Do you have a thrift store or yard sale globe that you’ve picked up and just can’t seem to date? Maybe there’s one just kicking up dust in your home and you have no idea how old it is. Globes are IN right now! Get that sucker out and decorate with it – but first, see how vintage that vintage globe is… Or how much that thrift score is actually worth.

This step by step guide is here to help you date your globe.

Look for any dates


This might seem obvious but sometimes dates are hidden in very small print especially around the top of the globe. You might be able to find the copyright, printing date, or other indicators of age if you look carefully.

USSR or Russia?


The Soviet Union was Dissolved at the end of 1991. If your globe shows Russia on it, it was made after 1991 and is not very much of an antique. These globes are more common and less valuable, an ideal choice for craft projects, DIY, decorating, or even everyday use.


Zimbabwe or Rhodesia?


Rhodesia was the name for Zimbabwe up until 1979. If you globe shows Zimbabwe, it’s like from 1979 or later. You can find this country just north of South Africa.


If Bangladesh is on your globe as an independent country it was made before 1971. You should be able to find it just east of India.

United Arab Republic (U.A.R.)?


The United Arab Republic was a union between Egypt and Syria that lasted only 3 years: from 1958 to 1961. After that, Egypt was known as the “United Arab Republic” until 1971.

Check both Egypt and Syria. (Egypt is located at the NE corner of Africa and keep heading NE to find Syria nearby.)



If Malaysia is going by any other name your globe was made before 1963. Find it in South Asia just below Thailand.

A Unified Vietnam?


From 1954 to 1975 Vietnam was divided into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. If your globe reads Vietnam, and you’ve already determined that it’s not newer than 1975, then it’s older than 1954.

Vietnam is located on the east coast of south Asia.

Irish Free State… Ireland?


In 1937 what was known as Irish Free State become Ireland as we know it today. If your globe describes the small western Europe island as “Irish Free State” then it was made before 1937.

Istanbul or Constantinople?


Most maps used Constantinople up until 1923. If you’re having a hard time finding it, Istanbul is located in Turkey at the bottom left hand corner of the Black Sea. This is kind of the south east side of Europe.

If it says Constantinople your globe was made before 1923 and is an antique. It might even be worth something! Don’t use it for a DIY project…

Here are some more helpful dates for dating very old globes:

  • 1929 – Vativan City becomes its own country
  • 1919 – Afghanistan becomes its own country
  • 1912 – Albania becomes its own country
  • 1908 – Bulgaria becomes its own country
  • 1905 – Norway becomes its own country
  • 1903 – Panama becomes its own country

I also found this site and this site for dating globes but I found there were some inaccuracies with the dates, so use caution. There’s also Wikipedia.

Did you find a globe at the thrift store or yard sale? What did you pay for it? I’ve started posting all my thrift store finds on Instagram so be sure to follow me over there!