Zippo Lighter Bottom Stamps & Date Codes Reference Chart

Zippo Lighter Bottom Stamps & Zippo Date Codes Reference Chart as with most collectibles, the date of manufacture of a Zippo lighter often affects its value. Valuable information on the bottom of every Zippo lighter can help you determine its date of manufacture. Most lighters fabricated between 1933 and 1957 can be identified by style and model and the patent or patent-pending marks.

Starting in the mid 50s, date codes were stamped on the bottom. The original purpose was for quality control. The date codes have since become an invaluable tool for Zippo collectors. The appearance of the word “Zippo” in the bottom stamp provides another clue to dating. There have been three major changes, as shown in inset. From 1933 to the mid 50s the word Zippo was stamped in block letters.

Zippo Date Codes Reference Chart as with most collectibles

Zippo Lighter Bottom Stamps & Date Codes Reference Chart script logo was developed in the late 40s and was phased-in on the lighter bottom stamp around 1955. In the late 70s the logo was redesigned. It was incorporated into the bottom stamp in 1980.

1992: Zippo’s 60th Anniversary

Zippo Date 1992
Zippo Date 1992

The 1992 Collectible of the Year celebrates Zippo’s 60th Anniversary. Zippo was founded in late 1932 by George G. Blaisdell who obtained the rights for an Austrian lighter, redesigned the case, attaching the lid to the bottom with a hinge, and kept the windproof chimney surrounding the wick. His admiration for another recent invention, the zipper, led Blaisdell to name his lighter Zippo. As a final touch, Blaisdell guaranteed it to last a lifetime, and an American icon was born.

The 60th Anniversary commemorative features a midnight chrome lighter with a special 60th anniversary pewter emblem. The lighter is packaged in a hinged collectors tin with the 60th anniversary logo on the top of the lid, and a message ensuring Zippo’s continued commitment to quality on the inside.

The 60th Anniversary commemorative was the first limited edition Collectible of the Year produced by Zippo. It was the first lighter produced specifically for the collectors market, and was available only in the year it was produced. The response to the commemorative was overwhelmingly positive, prompting Zippo to issue a Collectible of the Year in for ten subsequent years.

1993: Windy

Zippo Date 1993 Windy
Zippo Date 1993 Windy

The 1993 Collectible of the Year depicts Zippo’s original spokes model, Windy. Reminiscent of the famous Varga girls who graced the pages of Esquire and won GI’s hearts in the forties, Windy was used in Zippo’s early advertising. The advertisements feature Windy lighting a cigarette in a strong wind, with the slogan “She passed the fan test,” which is a reminder that Zippo lighters are windproof.

The Windy Limited Edition commemorative features a high-polish chrome lighter with a pewter 1935 Varga Girl replica emblem, in a collector’s tin displaying Windy’s image.

 

1994: D-Day

Zippo Date 1994
Zippo Date 1994

The 1994 Collectible of the Year commemorates the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Because of wartime shortages during WWII, Zippo was forced to fabricate lighter cases out of steel instead of the traditional brass. To keep them from rusting the cases were painted black, and the finish was baked on giving the lighter a “black crackle” look.

The D-Day commemorative features a specia insignia adapted from the official D-Day patch worn by allied forces, and the case duplicates the “black crackle” lighters that were made during WWII. Each lighter is elegantly displayed on a velour platform, and packaged in an attractive round metal tin. On the inside lid of the tin is a reprint of the original Eisenhower letter that was issued to troops on June 4, 1944.

1995: Mysteries of the Forest ™

The 1995 Collectible of the Year, Mysteries of the Forest™ is a vividly colored camouflage art puzzle made up of four lighters. Each lighter depicts different scenes of animals in a forest, that when combined form a hidden image in the forest scene.

For the first time, a graphic connection links the four lighter set to a companion lighter, Jaguar and Cub at Turtle Falls™. In the upper left corner of the four lighter set, from a deep recess in the forest, the eyes of a mother jaguar peer out. The scene portrayed on Jaguar and Cub at Turtle Falls is a magnified view from this part of the forest.

