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Zippo Lighter Identification Codes

Over the years the Zippo® lighter has become valued as a collectible. Age is one factor used to determine the value of a Zippo® lighter. But how can the age be determined? A code stamped on the bottom of every lighter reveals the month and year of manufacture.

The date code stamp, originally intended to track lighters returned for repair, actually contributed to the Zippo® lighter becoming a collectible. With an easy way to determine the date a lighter was produced,, collectors could examine not only the style and condition of a lighter but the exact date of production.

Below are the Zippo® date codes.

 

. . . .
. . .
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 erroneously stamped, it should have been
Patent 2032695.)

   
c.1949-c.1957
Patent 2517191
with patent pending
   
 
From 1949-1957, Zippo® records indicate an overlap of bottom stamp configurations and some lighters produced between 1955-1957 were date coded, however, specifics remain unclear. By 1959, the date coding was fully in effect.
   
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 July 1, 1986 the above system was replaced by year/lot code. The year is noted with Roman Numerals, the letter on the left designates lot month (A=Jan., B=Feb., etc.)
   

Year

Regular
and Slim
Lighters

Left Side

Regular
and Slim
Lighters

Right Side/strong>

   
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    
  Beginning early 2000, lighters produced will feature the Zippo® logo on the left, the month code in the center, and 2000 stamped above the Roman Numeral XVI. 2000 Bottom Stamp Example  
 
   
  Beginning 2001 and after,, Zippo® has introduced a new, date code. The letters A through L on the left of the Zippo® logo will still represent the month of manufacture. However, the year of manufacture is now identified by the last two numbers of that year, stamped to the right of the Zippo® logo. 2003 Bottom Stamp example  

Year

Regular
and Slim
Lighters

Left Side

Regular
and Slim
Lighters

Right Side

Zippo
Multi-Purpose Lighter
MPL Bottom Image
Left Side
Right Side
2001 A to L 01

The MPL was first produced in February, 2002.The MPL's manufactured in late February and March 2002 had a blank adjustment knob. The first MPL's to have a date code were those produced in April,, 2002 and after.

 

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

 

 

 

 

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