Gibson Serial Numbers - Guitars Collector

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Gibson Serial Numbers
some data are taken from the 11th Edition of "Blue Book of Electric Guitars", By Zachary R. Fjestad

---------- 1952 - 1960 SOLIDBODIES ----------
When Gibson start the production of solidbody guitars in 1952, a new serial number system was developed.
5 or 6 DIGITS number ink stamped on the headstock back:
Y  NNN(N)
Y = last digit of the year (2=1952, 3=1953, 4=1954, 5=1955, 6=1956, 7=1957, 8=1958, 9=1959, 0=1960)
NNN(N) = production numbers in a consecutive order
EXAMPLES:
4  2205 = 1954
6  14532 = 1956
0  9865 = 1960
NOTES: not used on the earliest instruments produced (those done in 1952), a few of these instruments have three digits stamped on the headstock top.

---------- 1961 - 1970 ----------
In 1961, Gibson started a new serial number system. It consisted of numbers that were impressed into the wood. This is generally considered to be the most confusing out of all Gibson’s serial number systems used. There are several instances where batches of numbers are switched in order and duplicated, not just once, but up to four times, and seem to be randomly assigned throughout the decade.
Note: If "MADE IN USA" is stamped in the back of the headstock near the serial number, the guitar is not from the 1960s, but the 1970s.
NUMBER ---> YEAR
100-42440 ---> 1961
42441-61180 ---> 1962
61450-64222 ---> 1963
64240-71040 ---> 1964
71041-96600 ---> 1962, 1963, 1964
96601-99999 ---> 1963
000001-099999 ---> 1967
100000-106099 ---> 1963, 1967
106100-108999 ---> 1963
109000-109999 ---> 1963, 1967
110000-111549 ---> 1963
111550-115799 ---> 1963, 1967
115800-118299 ---> 1963
118300-120999 ---> 1963, 1967
121000-139999 ---> 1963
140000-140100 ---> 1963, 1967
140101-144304 ---> 1963
144305-144380 ---> 1963, 1964
144381-149864 ---> 1963
149865-149891 ---> 1964
149892-152989 ---> 1963
152990-174222 ---> 1964
174223-176643 ---> 1964, 1965
176644-250335 ---> 1964
250336-305983 ---> 1965
306000-310999 ---> 1965, 1967
311000-320149 ---> 1965
320150-320699 ---> 1967
320700-329179 ---> 1965
329180-330199 ---> 1965, 1967
330200-332240 ---> 1965, 1967, 1968
332241-348092 ---> 1965
348093-349100 ---> 1966
349121-368638 ---> 1965
368640-369890 ---> 1966
370000-370999 ---> 1967
380000-385309 ---> 1966
390000-390998 ---> 1967
400001-406666 ---> 1966
406667-409670 ---> 1966, 1967, 1968
409671-410900 ---> 1966
410901-419999 ---> No Entries
420000-429193 ---> 1966
500000-500999 ---> 1965, 1966,1968, 1969
501009-501600 ---> 1965
501601-501702 ---> 1968
501703-502706 ---> 1965, 1968
503010-503109 ---> 1968
503405-520955 ---> 1965, 1968
520956-530056 ---> 1968
530061-530850 ---> 1966, 1968, 1969
530851-530993 ---> 1968, 1969
530994-539999 ---> 1969
540000-540795 ---> 1966, 1969
540796-545009 ---> 1969
555000-556909 ---> 1966
558012-567400 ---> 1969
570087-570643 ---> 1966
570645-570755 ---> 1966, 1967
570857-570964 ---> 1966
580000-580080 ---> 1969
580086-580999 ---> 1966, 1967, 1969
600000-600998 ---> 1966, 1967, 1968 (LOW END)
600000-606090 ---> 1969 (HIGH END)
700000-700799 ---> 1966, 1967
750000-750999 ---> 1968, 1969
800000-800999 ---> 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
801000-812838 ---> 1966, 1969
812900-819999 ---> 1969
820000-820087 ---> 1966, 1969
820088-823830 ---> 1966*
824000-824999 ---> 1969
828002-847488 ---> 1966, 1969
847499-858999 ---> 1966, 1969
859001-895038 ---> 1967
895039-896999 ---> 1968
897000-898999 ---> 1967, 1969
899000-899999 ---> 1968
900000-901999 ---> 1970
910000-999999 ---> 1968

