You are here:

Locksmithing/Can you tell me about my safe?



Hello Andy. I've read some of the Q & A's here and you seem to be very knowledgeable. Thank you for your help.

I have a small safe: 13" x 13" by about 14 1/2" deep.
It's made of cast iron and has a 3" combination lock (I have the combination).
There are cast iron rollers on the four legs.
Serial Number: 4Y243723
S.M.N.A Rating 1 Hr

Wondering if you can tell us an approximate value of this item. Is it collectable? Do you have any idea when it was made and what it sold for?

We own a small resale shop in Central Wisconsin and we would like to have an idea of what a fair price would be for this item.

Thanks for your help!
Kelly Nickl

Hi Kelly,

Ok, let me go through items one at a time so I don't miss anything:

1.  Yes it is a small container (LOL).
2.  No, it is not made of cast iron.   This container is basically termed "bent Steel".   Sheet steel is heated and then pressed into its shape.   Corners are spot welded to hold it together.
3.  The rollers may be of cast iron, but most like this are.
4.  Safe Manufacturers National Association (SMNA) ratings.
    a.  Specification F2-ND:    this specification indicates that this is a "Fire insulated Container" - NOT a safe.    Having a combination lock (dial) on the container does NOT make it a safe.
    b.  The "Y" in the label serial number (this is NOT a safe serial number) indicates that the container originally sold for more than $75.
    c.  Fire classification D:  this is a one hour rating.   Safe classifications would have been "A - B or C", indicating a 4 hr, 2 hr, or 1 hr rating.

Safe manufacturer:    This container appears to be possibly a Diebold, York or Herring-Hall-Marvin.   Late 1950's.    As Diebold basically owned all three companies, many of the containers were relatively similar.

Basic values:
fire resistance:     $0    This container does not meet any current standards for fire resistance.
Burglary:          $0    This container has no burglary resistance.
Resale:          $0    It has no commercial or retail value, as it is obsolete and out of date.    It should not be used for ANY cash, jewelry or valuable documents.
Antique:          $0    Sorry, not over 100 years old.
Collectible:         $0    While this is over 50 years old, it is not considered collectible.

While it has no value under any of the above categories, this doesn't mean that it is "worthless".   Similar size NEW safes, which offer better fire resistance go from about $250 to $350, so as a used container you can probably ask $50 to $100 but be prepared for people to offer you lower amounts.    Somewhere between your high asking price and their low offering prices, there may be a comfortable middle value that both of you can live with.   If you ask TOO much for it, most people will simply "walk on by", and you won't get any offers.

Hope this answers most of your questions.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2014 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service Area is Northern California (Fresno to Oregon and Western Nevada)

©2016 All rights reserved.