Collectors Crave Military Zippo Lighters

In 1932, the Zippo Manufacturing Company began producing affordable metal Zippo lighters, and before long, they were being appreciated in every corner of the globe for their consistent performance. The armed forces took a special interest in these lighters as WWII got underway, and enlisted men received them as standard issue. You can find some of these rare collectible Zippo military lighters from multiple eras on eBay.

What makes a used Zippo collectible?

Zippo military lighters have unique designs and unit logos from the last century or longer, which place them at certain points along the noteworthy historical event timeline. Perhaps you’re only searching for those that appeal to your appreciation of their varied designs and rugged metal construction. However, if you want a truly rare edition, look for U.S. Navy Zippo lighters for sale that are among those issued to the crews of ships during active deployment. There are many different traits, like cases being contoured or issued as special editions to commemorate important events such as the 50th D-Day Anniversary, to draw your attention, so valuing one above another is often entirely subjective.

What makes military issued Zippos so distinct?

Since it began with a single model, the Zippo Company has created finish coats in an array of colors that span the spectrum and designs for organizations and individuals that are almost too numerous to count. The military versions were the only ones available during World War II, which makes these quite significant because most of them were lost overseas. WWII models are often quite exclusive in appearance due to the 'black crackle' finish being carved off by troops looking to personalize them with their own images. In later conflicts like the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, it became popular for soldiers to get personal mottos engraved on their Zippos instead of their unit insignias.

What do collectors look for in Zippo military lighters?

Some features make the military issues more collectible due to their history. These may be the markings created by individuals or rare versions made from different alloys to spare steel for the war effort. Some of the things that make a Zippo sought after are:

  • Custom graphics such as from a war campaign or other limited production
  • Finishes never used again like black crackle from WWII
  • Rare construction materials like gold and silver
  • Historically significant versions
  • First-year editions
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