Date a gibson guitar

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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.

Date a gibson guitar

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. For many vintage instruments, determining the date of manufacture involves little more than running the serial through a reference guide.

Whereas Martin guitars have been using a single, consistent ing system since the 19th century, Gibson has used several different serial formats since its inception inmeaning that some formats and s overlap across decades. This makes it especially important to first identify the general era during which your instrument was made before pinning down the exact date of manufacture with a serial. If you know the backstory around when the instrument was purchased, this can provide some rough clues about its era.

The most general physical piece of evidence on the instrument, however, is going to be the logo on the hetock. The original logo featured the words "The Gibson" inlaid in pearl at a slant, with an almost hand-written cursive font. 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. 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. 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. The thickness of the hetock, however, is not as vulnerable to modification or replacement. Before mid, most Gibson hetocks were thinner at the top when looked at from a side profile. Afterhetocks had uniform thickness. Gibson has historically used two different alpha-numerical formats to catalog its instruments: serial s and FONs Factory Order s.

Instruments will generally have one or both of these s stamped or written either inside the body generally the case on earlier models or on the back of the hetock. These will generally date an instrument earlier than the serialas they were typically applied in the early stages of assembly. Some earlier lower-end models had no serial at all, making the FON the sole numerical identifier in those cases. A FON usually consisted of a 3- 4- or 5-digit batch followed by one or two other s in most cases.

From tothe FON included a letter suffix. The consistency around this stopped during WWII and d in the early s. To complicate matters further, there was sometimes a second letter from to indicating the brand G for Gibson, K for Kalamazoo, W for Recording King and sometimes even a third letter indicating "Electric" the letter E. The year is indicated by the first letter in any series of letters for these years.

Throughout the war and even for some time after, each year had its own quirks around FON batch s and letters. From toa consistent letter code d, with the letter appearing before the batch. Below is a table of the the highest known for each production year. Early Gibson solidbody electrics received a serial stamp on the back of the hetock, with the first indicating the year of production.

Date a gibson guitar

The serial on this Les Paul Junior indicates that it was made in Starting inGibson implemented a new serialization system deed to cover its entire lineup. However, while the intent was to maintain a more organized catalog, this system in practice achieved the exact opposite.

Date a gibson guitar

s from this era were flipped, reused, and in many cases can date an instrument to several non-sequential years. In Gibson began carving volutes-- small bumps of additional wood where the neck transitions to the hetock-- to cut down on warranty repair work. Starting inGibson adopted the current date-based serial system which codes for the year and day of production. The first of the sequence indicates the decade of production, followed by the three digit day of the year, and finally the year. If you feel like your guitar could be highly valuable or just want as much information as possible, we recommend finding an official appraiser or reach out to a Gibson representative.

Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments. We understand the importance of online privacy and are committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. To reflect our commitment, we updated our terms and conditions. Learn More. Reverb Articles. Methods For Dating a Gibson Instrument. Sell Your Gear on Reverb. Other Date-Linked Features. Dating a Gibson by Serial. Year Last s Year Approx Serial Range,, Year Approx Serial Range,, Year Approximate Serial Range, Year Approximate Serial Range The Volute: c.

DIY Dating vs. Outside Appraisals. Reverb Gives Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music. Carbon-Offset Shipping Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments. Scan with your phone to get the Reverb app:. Oops, looks like you forgot something. Please check the fields highlighted in red.

Date a gibson guitar

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Date a gibson guitar

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Gibson Serial Lookup – Find Out When Your Guitar Was Made