After 1950, headstocks had uniform thickness. T F - florentine mandolins A - ovoid mandolins 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). This new function will try to match the serial number against older formats, details required for an exact match are listed in yellow. The serial number will be an 8 digit number impressed into the … guitar C Mandolin Glossary. 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. I was wondering if there was any diferance. UB = ukulele banjo Locating the Serial Number of your Gibson Banjo. 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. Support independent music stores & gear makers. EH = electric hawaiian guitar W MB- mandolin banjo Specimens built before 1902 had a star inlay or crescent in place of a logo. For guitars made prior to 1977 use the extended search function. Gibson Serial Numbers. - 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. 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. Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments. Home, What do the Gibson model numbers stand for? Many older instruments may have reproduction or other non-original parts, including a non-original finish. This information originally appeared on CoMando. Gibson Serial Numbers ---------- 1952 - 1960 SOLIDBODIES ---------- When Gibson start the production of solidbody guitars in 1952, a new serial number system was developed. J - jumbo guitar So they had only set the year from 4 to 5. U = harp guitar O This can be easily decoded to show the exact day that the guitar was manufactured along with the location of the Gibson factory. 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. C=classical guitar The most general physical piece of evidence on the instrument, however, is going to be the logo on the headstock. 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. D From 1977 to 2013 Gibson have used an 8 digit serial number on all of their guitars. 81232560 The Gibson Serial Number Decoder currently supports 6 formats from 4 Factories. Gibson Custom 1952-1960 Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, and Futura reissues (since late 1992): I have a Gibson jazz guitar from 1956 that has the serial number A23535. 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. 99 = 1975. B 06 = 1977. Re: Gibson Mandolin Serial Number Search. EE04091253 The Epiphone serial number decoder currently supports 12 serial number formats Vintage numbers from 1932 to 1970 are supported. 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. A Located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Gibson founded the company to make mandolin-family instruments. However, while the intent was to maintain a more organized catalog, this system in practice achieved the exact opposite. 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. 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. These will generally date an instrument earlier than the serial number, as they were typically applied in the early stages of assembly. The script logo continues without the slant. Co. was founded by Orville Gibson in 1902. Using various Gibson serial number search pages results in the date of 1913. 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. U For this reason the series of 4 digit serial numbers was exceeded after 9999. Gibson stopped dotting the i in their logo on some of their instruments. I want to verify the year of manufacture, whether it has a 60's neck and the color. B = guitar (B-25) PB= plectrum banjo From 1952 to 1961, a consistent letter code resumed, with the letter appearing before the batch number. 00= 1976. The numbering system used by Gibson to choose their serial numbers was counterintuitive during their prewar period. Below is a table of the the highest known number for each production year. Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music. 8138 Images: 1908 Gibson A1 Mandolin: orville label, replaced teens tailpiece. C - classical guitar Check the back of the guitar headstock for an eight-digit serial number. Gibson A Mandolin: Serial Number not entirely certain. 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. For many vintage instruments, determining the date of manufacture involves little more than running the serial number through a reference guide. L - guitars Y 8857 Images: 1909 Gibson A1 Mandolin: Pumpkin finish, pineapple tailpiece, non-original case 9251: Gibson A1 Mandolin: Orange finish. Note: Date ranges listed here are approximate, as the batch numbers were many times used out of sequence. Gibson Mandolin. J = mandobass TL = tenor lute (4 or 8 string tenor neck on f- hole pear shaped mandola body) 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. When the original serial system reached 999,999 in 1947, Gibson started over with an ‘A’ prefix. CB = cello banjo Six digit serial numbers From 1961 to early 1970, Epiphone used 6-digit serial numbers in the Gibson serial number line. R But not a final verdict. Guitars were just given the next available number. For guitars made prior to 1977 use the extended search function. Gibson Mandolin Serial Number Lookup. 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. 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. Instruments with f-holes often have the serial number repeated on a label inside the guitar body. Serial number is 13901. This is sometimes referred to as the slanted script logo. (after 5 9999 came 510 000) Serial numbers from 70' and 80's era Epiphone guitars made in Japan are not supported. X Please check the fields highlighted in red. 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. G The block logo debuted after WWII and remains the face of the company. An exception is the year 1994, Gibson's centennial year; many 1994 serial numbers start with "94", followed by a six-digit production number [citation needed]. In 1957, Epiphone, Inc. was purchased by Gibson and relocated from New York to Kalamazoo, Michigan. E - electric instruments ES= electric Spanish guitar J G - guitar (steel string) 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. Working with a potentially very valuable old Gibson can be intimidating, particularly for someone who doesn’t have experience with vintage instruments. From 1935 to 1942, the FON included a letter suffix. The first number 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. Throughout the war and even for some time after, each year had its own quirks around FON batch numbers and letters. ES = Electric Spanish guitar. 5 or 6 DIGITS number ink stamped on the headstock back: TG= tenor guitar Some flattop guitars of this era started to omit the word "The" from the inlay. Some earlier lower-end models had no serial number at all, making the FON the sole numerical identifier in those cases. http://www.gibson.com/Files/downloads/bluebook/GibsonSERIALNUMBERS.pdf. A difference of only one year - sometimes even several months - can mean a four-figure difference in value. Vintage numbers from 1932 to 1970 are supported. Probably originally had a raised pickguard 8626: Gibson A1 Mandolin: Black finish. 