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Consider, dating vintage gibson guitars serial number agree

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As one of the oldest and most widely recognized brands in music, Gibson has crafted some of the most cherished and valuable instruments of all time. Determining exactly when your Gibson specimen was made can have high stakes attached to it. A difference of only one year - sometimes even several months - can mean a four-figure difference in value. Our hope is to make the dating process and, in turn, the valuation as easy, accurate and transparent as possible. You should be able to use this guide to determine the year of your instrument and then consult the Reverb Price Guide to find its value, all for free.

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The most general physical piece of evidence on the instrument, however, is going to be the logo on the headstock. The original logo featured the words "The Gibson" inlaid in pearl at a slant, with an almost hand-written cursive font.

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This is sometimes referred to as the slanted script logo. Some earlier specimens from to did not slant the logo, or went without a logo entirely. Specimens built before had a star inlay or crescent in place of a logo.

How To Inspect A USED Gibson Les Paul

The script logo continues without the slant. Some flattop guitars of this era started to omit the word "The" from the inlay. By Gibson had dropped the "The" from all of their logos while retaining the script "Gibson. From tothe logo was a thick golden script, known as the banner logo. The block logo debuted after WWII and remains the face of the company. There were minute changes to which letters were connected in the font between tobut the main logo had the same look.

Gibson stopped dotting the i in their logo on some of their instruments. Most models get a dotted i again inwith the rest following suit from onward. Aside from the logos, each era of manufacturing included certain identifying traits such as the hardware tuners, knobs, plates, etc.

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But not a final verdict. Many older instruments may have reproduction or other non-original parts, including a non-original finish. This makes relying entirely on the physical features of a guitar potentially misleading.

Jun 05,   First, you can tell which era your guitar was crafted in by merely looking at the logo. If you have an older model without a serial number, this might be all the closer you'll get to dating your Gibson. There are five iterations of the company's logo . Over the years, Gibson has gone through several different serial-number changes, sometimes resulting in multiple guitars with the same number. The book, which lists all the company's historical serial number schemes, is an invaluable resource when dating vintage Gibson guitars.

The thickness of the headstock, however, is not as vulnerable to modification or replacement. Before mid, most Gibson headstocks were thinner at the top when looked at from a side profile.

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Afterheadstocks had uniform thickness. Gibson has historically used two different alpha-numerical formats to catalog its instruments: serial numbers and FONs Factory Order Numbers. Flat-tops are marked on the neck, F-hole models are marked inside the hole, and solid body models are marked on the back of the headstock.

Both F-hole and flat-tops use the same method for dating. The factory order numbers FON feature the batch number followed by a letter.

These serial numbers look like Z 43, or any similar combination. You can date these models as follows:. Solid body models are marked differently, using the first number in the FON to identify the year.

There are only four numbers following any of these indicating digits from to Some may also appear in an X10 format. Regardless, the first number is specific to each year of production.

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During this era, Gibson used a standard serial number system. Without any prime indicators, dating your guitar can be a little confusing.

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Some numbers are also repeated in the following decade, adding more confusion into the mix. Luckily, the models in this era are incredibly distinct. This is by far the longest list Gibson ever used, as well.

Each can be either five or six digits, growing in number as time goes on. The only serial numbers used this year range from to These are the easiest to date during this era, and the year with the least amount of models made.

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Serial numbers for this year include anything from and numbers in the range as well. From here on out, numbers are often repeated, contain more than one year, or fall out of numerical order based on the year of production. These are the Gibson serial numbers from this era and the years they represent:. For the 70s, Gibson decided to make things a little easier. Now, their serial numbers are featured in ascending order with six digits.

How To Use Gibson Serial Numbers To Date Your Guitar

You can check the first two to date your Gibson guitar. Gibson ditched their numerous dating systems of old in for a simpler model.

The Gibson Serial Number Decoder currently supports 6 formats from 4 Factories. For guitars made prior to use the extended search function. This new function will try to match the serial number against older formats, details required for an exact match are listed in yellow. 54 rows  Dating Gibson Guitars. from - The Early Years In the first 45 . DATING GIBSON GUITARS AND MANDOLINS BY REFERENCE OF SERIAL NUMBERS. Regarding duplications of serial numbers, Gibson does take the lead. Gibson has used various numbering methods since , making it difficult to determine the production year based on the serial number.

While physical condition can be assessed with a careful inspection, rarity and date of manufacture are not always easy to determine.

But the serial number on a Gibson can tell you when the guitar was made.

Dating vintage gibson guitars serial number

With that information, you can determine its rarity and, ultimately, its worth. Locate the serial number on your Gibson.

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For acoustic instruments, the serial number is typically located inside the sound hole at the neck joint or on a piece of paper glued inside the guitar and visible through the sound hole. On electric guitars, the serial number is generally printed on the back of the headstock. Decipher your serial number if it's eight digits.

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