Numbers on the bottoms of glass bottles and jars

Numbers (numerals) embossed on the bottoms of glass bottles and jars.

I frequently receive inquiries about what these markings mean.  Unfortunately, there is no “one answer fits all” to this question!!

(NOTE: the article on this page is pertaining to GLASS containers, and does not apply to the subject of modern / recent PLASTIC containers, which is an entirely separate field of study, and is discussed on many other websites.  The number (within a triangle with rounded corners) found on the bottom of plastic bottles is a code indicating the type of plastic the bottle is made of,  and pertains to the subject of recycling) .

Always look very closely over the entire glass bottle or other container to make sure there is not some type of logo (emblem, trademark, initials, or just a letter) that might indicate the actual glass manufacturer.     In many cases there is NO such mark, with only a number or numbers to be seen.   In these cases, the general style, shape, glass color and other characteristics can at least help narrow down the possible age range of a particular specimen.

A large percentage of bottles are marked with only a number (or numbers) on the base (or the heel), and the truth is that (in most cases)  it is very difficult, or impossible, to assign a specific glass manufacturer to a bottle if there is no other information embossed in the glass.

Probably in the majority of cases,  single digit numbers are mold numbers, merely serving to identify a particular mold, (or section/mold cavity in an automatic bottle manufacturing machine)  that was used to form the bottle or other glass item.   If a number of identical bottle molds are being used simultaneously,  each mold would be assigned a number.    (If problems occur with the finished product, it can be easily ascertained which mold or mold section is at fault.)

Numbers also serve other purposes, depending on the exact container and/or company being discussed.  Some numbers are year/date codes.     Some numbers (for instance, 3- or 4-digit numbers on the base of many British bottles) are catalog, inventory, style or design numbers assigned to a particular bottle shape.   Those numbers would serve to identify a particular bottle style, such as  in communications/orders between the glass manufacturer and their customers …….that is, the companies who ordered the bottles to package their products.

Many Owens-Illinois Glass Company soda bottles, for a period of time, used “G-numbers” on the bottom (numerals before or after a G), which were codes for a specific bottle shape (design), irrespective of the soda brand name or glass color.

Many whiskey bottles are seen with “D-numbers” on the bottom which  (correct me if this is wrong)  have to do with distillery information.

Date codes are often seen, especially  on soda bottles from the 1930s to date, and many of these codes are embossed on the base of  the bottle, placed to the right of the glassmaker’s logo. This is true on the products of some manufacturers, but not all.

Most modern glass bottles carry date codes, which are often on the heel of the bottle.  These date codes are not always obvious, or easy to distinguish from bottle mold numbers.   It also depends on exactly which glass company produced the container, as all firms do not use the same system of markings.

DOTS or BUMPS around the lower heel of bottles.

In many cases (especially within just the last few years, writing this as of 2013), mold data information is now preserved through the use of small embossed “dots”, “bumps” or raised periods arranged horizontally around the lower heel of the container.  More information on this invention (which is rather involved!)  and how it works can be found by doing an internet search (Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engine), using the keyword search terms “EP 0256804 B1 ” , “code reader”, and “Emhart”.

Please click here to return to the Glass Bottle Marks pages. (This link points to page three). 

60 Responses to Numbers on the bottoms of glass bottles and jars

  1. Velma Shupe says:

    I have a small pink or rose colored bowl, (possibly a fruit bowl?) with a unique design I haven’t been able to find online yet. it has plain leaf pattern with a line in the center of each leaf and frosted oval shapes with flat bottoms around the circumference. It does not have a star pattern on the bottom like most I’ve seen. It has the only the word France and the number 14 stamped on the bottom. Does anyone know the maker of this bowl and if it’s valuable?

  2. Whitney says:

    I need help! I have an Arcorac Lance tumbler. Along the bottom is says Arcorac France 33. Can someone tell me what the 33 means? I’m assuming the France means that it was made in their French factory, not the American one? I’ve tried EVERYWHERE. I even e-mailed the company, to no avail. Thank you!

    • David says:

      Hi Whitney,
      I am happy to tell you I was able to contact a representative at Arc International. Vanessa Thompson in the marketing department has kindly replied to my query and she wrote “The 33 on the bottom of the glass is the mold number. Arcoroc is the glass line and it is made in France.”

