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Starting in the mid 50’s, a date code was stamped on the bottom of every Zippo lighter made. The date code has since become an invaluable tool for Zippo collectors.

Most lighters fabricated between 19 can be identified by style and model and the patent or patent-pending marks.

As with most collectibles, the date of manufacture of a Zippo lighter often affects its value.

Valuable information on the bottom of every Zippo windproof lighter can help you determine its date of manufacture.

Pieces from Japan were marked “Nippon,” the transliteration of the Japanese word for Japan. Customs required country names to be in English, and the word “Japan” was used instead of “Nippon.” Items marked “Made in Occupied Japan” were made between February 1947 and April 1952. According to experts on 19th- and 20th-century Japanese ceramics, the color does not help date a mark. There is no explanation for when other colors were used.

After 1915 the words “Made in…” were usually added. Join The Discussion is pleased to share your comments.

These Nippon marks can date pieces to the 1890 to 1921 period, before the Mc Kinley Tariff act demanded ‘Japan’ was used.

After the first World War all Noritake production was marked ‘Japan’ or ‘Made in Japan’ to comply with the Mc Kinley Tariff Act, and Nippon was only very rarely used after 1921.

I would like to know the order of marks on items made in Japan.

Which is oldest, “Nippon,” “Made in Occupied Japan,” “Made in Japan” or just “Japan”?

Guide to Noritake China & Dating Noritake Marks – Antique Marks The Morimura Brothers formed the Noritake company in Tokyo and opened an export office in New York.