the use of digital colorization and modern minting technology, the coin is a perfect replication of the world renown bottlecap in fine silver. Digital printing brings the bright white-on-red script “COCA-COLA” to life on the reverse, while modern minting technology produces the piece in stunning 3D just like the original caps that have been maintaining the freshness of the beverage for billions throughout the world for over a century.
On the obverse, the Fijian coat of arms stands at the center. Two people support a shield that bears symbols of the island nation, while a boat is at full sail above the shield. Inscriptions offer, among other things, the coin’s unique 6 gram weight and its .999 purity.
This unique bottlecap coin is a collectors item, not only for the millions of coin collectors throughout the world but also for the countless Coca-Cola collectors, who seek to snatch up all things that bear their favorite company’s beloved logo. It needs to be preserved as such, which is why getting a graded edition makes more sense than getting the coin in its original mint packaging. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has graded several for us, providing with them a unique label that bears the Coca-Cola logo and a white-on—red silhouette of a Coca-Cola bottle, complete with the logo in red. This complements the red-and-white coin beautifully and makes the company’s recognizable colors pop for a perfect viewing experience.
In 1971, Coca-Cola released one of the most famous ads of all time. Known as “Hilltop,” the ad features young people from all over the world standing on a hilltop in Italy singing the song, I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke. The ad forever solidified Coca-Cola as the world’s beverage. The smiling, hopeful eyes of the diverse cast associated happiness with the beverage for an entire generation, while its sponsorship of major world events, such as the Olympics and the World Cup, serves to augment that image on an ongoing basis.
People collect coins for a variety of reasons, including loves of history and artwork, as well as connections with the past. Some are looking for inspiration, while others just want a smile when they look at their collections. Fiji’s 2018 Coca-Cola Bottle Cap coin offers all of those things and more. Whether you love coins, Coke, or just things that are as American as apple pie, be sure to pick up one of these stunning coins while we still have them available. Otherwise, you will rue the missed opportunity every time you take a sip of your favorite soda.
||Sean McConeghy is a freelance writer and network marketer living in Roatan, Honduras. He originally hails from New York and specializes in writing about numismatics, real estate, and politics.|