Vintage neon signs add a fun touch to your decor, and they can be surprisingly valuable. Whether you want to add some retro charm to your man cave or garage or give your kitchen a funky new style, these signs make a great addition to your home. You can find them in almost any style you might want.
Styles of Vintage Neon Signs
Antique neon signs come in a wide variety of styles, including popular brands, shapes, and more. Depending on the motif, these can be a great addition to spaces in your home.
Brand and Logo Neon Signs
Retro neon signs with familiar brands and logos are among the most common. As you look through the options, you'll see the following products and many others:
- Neon beer signs - Used for advertising in bars and restaurants, vintage neon beer signs include brands like Coors, Budweiser, Miller, and more. You'll also see brands of years gone by. This type of sign would be a great decoration in a home bar or an accompaniment to a vintage beer can collection.
- Automotive neon signs - You'll also see retro neon signs for automotive products and car companies, including Buick, Ford, Gulf Oil, and many more. These signs make a fun decoration in a garage.
- Soda signs - Brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi also appear on vintage neon signs, and you'll see less common sodas like Orange Crush, Fanta, and 7-Up. These signs can be great in a vintage kitchen, and they are an awesome addition to a collection of Coca-Cola memorobilia.
- Tobacco and more - There are vintage neon signs for tobacco companies like Lucky Strike, as well as mattress brands like Sealy, seed brands like Croplan, and many more. These can add a vintage feel to any room in your home.
Neon Open Signs
Open signs are another common vintage neon design, since many businesses used them to tell customers whether they were doing business at that time. You'll find these combined with brand signs, as well as on their own. They make a fun decoration in your kitchen or home bar.
Neon Word Signs
Besides "open," there are other words that appear on retro neon signs. These include "cocktails," "eat," "snack bar," and many others. Some vintage neon signs even feature holiday messages like "Merry X-Mas!"
Old Neon Signs in Shapes
You'll see risque girl-shaped neon signs, as well as signs shaped like fish, Coke bottles, anchors, guitars, ice cream cones, and many more. These wordless signs add a fun look to any room, and they can look especially great on a gallery wall.
Neon Sign Value Guide
While you can easily find vintage neon signs for $100 to $300, many are much more valuable. How much a neon sign is worth can depend on a number of factors.
Factors Affecting the Value of Vintage Neon Signs
If you have a neon sign or are considering purchasing one, take a look at it with the following factors in mind:
- Condition - A working sign in good condition will always be worth more. It should have all parts, work when it is plugged in, and be free of chipped paint or cracks. Many signs were used as outdoor advertising for businesses, so they can be in rough condition.
- Age - In general, older neon signs are worth more than their newer counterparts. 1950s neon signs and those made even earlier are among the most valuable. Newer retro-style signs still have value, but the real deal is always worth more.
- Marketability - A sign that is especially useful in today's home is more valuable than one that isn't. For example, a "cocktails" sign will often sell for more than a Sealy mattress sign. If it's interesting, it also tends to be worth more.
- Size - In most cases, bigger neon signs are worth more than smaller ones.
Sample Values for Vintage and Antique Neon Signs
The majority of vintage neon signs sell for under $200, but certain special examples can be worth much more. Here are some sample values:
- A 1950s neon sign featuring a huge ice cream cone sold for $3,200 in 2020. The sign was fully restored with new neon gas and worked perfectly, and the cone was 74 inches tall.
- A four-foot-wide "Snack Bar" neon sign sold for just under $500. It was in good working condition, although the seller noted it needed a new cord and a good cleaning.
- A letter W neon sign dating from the 1930s sold for about $345. The sign, which measured 27 inches tall, needed new wiring and restoration and was not in working condition.
Can You Fix a Neon Sign That Doesn't Work?
Because functionality is a big part of vintage neon sign value, it's important to know if you can fix a broken neon sign. If you have the skills and some electrical training, speciality stores like Steinville offer the parts you need to get signs working. If you don't have the experience to work on the sign yourself, repair shops like The Neon Sign Guy can help. The cost of repairs varies, depending on the damage.
Express Yourself in Lights
If you're looking for something fun and interesting to collect, vintage neon signs are a good choice. Along with other vintage advertising signs, these pieces make a cool statement in your home and can be extremely valuable. Take your time looking at the options out there. The right neon sign will let you perfectly express yourself in lights.