      Searching sites such as ebay, and reading some of the auction listing descriptions, it is apparent that many different numbers (mold numbers) can and do appear on the bases of various types of glassware made by Arc International.

      I hope this helps! Take care, David

  3. jose diaz says:

    i have a MARTELL MEDAILLON COGNAC, green bottle it has:BG.SG S, with 4 dots around botom of the S

  4. Brittany says:

    I found a very small glass bottle maybe an inch and half tall. It has 3-2 on the bottom along with an H and a small H symbol inside of that one. It has a clear liquid and Ann orangish liquid which separate in the bottle. Anyone know what this is?

  5. Zack says:

    Hello, please could someone help me out , because i have spent my whole day trying to find out what this dating code means, a friend of mine brought me an empty bottle of coca cola from Morocco 24,5 cm tall with the red colour included on the label ( label includes Arabic and the word marques et modele desposes) now on the lower heel there is embroidery with 35,5 cl ( the cl very calligraphic) and then on the other side it starts with the number 16 after smal space there is the S in circle and small space again and there is number 9 with 7 code script ( or dots if you like ) in the shape of C covering the right side of number 9.. i tried but i didnt found something similar article .. pls help me

    • David says:

      Hi Zack,
      Your bottle has the maker’s mark of a “S inside a circle” which, according to Emhart’s punt mark database, is the mark used by a glass company in Morocco, the exact name of which (in the French language) is “Societe D’ Exploitation De Verreries Au Maroc S.A”, located in Casablanca, Morocco. I do not have any info on the code markings. The 9 with dots is probably the date code, but I cannot be sure since I am not familiar with that glass company or the way they code-date their bottles. The “16” is probably a mold number. Perhaps a reader can supply more info (not very likely, to be honest with you) or you can try contacting them directly through their website. Incidentally, I should mention that the mark “S in a circle” has been used by various companies in the United States as well as in several other countries around the world, but in this case we can be absolutely certain on the identity of the glass manufacturer since it is a bottle from Morocco. Just guessing, I would imagine your bottle was made sometime within the last 20 to 30 years or less, but I really don’t know.
      Hope this helps a bit,

  6. tansy says:

    Would anyone know what an old glass jar (about 3 inches tall) would be used for? When right side up, you see markings on side noting 1, 2, 3 ounces…. but the ounces start with one on the top and go down to 3 at the bottom, seems backwards if you filled it up with something… and words are upright with the jar…. Only other marking is a number 17 with an roof (<17)

    • jeff says:

      Pictures would help but maybe a baby bottle of some sort are what I have come across with this description.

  7. Carol A says:

    Can anyone tell me about a Nov 30th embossed 1858 Mason Jar that has a base marking of a triangle and the numbers 3 and what appears to be a 9 or a Z? Thanks so much.

    • David says:

      I strongly doubt that anyone can be sure what glass company made any particular NOV 30TH 1858 variant (That is, assuming there are no recognizable glass manufacturers’ marks or logos on the jar). Gobs of different molds were used by hundreds of glassmakers in the US that made that style jar, and many of them were marked on the bottom with various numbers, letters, as well as geometric shapes and other marks. It would be wonderful to find out for sure if a certain mold was used by a certain glass company, but it would be very, VERY difficult to prove. One very slim possibility……….it might be possible, for instance, if someone was able to excavate where an an old glass company used to stand, and IF they were to find considerable quantities of a particular jar base with a unique appearance (for instance, an unusually shaped number or letter) it might be possible to assign an origin to that mold……………but don’t hold your breath! (And sometimes molds were sold to other glass companies, after shutdowns /buyouts of failing companies). ~David

  8. dani says:

    recently bought a decanter-type bottle from a local flea market store. the bottom is marked
    55(either an i or a 1, inside of a 0 or O)69

    any ideas?

    • David says:

      The “I inside an O” is one of the trademarks used by OWENS ILLINOIS GLASS COMPANY, the largest, “longest-lived” glass company in the United States, and one of their glass bottle marks I get tons of questions about. Please see my page on Owens-Illinois for more info. The ’55” in this case is a liquor permit number assigned to the Owens-Illinois Glass Company and their Huntington, West Virginia glass plant in particular. The “69” is a date code for 1969. The “0-369” is probably a code number for that style bottle.( Or is it a “D-369”?) The “3” might be a mold identifier number. Hope this helps.

