The purpose of this information is to assist collectors, NEW and old , to the wonderful exciting world of Camel Zippo Lighter Collecting. The information will be edited from time to time and we welcome any input from other collectors and will add it to this guide.
BACKGROUND : Camel Zippo lighters have been made available to people since the early 1970's. The most common of these are the Classic Camel Pack Design. This lighter usually shows the Camel pack on the Zippo lighter's Full Face. The latest example of the lighter is the Camel Pack Graphic Zippo Lighter offered in 1997 that has a Cream colored lighter body.
ALONG CAME JOE : The greatest advertising theme of all time was launched in 1988 when the now and still famous " Joe Camel " was born. This started a new and more appealing theme for Camel Zippo Lighters. There is now a "PERSON " to use that can be shown doing all sorts of interesting things, from sitting on a beach , fishing , shooting pool , riding a motor cycle and even going to events like Mardi Gras. Joe did all these things and more and did it all SMOKING , of all things, a Camel Cigarette!
FUTURE OF THIS CAMEL ZIPPO COLLECTING : With the Tobacco Settlement , now behind the Industry, the field of Camel Zippo Collecting has become some what limited. The majority of new and newer Camel Zippo Lighters are usually made for International use and portray Cigarette packs used through out the world. These Lighters are done in Great detail and are often called "Works of Art" and are quite pricey do to there limited production ( Usually about 100 peices or less ).
FINDING CAMEL LIGHTERS: eBay is a great source to find Camel Zippo Lighters. I have found out that talking to friends has helped , Flea Markets , Lighter Shows and being a member of various Lighter collector Clubs has assisted me in this addiction .
CONDITION: As with any item the condition is important. New , as manufactured, items are often the most desirable to acquire. If an item is RARE or quite limited any condition is often times purchased since you will now have one... if by chance you find one in better condition you now have the option of up grading the special item.
WHAT TO PAY : I have always believed that a person should obtain an item because they like it. If a person is buying an item for the potential of appreciation then they may be doing it for the wrong reason. If appreciation happens all the better........ If not that is just fine because they still like it. With the above in mind , I have always paid what the market demands. I have always felt that any Zippo Lighter in NEW condition is worth at least $25.00- $45.00 , older ones a great deal more ..... and a Camel Zippo is usually double that and I pay it . Limited Camel Lighters and TEST SAMPLES often called PROTOTYPES have sold for $500 to several thousand dollars each.
WHAT TO DO: Often times certain folks do things that are not in keeping with what is right......... they FAKE items. This field is no different than COIN or ART collecting in that aspect. The best way to guard against FAKES is to know the seller and ask what they know about the item. If they are a seller on eBay look over not only there feedback , but do they have experience in selling similiar items that you are thinking about bidding on? If not, caution may be in order. Ask someone that has more expertise in this area Most POWER SELLERS that sell similiar items will be delighted to assist you ... Just Ask Them in a kind way.
CARE OF THE CAMEL ZIPPO LIGHTER: It is a good practice to only handle lighters with cotton gloves. This may sound strange but remember the foundation of all dirt is grease and this practice will not permit the migration of any thing on ones hands to get on the lighter. Many collectors remove the ORANGE WARNING STICKER that must usually be present as proof of newness to many buyers . I remove all stickers and place them on the inside of the Zippo lighter's plastic container. This practice will stop any any decay of the lighter finish since the glue on the sticker does have some acid in it and may cause permanent damage to the lighter body or graphics. It is up to the individual owner to do what they feel is right ....so I take mine off. The addition of orange warning stickers started in about 1993 do to potential government rules. The warning sticker is not present on export lighters since they are not required. Like any other item the lighters should be kept in a low light enviroment and conditioned air is best.
OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION :
Len Shorter's " Camel Zippo Guides " this guide uses CZ# XX numbers
" The Lighter Side of Camel Book " this book uses C XX numbers
WILL be Adding additional information and photos If You Like this please do take the time to VOTE at the bottom of this page..... Thanks .....
This was done on New Years Day , January 1, 2007 at 0200 Pacific Time and all I wanted to say is Have a great Time Collecting these or other items that you like. Don Kuhar eBay ID clicknc