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Dating Gibson Guitars

from Gibson.com


1902 - 1947

The Early Years

      In the first 45 years of production the number system was pretty cut and dry. Unfortunately not all instruments were numbered and not all followed the number pattern so all dates are approximate. It's best when trying to evalute a collectible to contact Gibson for further information that is not as easily available.
Production Year Serial #'s Production Year Serial #'s
1902-1903 100 - 1150 1926 83600
1904 1151 - 1850   1927 83601 - 85400
1905 1851 - 2550   1928 85401 - 87300
1906 2551 - 3350   1929 87301 - 89750
1907 3351 - 4250 1930 89751 - 90200
1908 4251 - 5450 1931 90201 - 90450
1909 5451 - 6950 1932 90451 - 90700
1910 6951 - 8750 1933 90701 - 91400
1911 8751 - 10850 1934 91401 - 92300
1912 10851 - 13350 1935 92301 - 92800
1913 13351 - 16100 1936 92801 - 94100
1914 16101 - 20150 1937 94101 - 95200
1915 20151 - 25150 1938 95201 - 95750
1916 25151 - 32000 1939 95751 - 96050
1917 32001 - 39500 1940 96051 - 96600
1918 39501 - 47900 1941 96601 - 97400
1919 47901 - 53800 1942 97401 - 97700
1920 53801 - 62200 1943 97701 - 97850
1921 62201 - 69300 1944 97851 - 98250
1922 69301 - 71400 1945 98251 - 98650
1923 71401 - 74900 1946 98651 - 99300
1924 74901 - 80300 1947 99301 - 99999
1925 80301 - 82700


1947 - 1961

Acoustics and Semi Hollow

   in 1947 Gibson changed the serial number pattern and in 1954 went from white labels to orange labels. Since all the instruments using this serial number pattern were acoustic or semi-hollow the labels were located inside the instrument body.
Production Year Serial #s Production Year Serial #s
1947 A100 - A1305 1955 A18665 - A21910
1948 A1306 - A2665 1956 A21911 - A24755
1949 A2666 - A4410 1957 A24756 - A26820
1950 A4411 - A6595 1958 A26821 - A28880
1951 A6596 - A9420 1959 A28881 - A32285
1952 A9421 - A12460 1960 A32286 - A35645
1953 A12461 - A17435 1961 A35646 - A36150
1954 A17436 - A18665


1953 - 1961

Solid Body Electrics

   Gibson introduced a new pattern when they began producing solid body guitars. An ink stamp on the back of the headstock which included either 5 or 6 digits. The first digit is the year and the other numbers are production numbers. This system is fairly reliable for guitars made from 1953 to 1961.

Example: 3 0602 = 1953
   
   Note:
   Some of the earliest solid body guitars made in 1952 did not follow the new system and may have only 3 digits and are stamped on the headstock top.


1961 - 1969

All Instruments

   A new system was put in place in 1961 which was set up to include all the Gibson instrument lines. This new system had the numbers pressed into the wood. The system was used from 1961 to 1969 and had many problems that resulted in duplicated batch numbers so the numbers from those years are approximate and exact dates are hard to come by. If the instrument has original electronics some dating can be verified by pot numbers.

