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Coca Cola trays have been around since 1897 with the first victorian woman tray. Since then the trays have covered many different subjects from the olympics to Norman Rockwell scenes. values change as the economy changes with the more valuable trays staying pretty well stable due to a investment nature placed on some of them. Reproductions and fakes are out there in huge numbers and of course a lot of originals too.

Originals are valued from a mint value in price guides and as each scratch or dent or fade place appears in a piece the value is going to go down. Values were a lot higher during the late ninties and early 2000s but now with the economy down the values are down. Still values should be based on supply, location and condition. Sales in the larger cities will be higher at auctions than in a rural area. I base most of my data on internet auctions and local estate sales with some forays into larger cities when I have the time.
Coca Cola trays are made in many different countries and each will have different values on them. This guide covers only the pieces produced for the US market. That is not saying they are made here but are produced to be sold in the US. Coke has through time came out with reproductions of older trays to represent a certain event in their history such as the 1970s when Coke came out with a number of reproductions of the classic originals. Then again during the 100 year anniversaries of the coumpany there was different re-issues. How do you tell an original from the ten dollar reproductions? It is hard and some people are not above working over re-issues as originals. Below I have made a list of the things I believe are important to look for when getting ready to buy a Coca Cola tray.

1. Color, The older trays have a more rich deep color almost like a paint with lots of age that changes it to a darker color. The newer trays have colors that are louder and speak out more with a actual cheap look.

2. Most of the originals had the back of the tray painted black, a black that now should have a aged slightly dull look to it. There was no writing on the back of the trays. There are some of the originals that have a gray or green IMG color on the backs also.

3. The words Made in U.S.A American Artworks, Inc. Coshocton, Ohio will often be found on originals, but not all.IMG

4. Originals made between 1910 and 1942 were all marked with a date. IMG You may have to have a magnifying glass to locate the print on the trays.

5. Check the tail on the capital C of Coca, inside of the section will have the registered trademark of Coca Cola. The reproductions pieces amy also have this mark. IMG

6. The reproductions have the year written at the edge of the artwork This is often on the rolled lip edge.

7.Originals will also usually include the artist name in the lower left corner, and one of the most common is Haddon Sundblom. The last known work done by this man was around 1962.

8. The reproductions by Coca Cola will be marked on the back stating they are repros. Some even have bar codes on the back.

Even with this list it is hard to define an original from a fake or worked over repro piece. Since most repros are valued at ten dollars or less it is very important to follow some sort of guide line when purchasing a Coke tray.

The following six pages cover a majority of the Coke trays and values are based on the average condition tray. Any mint trays will be marked as such.
Click on tray to enter value pages.

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