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Gibson has used various methods of numbering from 1900, so it is not simply based on the serial number to identify the year of manufacture..From 1902 to 1976, Gibson instruments have a serial number or a FON (Factory Order Number) or both.Make note of how the serial number will represent this information by referring to the sequence YDDDYRRR.In this sequence, "Y" indicates the year it was made, "D" indicates the day of the year, and the "R" represents the ranking number.The letter preceding the batch number in the FON, and indicates the year of production. Y1234 23 This were used from 1952 to 1961 on archtop models and stamped on the inside of the F-hole. An ink-stamped number from the back of the headstock. No serial numbers were used, Gibson just started therewith in 1953.The batch number, the first four digits of the FON, followed by a one or two-digit number. The first digit of the serial number is the last digit of the year.FON consists a batch number of usually four digits, followed by a one letter (sometimes prefixed by a space) followed by one or two digits (ranking).1935-1937: Letter between the batch number and the order number. 0123 A5 1938-1941: Two or three letters before batch number. If there is a second character follows it is the code for the type of the instrument.
When a six-digit serial number is concerned, there is no space, because the highest number in four digits (9999) has been exceeded and so fills the space. In 1955, Gibson forgot to put back the serial number range to 0001. For this reason, the array of four-digit serial number was exceeded after 9999.
For example, 80505210 means that the guitar was made on Feb.
19, 1985 and was the 210th instrument made that day. If the guitar was made in 1975, the eight-digit number will start with a "99." If the guitar was made in 1976, the guitar number will start with "00." Finally, if the guitar was made in 1977 the guitar's number will start with "06." Unfortunately, there is no easy way to decipher serial codes of guitars made before 1975.
There will be a three- to six-digit number stamped in black, and possibly a two-digit number penciled in red.
If your guitar has an eight-digit serial number, it contains the year, date and the factory ranking number for the instrument.
The electrical models were provided with a rectangular with black and purple triangle.