Production Year Serial # Range Production Year Serial # Range
1961 100-42440 1965 320700-321100
1962 42441-61180 1965 322000-326600
1963 61450-64220 1965 328000-328500
1964 64240-70500 1965 328700-329179
1962 71180-96600 1965, 1967 329180-330199
1963 96601-99999 1965, 1967, 1968 330200-332240
1967 000001-008010 1965 332241-347090
1967 010000-042900 1965 348000-348092
1967 044000-044100 1966 348093-349100
1967 050000-054400 1965 349121-368638
1967 055000-063999 1966 368640-369890
1967 064000-066010 1967 370000-370999
1967 067000-070910 1966 380000-385309
1967 090000-099999 1967 390000-390998
1963, 1967 100000-106099 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 400001-400999
1963 106100-108900 1966 401000-407985
1963, 1967 109000-109999 1966 408000-408690
1963 110000-111549 1966 408800-409250
1963, 1967 111550-115799 1966 420000-426090
1963 115800-118299 1966 427000-429180
1963, 1967 118300-120999 1966 430005-438530
1963 121000-139999 1966 438800-438925
1963, 1967 140000-140100 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969 500000-500999
1963 140101-144304 1965 501010-501600
1964 144305-144380 1968 501601-501702
1963 144381-145000 1965, 1968 501703-502706
1963 147009-149864 1968 503010-503110
1964 149865-149891 1965, 1968 503405-520955
1963 149892-152989 1968 520956-530056
1964 152990-174222 1966, 1968, 1969 530061-530850
1964, 1965 174223-176643 1968, 1969 530851-530993
1964 176644-199999 1969 530994-539999
1964 200000-250335 1966, 1969 540000-540795
1965 250336-291000 1969 540796-545009
1965 301755-302100 1966 550000-556910
1965 302754-305983 1969 558012-567400
1965, 1967 306000-306100 1966 570099-570755
1965, 1967 307000-307985 1969 580000-580999
1965, 1967 309848-310999 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 600000-600999
1965 311000-320149 1969 601000-601090
1967 320150-320699 1969 605901-606090
1966, 1967 700000-700799 1967 893401-895038
1968, 1969 750000-750999 1968 895039-896999
1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 800000-800999 1967 897000-898999
1966, 1969 801000-812838 1968 899000-899999
1969 812900-814999 1968 900000-902250
1969 817000-819999 1968 903000-920899
1966, 1969 820000-820087 1968 940000-941009
1966 820088-823830 1968 942001-943000
1969 824000-824999 1968 945000-945450
1966, 1969 828002-847488 1968 947415-956000
1966 847499-858999 1968 959000-960909
1967 859001-880089 1968 970000-972864


1970 - 1975

All Instruments


    Once again the system was modified in 1970 to a six digit number pressed into the back of the headstock. Unfortunately, the numbers were in no particular order. Some numbers also had a prefix. 1970 also saw the end of the orange labels on the inside of hollowbodies and acoustics. New white and orange rectangular labels were designed for acoustics and smaller black/purple and white labels for hollow body electrics.

    

     Also starting 1970 "Made In USA" was impressed into the headstock (although a few from the '50s had this).

Production Year Serial # Approximation
1970, 1971, and 1972 100000s, 600000s, 700000s, 900000s
1973 000001s, 100000s, 200000s, 800000s and a few “A” + 6 digit numbers
1974 and 1975 100000s, 200000s, 300000s, 400000s,500000s, 600000s, 800000s
and a few A-B-C-D-E-F + 6 digit numbers


1975 - 1977

All Instruments

    From 1975-1976 a transfer was used for the serial numbers. The transfer contained an eight digit serial number as well as "MADE IN USA". Also some models were marked as "LIMITED EDITION". There also were some bolt on models with a date ink stamped on the heel.


1977 - Present

All Instruments

    Gibson introduced the current system of serialization in 1977 and continues with it today.     The pattern is as follows:

    YDDDYPPP
    YY is the production year
    DDD is the day of the year
    PPP is the plant designation and/or instrument rank.

    Plant designations are as follows:
001-499 = Kalamazoo
500-999 = Nashville (300-999 from 1990-present)
001-299 = Bozeman, Montana (acoustics only starting 1989)
* Kalamazoo numbers were discontinued in 1984.

Gibson's F O N System

    In the early years Gibson also used Factory Order Numbers (F O N) to track batches of instruments being produced at the time.

    For information on FON numbers a copy of The Blue Book of Electric Guitars by Zachary R. Fjestad should be obtained.

    For the most accurate identification contact Gibson.



Additional Guitar Serial Dating Pages:

Fender
Fender Serials
Serial #'s
Gibson
Gibson Serials
Serial #'s
Martin
Martin Serials
Serial #'s
Gretsch
Gretsch Serials
Serial #'s
Guild
Guild Serials
Serial #'s
Rickenbacker
Rickenbacker Serials
Serial #'s



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