Mysteries of the Forest used Zippo’s Technigraphic™ process for the first time. This process is a dye diffusion in which the image is created with a dye rather than with paint, making it possible to reproduce intricate designs with a wide range of colors.

The commemorative set is packaged with an easel, in a collector’s tin ideal for displaying the scene created by combining the lighters.

1996: Zippo Salutes Pinup Girls ™

Zippo 1996joan
Zippo 1996joan
Zippo joantin
Zippo joantin

The 1996 Collectible of the Year paid homage to pinup girls who, throughout the years, have boosted morale and inspired thoughts of home in times of war and peace.

The lighter features a Technigraphic™ image of Joan, the Zippo Pinup of the Year. Zippo’s Technigraphic process makes possible photo-quality graphic reproduction. Each lighter is packaged in a keepsake tin, which features Joan’s likeness on the lid, and a statement of authenticity on the bottom.

1997: Zippo 65th Anniversary

Zippo 1997
Zippo 1997

The 1997 Collectible of the Year celebrates Zippo’s 65th anniversary. Zippo was founded late in 1932 by George G. Blaisdell, who started with a simple idea: create a product that answers a real need, design it to work, and guarantee it to last a lifetime.

The 65th Anniversary commemorative lighter reflects the art deco influence of the early 1930’s, when Zippo was founded. The vintage-style lighter bears a multi-tiered pewter emblem which calls to mind a variety of Zippo associations: the original Zippo packaging

Zippo 65tin
Zippo 65tin

design, the architecture of the Zippo headquarters building, and a birthday cake with the Zippo flame standing in as a candle at the top. Each tier incorporates a Zippo logo style from the past 65 years.

The Zippo 65th Anniversary lighter is packaged in a commemorative tin, which features a collage of images from the archives of Zippo advertising. A special bottom stamp identifies the lighter as a collectible.

1998: Zippo Car

Zippo 1998 zippo car
Zippo 1998 zippo car
Zippo cartin
Zippo cartin

The 1998 Collectible of the Year honors the re-introduction of the Zippo Car . During the late 1940s and early 50s the Zippo Car won America’s heart, appearing in parades, expos, and fairs in all 48 states. It disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the early 1970’s. In 1996, Zippo commissioned a replica of the original Zippo car, and in 1998 the second Chrysler Saratoga – New Yorker, complete with two giant lighters with windproof “flames” stretching above the roof line, was unveiled at the Zippo/Case Visitors Center.

The Zippo Car commemorative features a brushed chrome lighter with pewter emblem replicas of the Zippo car on the lower half of the case, and its original Bradford, Pennsylvania “ZIPPO” license plate on the lid. The commemorative set includes a pewter “ZIPPO” license plate key ring, and is packaged in a custom tin depicting nostalgic scenes of the many places visited by the car.

1999: One World – One Future

Zippo 2000 one World
Zippo 2000 one World
Zippo oneWorld
Zippo oneWorld

The 1999 Millennium Edition Collectible of the Year honors the dawn of the new millennium, and serves as a symbol of Zippo’s proud past and promising future.

The lighter features Zippo’s inaugural use of TVD titanium coating, which is produced by the same technology used by NASA to protect the Space Shuttle, and authenticated by an exclusive bottom stamp.

The 1999 Millennium Edition is also Zippo’s first ever computer-engraved Collectible of the Year. The message engraved on the lighter, “One World…One Future,” expresses Zippo’s belief that the challenges of a new millennium are best faced united.

The set comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in an exclusive collector’s tin.

2000: Keeper of the Flame

Zippo 2000
Zippo 2000
Zippo c00tin
Zippo c00tin

For it’s 2000 Collectible of the Year Zippo honored one of the most magical and essential elements known to man…fire. The millennium edition Keeper of the Flame lighter symbolizes respect, power, and control over man’s most vital element. Prehistoric man discovered fire, but Zippo has perfected it.
“Keeper of the Flame” is ninth in the series of limited edition Collectibles of the Year. The lighter features a first of its kind, earth-toned, embossed, genuine leather medallion encased in an antique brass frame on a classic brushed chrome lighter. A special bottom stamp and certificate of authenticity validates the lighter as a genuine millennium edition Zippo lighter. The leather stamp that appears on the lighter is graphically reproduced on the round keepsake tin. Because every Zippo lighter is guaranteed for life, you will forever be the Keeper of the Flame.