  9. justin says:

    Hello. I believe I have a owens bottle Co tiny glass bottle with a brass lid. It has an O or 0 Inside of a square. What I can’t figure out is on either side of this mark there is a number 4
    So we have (4 O inside square 4)
    What do these numbers mean?

    • David says:

      Hi Justin,
      The bottle was made by Owens Bottle Company (“O in a Square” mark). One of the “4” digits is a mold number, but I’m not sure about the other “4”. Best regards, David
      PS. I answered your query several days ago via direct email with no reply from you, please check your SPAM / TRASH / JUNK folders.

  10. Dennis says:

    I have a Diet Rite which was an RC brand, with the number 73 on the bottom. According to Collections ( my bottle was made in 1973. Maybe the web site mentioned would be able to help you.

  11. tara says:

    I have an vintage rc bottle with the marks lg 67 below that it has 928 15. Can you tell me who made it please?

    • David says:

      Tara, the Royal Crown bottle was evidently made by Liberty Glass Company, Sapulpa, Oklahoma. See my entries concerning the “L G” listings on the “Glass Bottle Marks” series of pages (links pointing to the articles are located in alphabetical order along the right-hand side of any page on this site). The “67” is a date code for 1967.
      Hope this helps,

  12. Aneesa Sharper says:

    I have a clear floral vase 10 inches in height with an E.O. Brody marked on the bottom of the vase. It has C 928 mark. What can you tell me about this vase? When it was made? Rarity and the possible value it .

    • David says:

      Hello Aneesa, The only info I have on Brody is what is already written on my webpage concerning Brody.

    • Brad says:

      E.O. Brody company makes floral vases today and the C928 is the model number.

      • David says:

        Hi Brad,
        Although I am sure you are right (the “C928” is a style or model number assigned to a particular design), there is conflicting information on E. O. Brody and what they are producing presently (if anything), and where it is being made. Can you provide specific background sources for your statement (i.e. they are making floral vases “today”). Most of the information on Brody that has been posted online dates from 2007 or 2008 and before. Anchor Glass acquired the Brody Company in 2007. (Please see my webpage on Brody here). Brody apparently didn’t make the glass themselves, but distributed glass and ceramic products (the glass being made by Indiana Glass Company) for the floral industry.
        Best regards,

  13. christine says:

    hi i was wondering if someone could help me i live in a small remote community and iv found a brown bottle that has matilday bay australia on it and at the bottom it reads( a not to refilled) underneth the bottle the number are15530 what kind of beer is this and how old could it be?

  14. Dana Schulz says:

    hello david ,,,i have a old rawleigh’s bottle it is rectangle it says trademark under rawleighs and bottle made in the usa and on the bottom is a circle with a P and a 2 underlined ,,,the bottle is greenish tint and has quite a few air bubbles in the glass there is also three rings around the neck of the bottle what are you thoughts ?

    • David says:

      Hello Dana,
      I’m sorry but the only “solid” info I can provide is that the bottle was actually made by Pierce Glass Company (the ‘P in a circle’ was their makers’ mark). Most of the bottles with the “P in a circle” on the bottom seem to date from the 1920s-1950s (in general) but I’m afraid I can’t be more specific than that very general range of years.

  15. Rachel says:

    I found a old small bottle that is brown and says W. T. CO D USA on the bottom. It is sealed with a cork, and it has a very fine white powder in it. Any ideas what it could be or how old it is?

    • David says:

      Hi Rachel, it’s probably a medicine, druggist or chemical bottle. (Don’t know what the white powder could be, any of a number of different substances. DON’T TASTE IT! :-) The bottle was made by Whitall Tatum Company (see my webpage on that company) and dates to sometime between 1901 up to the early 1930s. Whitall Tatum made gobs of different style of bottles……that type could have been used to hold any of many different products. There would have originally been a contents label pasted on the side which is now gone.

  16. Eric Morey says:

    Hi David, recently in the eastern goldfields of western australia I found a small jar embossed with the trade mark – Vaseline – chesebrough – new york and on the bottom was the number 38. This old minesite operated from 1896 to 1910. Eric.