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. V I You should check with Gibson themselves. J = jumbo guitar Numbers from this era were flipped, reused, and in many cases can date an instrument to several non-sequential years. The Epiphone serial number decoder currently supports 12 serial number formats from 25 factories. There are many styles of Gibson banjos, and there is a lot of variation within those styles. The Gibson Serial Number Decoder currently supports 6 formats from 4 Factories. Gibson serial numbers are a little tricky. The thickness of the headstock, however, is not as vulnerable to modification or replacement. The mandolin has not suffered a hard a life and the overall condition reflects this. 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. 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 Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. 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. The first 5 numbers remain the same, the last 3 numbers will remain the same. K Starting in 1970, ‘Made in USA’ was stamped on the headstock below the serial number. Gibson’s earliest serialization system was more or less sequential, where each new instrument was assigned the next highest available number. 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. It is certain that the models with a 6 digit serial number starting with 0 were produced in 1967. 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. For example, the serial number 90237XXX corresponds to a production date of 1/23/97. EB= electric bass guitar If you know the backstory around when the instrument was purchased, this can provide some rough clues about its era. Q F.O.N# 1691stamped inside the neck heel. NOTE – Gibson USA goes to a 9 digit serial number in early July 2005.. B - banjo - also RB - resonator banjo Index to Vintage Gibson Banjo Serial Number Information . Gibson A12 Mandolin Serial Number; Reading Gibson Mandolin Serial Numbers. This makes relying entirely on the physical features of a guitar potentially misleading. 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. However, many serial numbers were duplicated during this period, making the exact production year difficult to trace. Here you will find the Pre-War serial numbers divided into 3 groups, starting with serial number 8000 in 1925. Aside from the logos, each era of manufacturing included certain identifying traits such as the hardware (tuners, knobs, plates, etc. K - mandocello 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). Our hope is to make the dating process and, in turn, the valuation as easy, accurate and transparent as possible. And how you read a Gibson Banjo Serial number. This instrument should be of interest to players and collectors. The first serial number for acoustic guitars was 100. Re: Gibson mandolin serial numbers Originally Posted by allenhopkins S.P. By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the processing of my data in order to receive emails. From 1943 to 1947, the logo was a thick golden script, known as the banner logo. I just bought a new Les Paul Standard and would like you to check the serial number for me: 91029466. The original logo featured the words "The Gibson" inlaid in pearl at a slant, with an almost hand-written cursive font. L F The year is indicated by the first letter in any series of letters for these years. The original logo featured the words \"The Gibson\" inlaid in pearl at a slant, with an almost hand-written cursive font. Case does not look original... 3002 A FON usually consisted of a 3-, 4-, or 5-digit batch number followed by one or two other numbers in most cases. N There are five iterations of the company’s logo dating all the way back to 1902. 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. Some earlier specimens from 1903 to 1907 did not slant the logo, or went without a logo entirely. During this period, the system was actually relatively simple. The consistency around this stopped during WWII and resumed in the early 1950s. Early Gibson solidbody electrics received a serial stamp on the back of the headstock, with the first number indicating the year of production. Knowing if your Gibson banjo is a prewar or postwar model will help you understand the serial number. 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. FONs were Gibson’s way of internally tracking batches of instruments throughout production. ), the pickups, the type of finish, and the electronics inside that can give clues as to when an instrument was made. If you have an older model without a serial number, this might be all the closer you’ll get to dating your Gibson. Starting in 1961, Gibson implemented a new serialization system designed to cover its entire lineup. By 1933 Gibson had dropped the "The" from all of their logos while retaining the script "Gibson." Tailpiece cover is a replacement. Before mid-1950, most Gibson headstocks were thinner at the top when looked at from a side profile. TB = tenor banjo Aside from guitars, Epiphone also made double basses, banjos, and other string instruments. Epiphone is an American musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos, currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. O= (orchestra?) Fortunately, there were two notable changes to the entire lineup that occurred during the transition that make differentiating ‘60s and ‘70s Gibsons straightforward. Specimens built before 1902 had a star inlay or crescent in place of a logo. Recently the age of my Gibson RB-250 has come into question. In stock and shipping now. Product Registration Customer Service Repair and Restoration Report Counterfeits Serial Number FAQ Gibson Guitar Specs (2015-2019) Dealer Resource Center Locate A There were minute changes to which letters were connected in the font between 1961 to 1981, but the main logo had the same look. Determining exactly when your Gibson specimen was made can have high stakes attached to it. Gibson has historically used two different alpha-numerical formats to catalog its instruments: serial numbers and FONs (Factory Order Numbers). S The original logo is a one-of-a-kind, unmistakable italic typeface with pearl inlay. The serial number on this Les Paul Junior indicates that it was made in 1956. M The serial numbers shown represent the approximate last serial number for that year. 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! Enter Serial Number eg. Gibson A1 Mandolin: Orange finish. E This new function will try to match the serial number against older formats. 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. P In 1955, Gibson forgot to reset the series of serial numbers to 0001. This ia a genuine vintage Gibson A1 mandolin made in USA. Most models get a dotted i again in 1972, with the rest following suit from 1981 onward. Beautiful "shell inlay" pattern pickguard. Hence 5 digits and no space between the year (5) and the serial number. Gibson Headstock Logos Through The Decades. H - mandola Gibson Mandolin Serial Number Lookup Gibson serial numbers are usually on the back of the guitars headstock; either stamped, inked or as a decal. H If your banjo has a wooden back, or resonator, you'll need to remove it to get to the factory order number. The following serial numbers apply just to acoustic guitars. Oops, looks like you forgot something. Z - Another zombie resurrection. Special thanks to the Mandolin Cafe's primary business partners. Enter Serial Number eg. RB - Regular (5-string) banjo 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). The chart below shows the year that relates to the serial number. If your guitar has an eight-digit serial number stamped on it, it was made after Gibson changed its numbering system in 1975. 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