Although Fender began producing Fender and Squier instruments in Korea in 1988, its digital records only go back to
mid-1993, with little if any information available on serial numbering from 1988 through 1992. It is accepted that
there were serial numbers with and without letter prefixes at that time, but as definitive information is lacking,
serial-number dating for Korean instruments made before 1993 is highly uncertain.
Digital records beginning in 1993 show some “CN” and “VN” prefixes on the serial numbers of Korean-made instruments
(these numbers almost certainly occur before 1993, but there is no documentation of this). Serial numbers without
letter prefixes have been found dating through 1996; these are six-, seven- and eight-digit serial numbers with the
first numeral (or first two numerals in the eight-digit numbers) indicating year of manufacture. A seven-digit serial
number beginning with six, for example, indicates 1996; a seven-digit number beginning with seven denotes 1997; an
eight-digit number beginning with 98 denotes 1998, etc.
A “KC” prefix was introduced on Korean-made instruments in 1997, designating instrument made in Korea at the Cort factory.
The letter prefix is followed by an eight-digit number, the first two digits of which identify year of manufacture,
(i.e., 97 for 1997, 98 for 1998, etc.). The remaining six digits are the unit identifier, but they are not sequential
and do not provide further identification information about the instrument.
The numbers for each year typically overlap, as there is always a transitional period between successive years and as
necks and complete instruments that were made and serial numbered late in any given year were used on instruments
assembled and sold in the early months of the subsequent year.
As always, dating by serial number is not an exact science and is seldom definitive. These charts are meant only as
guides and, due to the absence of thorough and uninterrupted records, hence do not offer complete reliability.