    • David says:

      Hi Eric,
      Please check out my webpage on the Vaseline jars. There are a few pics there showing various types. They are very plentiful, and were made for many years, with many slightly different lettering variations found. The “38” on your jar would be a mold identifier number.
      Best regards,

      • Dalla Roberts says:


        Here in Jacksonville FL today 6/9/15 I found a small glass jar, out near the road where they happen to be digging it up to do some repairs. I am sure this is an old Vaseline bottle as well from the information I found on your page, but on my clear glass bottle it does not say Vaseline. And like Eric Morey it is only written on the bottom but unlike Eric I could not see a number. Mine reads
        ” Chesebrough
        NEW YORK”

        The glass bottle or jar is small, it is clear in color, it does have a rainbow looking effect to the glass but I am guessing that it is either something it was made with or because it has been buried for years. The sides of the bottle are all intact but the top has a couple of pieces broken on it. But you can tell that it looks like it had a screw on top. And I can see little lines that look like it was not as old as I hoped it was it looks like it was made from a mold and put together. But since I love bottles I will keep it no matter what but I did find your page very interesting and I look forward to learning more. Thanks,

        Dalla Roberts

        • David says:

          Hi Dalla,
          Thanks for your post! Yes, there were many slight variations in the embossed wording on the Vaseline jars. Some carry mold numbers on the bottom, and others don’t. Since the glass Vaseline jars were made over such a long period of time, by a number of different glass companies, there were no doubt many different molds used for their manufacture. Some glassmakers would have used several molds at once, and each mold might have carried a number to identify it if any problems arose with the finished product.
          The “rainbow” look you see is a result of long burial in the ground. The jar would have been an ordinary colorless / clear glass when brand new. The lines you see are vertical mold seams. There is a lot of misunderstanding of the process by which most typical jars and bottles are made, but to describe it in a VERY VERY simplified manner, basically the molten glass is blown into a hollow metal mold which is typically made of two halves (sometimes more). Those two halves are shut (somewhat like closing up a book momentarily), the glass (hot syrup) is blown into the mold, and after a very short time (seconds), the glass hardens sufficiently and then the parts of the mold are opened back up and the finished glass bottle or jar is removed from the mold. This was done by hand until the first fully automatic bottle machine was put into production in 1904. The mold seams you see along the sides are where the two halves of the mold came together, and the molten glass was “pushed against” (by compressed air) the crevice to create a visible raised line. Your jar would be a later type made by machine, as I believe all of the “threaded closure” Vaseline jars were.
          Here is a webpage that has more info on various bottle bases and mold types:

          Hope this helps, and take care,

  17. Corrine says:

    I have an old glass bottle with DuBouchett Many Blanc written on it. At the bottom of the front it says federal law forbids sale of re-use of this bottle. Underneath the bottle the numbers read R-798. Do you have any idea or information you can provide me. Thanks

  18. Elizabeth Ehmke says:

    I have a glass bottle that has a serial number etched in it just above the dots at bottom of glass, this glass bottle has a cobblestone body and what looks like a seem , it also has the number 43 in center as well as other numbers around base of bottle. I can’t seem to find anything on serialized bottles, can anyone help ?

  19. Dennis says:

    Go to They have a lot of good information on glass.

  20. Mary says:

    Hello, we have 2 one-gallon glass jugs. One says Duraglas and has what looks like E-1841 on the heel. The other only has the numbers 120 and 30 on the bottom. Any thoughts on the years of these?

    • David says:

      Hello Mary,
      Well, we can be sure the jug marked “DURAGLAS” was made after 1940, the year of introduction of that brand name by Owens-Illinois. However, I really can’t offer info on a specific year it was made. The “E-1841” would probably be a catalog number or style number assigned by Owens-Illinois Glass Company to that particular type jug. I don’t have information on when that was used. It is theoretically possible, if you could find an older Owens-Illinois catalog, to estimate the date range IF this style container was listed in a catalog of, perhaps, the 1940s, ’50s or ’60s, but I don’t know if any are available. Concerning the other jug with just “120” and “30” on the base, I’m afraid I really have no info to pass along. In general, I think both of your jugs probably date from sometime in the 1940-1970 period, (and, sorry, I realize that is a wide year date range), but pinning down an exact year may be close to impossible.
      Best regards, David

  21. Eva says:

    I found a beer bottle with 3 sets of numbers. The first set is on the bottom around the outside which is 01 95 ws-4. The next is near that and is simply 22. The last number is on the underside of the bottle and is an underlined 71. They beer is still inside with a rusted cap so I don’t know what it is.

