Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN, September 19, 2009 The museum sign alongside Monroe's mandolin: The most famous mandolin in American music history, Bill Monroe's Gibson F-5 Master Model (serial number 73987) is one of the finest stringed instruments ever made. S Using various Gibson serial number search pages results in the date of 1913. Enter Serial Number eg. B I want to verify the year of manufacture, whether it has a 60's neck and the color. If there is no eight-digit serial number found, check the bottom of the guitar neck, which can be seen by looking inside of the guitar's sound hole. Fjestad's Gibson Serialization from the Blue Book of Electric Guitars (linked to Gibson's website) gives the sequence for 1916 as 32000 to 39500 for all instruments, in an initial sequence starting at 100 and running to 9999 for the period 1902-1947. X Enter Serial Number eg. Aside from guitars, Epiphone also made double basses, banjos, and other string instruments. There are five iterations of the company’s logo dating all the way back to 1902. http://www.gibson.com/Files/downloads/bluebook/GibsonSERIALNUMBERS.pdf. The Epiphone serial number decoder currently supports 12 serial number formats from 25 factories. Beautiful "shell inlay" pattern pickguard. The year is indicated by the first letter in any series of letters for these years. If you have an older model without a serial number, this might be all the closer you’ll get to dating your Gibson. For many vintage instruments, determining the date of manufacture involves little more than running the serial number through a reference guide. - In 1977, Gibson introduced the serialization method that we primarily use to this day at Gibson USA, Gibson Acoustic, and the Gibson Custom facility in Memphis, TN. When the original serial system reached 999,999 in 1947, Gibson started over with an ‘A’ prefix. In 1969 Gibson began carving volutes-- small bumps of additional wood where the neck transitions to the headstock-- to cut down on warranty repair work. V The chart below shows the year that relates to the serial number. Z - 5 or 6 DIGITS number ink stamped on the headstock back: Gibson Serial Numbers ---------- 1952 - 1960 SOLIDBODIES ---------- When Gibson start the production of solidbody guitars in 1952, a new serial number system was developed. EH = electric hawaiian guitar During this period, the system was actually relatively simple. F - florentine mandolins If your banjo has a wooden back, or resonator, you'll need to remove it to get to the factory order number. Gibson Headstock Logos Through The Decades. O= (orchestra?) Another zombie resurrection. E Product Registration Customer Service Repair and Restoration Report Counterfeits Serial Number FAQ Gibson Guitar Specs (2015-2019) Dealer Resource Center Locate A Whereas Martin guitars have been using a single, consistent numbering system since the 19th century, Gibson has used several different serial number formats since its inception in 1902, meaning that some formats and numbers overlap across decades. However, many serial numbers were duplicated during this period, making the exact production year difficult to trace. L - guitars Specimens built before 1902 had a star inlay or crescent in place of a logo. The serial numbers shown represent the approximate last serial number for that year. A difference of only one year - sometimes even several months - can mean a four-figure difference in value. Starting in 1961, Gibson implemented a new serialization system designed to cover its entire lineup. Looking at the serial number, I assumed it was built in 2001, BUT, the only Gibson serial number system I am familiar with, is the line of Electric Guitars. A - ovoid mandolins By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, used and popularized by Charlie Christian. The first 5 numbers remain the same, the last 3 numbers will remain the same. After 1950, headstocks had uniform thickness. J = mandobass Gibson has historically used two different alpha-numerical formats to catalog its instruments: serial numbers and FONs (Factory Order Numbers). Gibson A1 Mandolin: Orange finish. Throughout the war and even for some time after, each year had its own quirks around FON batch numbers and letters. The original thin script was replaced with a thicker font on higher-end models in the mid-’30s, and across the entire lineup by the end of the decade. D Guitars were just given the next available number. The Gibson Serial Number Decoder currently supports 6 formats from 4 Factories. ES = Electric Spanish guitar. These will generally date an instrument earlier than the serial number, as they were typically applied in the early stages of assembly. 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 number. The numbering system used by Gibson to choose their serial numbers was counterintuitive during their prewar period. And how you read a Gibson Banjo Serial number. 99 = 1975. Some earlier specimens from 1903 to 1907 did not slant the logo, or went without a logo entirely. The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Y This ia a genuine vintage Gibson A1 mandolin made in USA. Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music. Most prewar and wartime Gibson banjos are actually marked with factory order numbers rather than serial numbers, but for right now you don't need to be worried about the distinction unless you're just especially interested! Gibson Mandolin Serial Number Lookup Gibson serial numbers are usually on the back of the guitars headstock; either stamped, inked or as a decal. The first number of the sequence indicates the decade of production, followed by the three digit day of the year, and finally the year. Gibson A Mandolin: Serial Number not entirely certain. EE04091253 The Epiphone serial number decoder currently supports 12 serial number formats Vintage numbers from 1932 to 1970 are supported. Hence 5 digits and no space between the year (5) and the serial number. RB - Regular (5-string) banjo Gibson’s earliest serialization system was more or less sequential, where each new instrument was assigned the next highest available number. Index to Vintage Gibson Banjo Serial Number Information . H - mandola Our hope is to make the dating process and, in turn, the valuation as easy, accurate and transparent as possible. For guitars made prior to 1977 use the extended search function. Gibson Mandolin Serial Number Lookup. This can be easily decoded to show the exact day that the guitar was manufactured along with the location of the Gibson factory. Tailpiece cover is a replacement. Home, What do the Gibson model numbers stand for? J = jumbo guitar Search alphabetically using these links: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z - Home. The serial numbers from this period are generally as follows: Starting in 1977, Gibson adopted the current date-based serial system which codes for the year and day of production. Mandolin Glossary. Knowing if your Gibson banjo is a prewar or postwar model will help you understand the serial number. The mandolin has not suffered a hard a life and the overall condition reflects this. By 1933 Gibson had dropped the "The" from all of their logos while retaining the script "Gibson." TB = tenor banjo 06 = 1977. From 1952 to 1961, a consistent letter code resumed, with the letter appearing before the batch number. 8857 Images: 1909 Gibson A1 Mandolin: Pumpkin finish, pineapple tailpiece, non-original case 9251: Gibson A1 Mandolin: Orange finish. J - jumbo guitar If your guitar has an eight-digit serial number stamped on it, it was made after Gibson changed its numbering system in 1975. This information originally appeared on CoMando. The following serial numbers apply just to acoustic guitars. Fortunately, there were two notable changes to the entire lineup that occurred during the transition that make differentiating ‘60s and ‘70s Gibsons straightforward. K - mandocello In 1994, Gibson’s Centennial year, many instruments have a serial number that begins with “94” for the year, with the remaining 6 digits indicating the ranking number. Note: Date ranges listed here are approximate, as the batch numbers were many times used out of sequence. NOTE – Gibson USA goes to a 9 digit serial number in early July 2005.. Special thanks to the Mandolin Cafe's primary business partners. M Epiphone is an American musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos, currently based in Nashville, Tennessee.In 1957, Epiphone, Inc. was purchased by Gibson and relocated from New York to Kalamazoo, Michigan.Epiphone was Gibson's main rival in the archtop market prior to 1957. J 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. Early Gibson solidbody electrics received a serial stamp on the back of the headstock, with the first number indicating the year of production. A H It is certain that the models with a 6 digit serial number starting with 0 were produced in 1967. I Starting in 1970, ‘Made in USA’ was stamped on the headstock below the serial number. Serial numbers from 70' and 80's era Epiphone guitars made in Japan are not supported. 1902-1908: Often no serial number or model name on label, picture of Orville Gibson and lyre mandolin, date sometimes penciled under the top (must be seen with a mirror). Re: Gibson Mandolin Serial Number Search. Epiphone is an American musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos, currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. C=classical guitar Gibson Mandolin. The most general physical piece of evidence on the instrument, however, is going to be the logo on the headstock. By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the processing of my data in order to receive emails. Here you will find the Pre-War serial numbers divided into 3 groups, starting with serial number 8000 in 1925. This makes relying entirely on the physical features of a guitar potentially misleading. The thickness of the headstock, however, is not as vulnerable to modification or replacement. This is sometimes referred to as the slanted script logo.Some earlier specimens from 1903 to 1907 did not slant the logo, or went without a logo entirely. L Co. was founded by Orville Gibson in 1902. So they had only set the year from 4 to 5. If you know the backstory around when the instrument was purchased, this can provide some rough clues about its era. In stock and shipping now. B = guitar (B-25) Gibson stopped dotting the i in their logo on some of their instruments. The original logo is a one-of-a-kind, unmistakable italic typeface with pearl inlay. Most models get a dotted i again in 1972, with the rest following suit from 1981 onward. U = harp guitar C - classical guitar Re: Gibson mandolin serial numbers Originally Posted by allenhopkins S.P. UB = ukulele banjo CB = cello banjo N R Specimens built before 1902 had a star inlay or crescent in place of a logo. Some earlier lower-end models had no serial number at all, making the FON the sole numerical identifier in those cases. Oops, looks like you forgot something. MB- mandolin banjo I was wondering if there was any diferance. You should check with Gibson themselves. 