2001: Hollywood’s Leading Light

Zippo 2001
Zippo 2001
Zippo c2001
Zippo c2001

Zippo looked to the silver screen for its 2001 Collectible of the Year. Hollywood is a familiar place for the Zippo lighter, boasting more than 1000 supporting roles throughout its career. The Zippo lighter has shared the screen with such stars as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, John Wayne, Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone, Nicole Kidman, and John Travolta. There is no other star with a list of credits like that.
“Hollywood’s Leading Light” is tenth in the Collectible of the Year series. The lighter features Zippo’s newest gold dust finish. Embellished with a cloisonné emblem that replicates the pink terrazzo stars that line the Hollywood Walk of Fame, “Hollywood’s Leading Light” has a unique bottom stamp and comes in a custom star-shaped tin. Unlike some stars that fade away, the Zippo lighter is guaranteed to shine forever.

2002: 70th Anniversary – Friends for a Lifetime

Zippo 2002
Zippo 2002
Zippo c02box
Zippo c02box

To commemorate our 70th Anniversary, Zippo proudly introduced “Friends for a Lifetime”. Limited to only 70,000 pieces worldwide, this eleventh and final Collectible of the Year is a distinctive brushed brass 1941 replica, with full-faced brass emblem and exclusive bottom stamp. Colorful tin pictures Zippo collectors and fans from National Zippo Day and the Zippo/Case Swap Meet. A special volume of personal stories from Zippo owners is included with this commemorative set only.

For 70 years, Zippo has been forging friendships worldwide. Carried to work, to important milestone events, even into battle, Zippo lighters are part of our lives and our history. Every Zippo lighter has a story – funny, poignant, even heroic – whenever or wherever a Zippo lighter clicks open, a conversation starts.

2002: Zippo Click Club Collectible

Zippo Click members-only lighter
Zippo Click members-only lighter

The first official Zippo Click members-only lighter featured the popular brushed chrome 1941 replica, showcasing the Zippo Click logo in full color.

Members had the option of having their lighter engraved with their member number. Lighters for the first 1,000 Zippo Click members also carry the “Charter Member” designation engraved on the front lid.

Several distinguishing characteristics identify the 1941 replica. The 1941 case has flat planes with sharp, less rounded edges where the front and back surfaces meet the sides. The lid and the bottom are joined with a four-barrel hinge, just as they were on the original 1941 design, rather than the current five-barrel hinge.

Zippo Click Club Collectible
Zippo Click Club Collectible

The inside unit closely replicates the design of the original 1941 model inside unit. Like the outside, the sides of the inside unit are flatter, with squared edges where they meet the front and back surfaces. The chimney has fewer holes than the current inside unit, and a hollow rivet holds the striking wheel in place, similar to the original 1941 design.

What else but the entertaining click clack tin would do for packaging this first Zippo Click special edition lighter? Printed with colorful graphics and the Zippo Click logo, the tin itself is a collector’s item. Push the center circle and the tin clicks open; squeeze the sides of the lid, and it clicks closed. A certificate of authenticity completed this special Zippo Click introductory commemorative.

2003: Zippo Canada Factory – Final Run Collectible

Zippo Canada opened in August 1949 and was the only place other than Bradford, PA, where Zippo lighters were ever produced. Operations

Zippo 2003
Zippo 2003

included the fit-up of the lighter case and insert, surface customization, cleaning, repair clinic, and packaging.

The final production run collectible signifies the end of an era with the closing of the Zippo Canada plant in July 2002. The Zippo Canada commemorative is limited to 25,000 pieces worldwide. Each individually numbered silver plated lighter carries the final imprint of the Zippo Canada bottom stamp, and is packaged in a replica gift box with a Certificate of Authenticity.

See file for detailed instructions: View Zippo here

The engraved design on the lighter features a maple leaf flanked by the operation dates of the Zippo Canada plant. Banners above and below the central design identify it as the Zippo Canada Collector’s Edition, and engraving on the lid confirms this as the Final Production Run.