---------- 1970 - 1975 ----------
From 1970 to 1975 the method of serializing instruments at Gibson became even more random. All numbers were impressed into the wood and a six-digit number was assigned, though no particular order was given and some instruments had a letter prefix. In 1970, the words MADE IN USA were impressed into the back of instrument headstocks (though a few instruments from the 1950s also had this).
NUMBER ---> YEAR
000000S ---> 1973
100000S ---> 1970-1975
200000S ---> 1973-1975
300000S ---> 1974-1975
400000S ---> 1974-1975
500000S ---> 1974-1975
600000S ---> 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975
700000S ---> 1970, 1971, 1972
800000S ---> 1973, 1974, 1975
900000S ---> 1970, 1971, 1972
6 DIGITS + A ---> 1970
A + 6 DIGITS ---> 1973, 1974, 1975
B + 6 DIGITS ---> 1974, 1975
C + 6 DIGITS ---> 1974, 1975
D + 6 DIGITS ---> 1974, 1975
E + 6 DIGITS ---> 1974, 1975
F + 6 DIGITS ---> 1974, 1975
NOTES: When the Nashville Gibson plant was opened in 1974, it was decided that the bulk of the production of products would be run in the South; the Kalamazoo plant would produce the higher end (fancier) models in the North. Of course, many of the older guitar builders and craftsmen were still in Kalamazoo, and if they weren’t ready to change how they built guitars, then they may not have been ready to change how they numbered them! Certain guitar models built in the late 1970s can be used to demonstrate the old-style, six-digit serial numbers. It is estimated that Gibson’s Kalamazoo plant continued to use the six-digit serial numbers through 1978 and 1979. So double check the serial numbers on those 1970s L-5s, Super 400s, and Super 5 BJBs!

---------- 1975 - 1977 ----------
Gibson used a transfer that had 8 digit numbers.
YYNNNNNN
YY = year (99=1975, 00=1976 and 06=1977)
NNNNNN = production number from 100000 to 200000 range.
MADE IN USA was also included on the transfer and some models had LIMITED EDITION also applied.
EXAMPLES:
99XXXXXX 1975
00XXXXXX 1976
06XXXXXX 1977
NOTES: A few bolt-on neck instruments had a date ink stamped on the heel area.

---------- 1977 - June 2005 ----------
Between 1997 and late June or early July 2005, Gibson used the same serialization system on all standard-built guitars. This updated system utilizes an impressed, 8 digit numbering scheme that covers both serializing and dating functions.
YDDDYPPP
YY = last two digits of the production year
DDD = day of the year
PPP = plant designation and/or instrument rank:
001-499 --> Kalamazoo production from 1977 to 1984 when the factory closed.
500-999 --> Nashville production from 1977 to 1989.
All currently manufactured Gibsons (non-custom shop) are stamped with a hand arbor, and start at 300 or 500, and continue until production is finished that day. This hand stamp used to be reset daily at #300 or #500
for all the LP style headstocks. The other shapes (Flying V, T-Bird, Explorer, etc.) were started at 700. When acoustic production began at the plant in Bozeman, Montana (in 1989), the series’ numbers were reorganized. Bozeman instruments began using 001-299 designations and, in 1990, Nashville instruments began using 300-999 designations. It should also be noted that the Nashville plant has not reached the 900s since 1977, so these numbers have been
reserved for prototypes.
Examples:
70108276 means the instrument was produced on Jan. 10, 1978, in Kalamazoo and was the 276th instrument stamped that day.
82765501 means the instrument was produced on Oct. 3, 1985, in Nashville and was the 1st instrument stamped that day.
03202652 means the instrument was produced on November 16, 2002 and was the 152nd instrument stamped that day (assuming they started at 500).
NOTES: The Custom/Historic/Art divisions do not use this system. Certain models in the Standard series also do not follow this, either.

---------- July 2005 - Present ----------
YDDDYBPPP
B = batch number was implemeted to better keep track of production and allow for more than five hundred instruments to be produced in a day. At the beginning of each day, the sixth digit is reset to 0. Once the last three numbers reach
699, the batch number moves on to 1, and the last three digits are reset to 500.
Examples:
028360612 stamped on the 283rd day (October 10th) in 2006 and was the 112th guitar stamped that day.
001071520 stamped on the 10th day (January 10th) of 2007 and was the 220th guitar stamped on that day (it was part of the second batch and the 20th guitar of the second batch - first batch was of 200 guitars).

 
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