    • David says:

      Hello Eva,
      This bottle was made in 1995. The “95” (along the lower heel of the bottle) is a date code. I believe this may be a product of Owens-Illinois, Inc.
      Best regards,

  22. Dennis says:

    Thank you very much. They are very nice but I’m getting the notion they may be foreign made.

  23. Dennis says:

    I have some Cobalt Blue bowls that have only numbers on the bottom. One is 34, another 23, etc..; there is a different number on each bowl. These numbers are about 1/8 of an inch tall. I was wondering if a manufacturer could be located with these numbers?

    • David says:

      Hello Dennis, I am sorry but they are merely mold numbers. The mold numbers CANNOT help identify the name of the company that produced the glass. Most glass companies have used mold numbers at some time or other on their products.
      Best regards,

      • Justin says:

        I can think of one instance where the mold number can identify the glass manufacturer. On the mason’s patent 1858 fruit jars the ones produced by hemingray have a very distinctive mold number style.

        • David says:

          Hi Justin,
          Yes, you are absolutely right. As with any general rule, there is usually an exception here or there. In an attempt to be concise, and not “muddy the waters” more than necessary, I didn’t mention that exception in my article.
          So, to expound a bit on that here: on early handmade ground-lip “MASON’S PATENT NOV 30th 1858” fruit jars with a mold number on the center of the base, if the number is VERY, VERY LARGE, BOLD and “Ornate”, the jar can generally be attributed to Hemingray Glass Company. Most were probably made at their earlier Covington, KY factory, and perhaps some were made at Muncie also– presumably dating in the 1870s-1880s.
          Thanks Justin,

  24. Tam says:

    I’m sorry yes the are on the bottom of the bottle.

  25. Tam says:

    I have a tonic bitters medicinal wine bottle that has a star with a 2 in the middle..what does that mean?

    • David says:

      Tam, I suppose you mean the markings are on the bottom, or is this on the front / side? The 2 is probably a mold number. The star could be a trademark used by the wine company, or a decorative design motif / emblem with no specific meaning.


  26. Jeb Harrison says:

    Hi David,

    We moved into a house in Stinson Beach last year that is on a double parcel and is built over the footprint of a cabin that was torn down in the late seventies. As far as we can tell the occupants of the cabin (the last of whom were notorious partiers including Janis Joplin) would toss their bottles from the house into the bushes in the lower parcel – there is about a 30 sq ft. patch that is literally coughing up glass. Today I found the 2″ wide oval base of a bottle inscribed with the Owens-Illinois logo, and the Duraglas logo. To the left of the Owens circle/diamond/i logo is the number 23, to the right is the numeral 4. Below the Duraglas logo is the num/alpha 536-B, and to the left of everything is inscribed 4 A. I assume it was made in LA, but am not sure what date the numeral 4 refers to or the other numbers. Thanks!

    • David says:

      Hello Jeb,
      As you realized, the “23” on the left of the logo indicates the bottle was made at Owens-Illinois’ Los Angeles glass plant. The “4” on the right is a year date code (last digit of a year) and stands for 1954 (since their Duraglas trademark was issued c. 1940, the year 1934 can safely be excluded as a possibility, and the Los Angeles plant (#23) was started circa 1948, eliminating 1944 as a possibility). “536-B” is almost certainly a code number for that style of bottle (i.e. a catalog, inventory or design number assigned to that shape). “4 A” is a mold identifier. Since the bottle is machine-made, (Automatic Bottle Machine or “ABM”) and there would have been several molds (or “mold cavities”) arranged in a circular configuration on the assembly, with many identical bottles being produced each minute. Each individual mold was numbered (engraved), and “4 A” is the designation for the particular mold that specific bottle was made from.
      I hope this makes sense. Thanks for writing!