Zippo Lighter Bottom Stamps
Zippo Lighter Bottom Stamps

Zippo Date Codes Reference Chart Table

Current Date Code System The current date code system uses a letter and two-digit number to identify the month and year of manufacture.

  • Letters A thru L represent the month (A for January, B for February, etc.)
  • The two digits correspond to the year it was made – 14 for 2014
Year Regular Lighter
Left Side
Regular Lighter
Right Side
Slim Lighter
Left Side
Slim Lighter
Right Side
1933 Patent Pending
1937 Patent 2032695
1942-1946 Black Crackle, Patent 203695
(This number was stamped in error, it should have been Patent 2032695.)
c.1949-c.1957 Patent 2517191
with patent pending
Zippo records indicate an overlap of bottom stamp configurations from 1949-1957. Also, some lighters produced between 1955-57 were date coded, however, specifics remain unclear. The date coding was fully in effect by 1959.
c.1951-c.1957 Patent 2517191
1957 . . . . . . . .
1958 Patent
. . . .
2517191
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
. . .
1959 . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1960 . . . . . . . . . . .
1961 . . . . . . . . .
1962 . . . . . . .
1963 . . . . .
1964 . . .
1965 .
1966 | | | | | | | |
1967 | | | | | | |
1968 | | | | | |
1969 | | | | |
1970 | | | |
1971 | | |
1972 | |
1973 |
1974 //// ////
1975 //// ///
1976 /// ///
1977 /// //
1978 // //
1979 An error was made in the date code. One of the slash marks was removed from the left of the Zippo trademark instead of being removed from the right; thus the code read: / //.
This date code error was corrected within the same year to read:
 // /.
1980 / /
1981 /
1982 \\\\ \\\\
1983 \\\\ \\\
1984 \\\ \\\
1985 \\\ \\
1986 \\ \\

Effective 7/1/86 the above system was replaced by year/lot code. Year is noted with Roman Numeral, the letter on the left designates lot month (A=Jan., B=Feb., etc.)

Year Regular & Slim
Lighters

Left Side
Regular & Slim
Lighters

Right Side
1986 G to L II
1987 A to L III
1988 A to L IV
1989 A to L V
1990 A to L VI
1991 A to L VII
1992 A to L VIII
1993 A to L IX
1994 A to L X
1995 A to L XI
1996 A to L XII
1997 A to L XIII
1998 A to L XIV
1999 A to L XV
2000 A to L XVI

 

Year Regular and Slim
Lighters

Left Side
Regular and Slim
Lighters

Right Side
Zippo Multi-Purpose Lighter
Left Side
Right Side
2001 A to L 01
2002 A to L 02
D to L
02
2003 A to L 03
A to L
03
2004 A to L 04
A to L
04
2005 A to L 05
A to L
05
2006 A to L 06
A to L
06
2007 A to L 07
A to L
07
2008 A to L 08
A to L
08
2009 A to L 09
A to L
09
2010 A to L 10
A to L
10

Answer 5 user questions about zippo

Here are 5 questions that users often mention about the brand of Zippo lighters

Are zippos made by prisoners?

Thus a Zippo stamped H IX was made in August, 1993. However in 2001, Zippo altered this system, changing the Roman numerals to more conventional Arabic numerals. … There was a myth that Zippo lighters were made by prisoners, and the number identified the prisoner, or their crime and sentence length

What do the Roman numerals on a Zippo mean?

On the left of the underside was stamped a letter A–L, denoting the month (A = January, B = February, C = March, etc.). On the right was a Roman numeral which denoted the year, beginning with II in 1986. However, in 2001, Zippo altered this system, changing the Roman numerals to more conventional Arabic numerals.

When should I trim my Zippo Wick?

This should be performed once or twice a year. Each wick is almost four (4) inches in length, so after 2-3 trimmings you’ll need to replace the wick. The wick should be changed if the lighter does not light properly or if the ignition process has to be repeated multiple times

How can you tell if a Zippo is real?

Look on the bottom of the lighter. It should have the Zippo brand name, along with a letter on the left side, Roman numerals on the right side, and “”Bradford, PA. Made in USA” on the bottom. The letter and numerals are identification codes, denoting the year the Zippo lighter was made