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. From 1977 to 2013 Gibson have used an 8 digit serial number on all of their guitars. From 1935 to 1942, the FON included a letter suffix. Six digit serial numbers From 1961 to early 1970, Epiphone used 6-digit serial numbers in the Gibson serial number line. For this reason the series of 4 digit serial numbers was exceeded after 9999. Probably originally had a raised pickguard 8626: Gibson A1 Mandolin: Black finish. To complicate matters further, there was sometimes a second letter from 1938 to 1941 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 original logo featured the words \"The Gibson\" inlaid in pearl at a slant, with an almost hand-written cursive font. W PB= plectrum banjo Check the back of the guitar headstock for an eight-digit serial number. From 2014 onwards Gibson changed the serial number format to a simplified 9 digit number which can still be used to find the year of manufacture. The original logo featured the words "The Gibson" inlaid in pearl at a slant, with an almost hand-written cursive font. T 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. How to Date a Gibson Using Serial Numbers, FONs and Logos, 1 to 7900 (some with letter, some without), 907, 910, 923, 2004, 2005, 7000s (all with banner logo), 1100s to 3700s (move from script to block logo). Despite being purchased by the Norlin corporation in 1970, Gibson maintained the same confusing 6-digit serial system through 1975, meaning instruments with the same serial number could be from either the ‘60s or the ‘70s. Instruments with f-holes often have the serial number repeated on a label inside the guitar body. U I just bought a new Les Paul Standard and would like you to check the serial number for me: 91029466. Gibson Mandolin Sunburst Finish Either a Model A-40 or A-50 Ink Serial Number on inside believe it to be#234 92- 234(in stamped ink) followed by 92 in handwritten ink it is hard to tell especially since you have to look up the"F" holes on an angle to see the serial number 1950's Gibson Mandolin- 100% original condition- Tuner Keys/Buttons are original. guitar Recently the age of my Gibson RB-250 has come into question. Support independent music stores & gear makers. 00= 1976. However, while the intent was to maintain a more organized catalog, this system in practice achieved the exact opposite. The serial number on this Les Paul Junior indicates that it was made in 1956. Aside from the logos, each era of manufacturing included certain identifying traits such as the hardware (tuners, knobs, plates, etc. The block logo debuted after WWII and remains the face of the company. This instrument should be of interest to players and collectors. From 1943 to 1947, the logo was a thick golden script, known as the banner logo. There were minute changes to which letters were connected in the font between 1961 to 1981, but the main logo had the same look. Below is a table of the the highest known number for each production year. Gibson A12 Mandolin Serial Number; Reading Gibson Mandolin Serial Numbers. Fortunately, Gibson was making more changes to its instruments during the ‘60s and ‘70s than any other period, so dating these instruments by features alone is relatively clear-cut in most cases. EB= electric bass guitar K Serial number is 13901. G - guitar (steel string) FONs were Gibson’s way of internally tracking batches of instruments throughout production. In 1955, Gibson forgot to reset the series of serial numbers to 0001. Many older instruments may have reproduction or other non-original parts, including a non-original finish. Some models (LG-2, J-45, SJ, select L-50s) included an actual banner reading "Only a Gibson Is Good Enough" in the middle of the headstock. The sixth number is now a batch number- batch 0 starts at the beginning of the day, and once we stamp 699, the batch number will change to 1. B - banjo - also RB - resonator banjo The consistency around this stopped during WWII and resumed in the early 1950s. Determining exactly when your Gibson specimen was made can have high stakes attached to it. Instruments will generally have one or both of these numbers stamped or written either inside the body (generally the case on earlier models) or on the back of the headstock. For guitars made prior to 1977 use the extended search function. Located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Gibson founded the company to make mandolin-family instruments. E - electric instruments ES= electric Spanish guitar There are many styles of Gibson banjos, and there is a lot of variation within those styles. Or serial number and model name on white paper label, number range from 0100 to 99999, hand inked or penciled 1908 to 1932, ink stamped serial number 1932 to 1947. I have a Gibson jazz guitar from 1956 that has the serial number A23535. For example, the serial number 90237XXX corresponds to a production date of 1/23/97. Q C ), the pickups, the type of finish, and the electronics inside that can give clues as to when an instrument was made. 81232560 The Gibson Serial Number Decoder currently supports 6 formats from 4 Factories. But not a final verdict. 8138 Images: 1908 Gibson A1 Mandolin: orville label, replaced teens tailpiece. The script logo continues without the slant. Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments. Gibson Serial Numbers. The general system was as follows, though with instruments from this era it’s important to consult key features to get a more accurate age approximation. A FON usually consisted of a 3-, 4-, or 5-digit batch number followed by one or two other numbers in most cases. G As of 2006, the company used seven (six since 1999) serial number systems, [65] [ clarification needed ] making it difficult to identify guitars by their serial number alone. The last three (or four as of 2005) digits signify the location of production and batch number, respectively, but this information isn’t necessary to accurately dating your instrument. 2911: 1903 Gibson A Mandolin: fleur-de-lis inlay, volute on peghead, shallers 2921 Images: 1903 Gibson A Mandolin: Unusual inlay on this one, which also has a volute on the back of the peghead. Working with a potentially very valuable old Gibson can be intimidating, particularly for someone who doesn’t have experience with vintage instruments. Case does not look original... 3002 This new function will try to match the serial number against older formats. O Please check the fields highlighted in red. 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