  27. James says:

    I have 3 bottles, one is a clear cylinder threaded on top, circle on bottom with A inside, a line under the circle and a 3 under that. Second is I believe a Heinz ketchup bottle but would like to date it if possible- has anH-257 with a B in a circle under that. The 3rd has numerous markings,maybe a soda bottle. Looks like lattice on the bottom 2/3 of the bottle, with a capital I on the bottom along with 250z above it, an S to the left and 48 to the right.also has symbol below that looks like T with a 4 on left side and odd shaped c on the right. Anyone have anything?

  28. Valerie says:

    My boyfriend found varies types of bottle bottoms with writing or numbers. First is cobalt blue with a 5 and m with a 3/4 circle around the m. Second is brown with S G . Third is brown with 75 with 3 slashes on bottom. Fourth is brown has 649 NW. Fifth is white with symbol of an arrow with flat bottom and J L on each side. Sixth is white with 4869. Seventh is brown with TIREG. I guess you already know this is authentic beach glass. I understand your statement on tumbling but as a beginner I can already tell the difference,especially when you have seen some aging on pieces or another.

    • David says:

      Hi Valerie,
      Yes, I totally understand. Btw, the only piece I can positively identify as to glassmaker source is your cobalt blue piece, which has the “M in a circle” used by Maryland Glass Corporation.

      Thanks for writing and have a great weekend!

      • Valerie says:

        Thanks David for your prompt response. My boyfriend has been combing the beach in Moss Landing for a few years, taking the dog for a walk. I think he has over 10,000 pieces from white, blue, amber, aquamarine, pink, purple, green. I can go on but is this profitable? We have so much glass (not including rocks and shells) but I did see some sites that have festival’s. What is your opinion?

  29. Meagan says:

    I have a tall, rectangular bottle (possibly a decanter) with a square stopper. On one side, there are 4 embossed, vertical circles, each with a different picture. The top one appears to be a crest or shield of some sort; the second one is a man and a woman; the third is a silhouette of a woman’s face (like on a coin); and the fourth is a man. On the other side, there’s a large circle with nothing in it. The bottom of the bottle reads (clockwise): D-9, 65, 8, 67. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.


    • David says:

      Hi Meagan,
      I can’t tell you much in particular about your specific bottle, but it is typical of tons of decorative glass decanters made from the 1930s into the 1970s and even later. They were made as containers for whiskies and other alcoholic beverages, and were made in many, many different artistic, attractive designs to help sell the product. They were often saved and re-used as decanters, vases, etc, so lots of them are still around. In your particular case, I am assuming that the date code is either “65” or “67” (made in 1965 or 1967). Sorry, not sure which year would be correct. Although I am not an appraiser, people often do ask about their value. In general these types of decanters are, at the present time, not high in value….perhaps a typical one will sell for anywhere from 50 cents to 5 dollars, depending on exact style. They often show up at yard sales and thrift stores. A good percentage of the were made by Owens-Illinois Glass Company. They are ususally in ordinary clear glass (shows off the golden/amber color of whiskey), which does limit their appeal to collectors of colored glass bottles. I’m sure there are collectors out there that specialize in studying and collecting these decanters. Perhaps as time goes on, they will gain in value and interest to a wider group of glass collectors. Hope this helps a bit.

  30. Sue says:

    I have a 2oz bottle with numbers where there should be a makers mark. The number 3 is in the center with X721 above. Any comments?

    • David says:

      Hi Sue,
      The “3” is a mold number, and the “X721” is probably a bottle style number or inventory/catalog number assigned to that particular bottle type by the glass manufacturer. Other than that, there isn’t really much else I can pass along. If there is no maker’s mark, it is difficult or impossible to know who made the bottle.

    • Lucy Goldberg says:

      I have just found a similar bottle. Did you ever get yours identified?

      Thanks Lucy

  31. Jörg Donandt says:

    Hm, I followed the advice given. However, I could not fiind out, HOW to decipher these “dot codes”. E.g. what “form” does a code *****__*_*_** refer to? (The stars are the dots and the underlines are the empty spaces on the bottle)?

    • David says:

      Hello Jörg! Ok, you got me. I honestly don’t know. Unless this is something “top secret” (not accessible by mere mortals who don’t have the proper “glass-industry security clearances” ;-o) perhaps someone can chime in and reveal exactly how these dot codes are interpreted.