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Gibson’s logo has been largely unchanged since 1947 but before that time the logo changed a bit, so you can use that to help identify the era your guitar was built. Good question – and the answer is simply that the serial number system used up until 1977 wasn’t the easiest or most reliable system – so you may not be able to accurately determine anything about your guitar using the serial number alone.

O.k., let’s take a look at the different time periods of serial numbers from Gibson Guitars.

In some cases, in fact, only FONs were used and there was no serial number (this was mainly for early low-end models). This can help determine if your guitar was from the 1960s or 1970s (some guitars during those 2 decades had the same serial number).

FON’s (and serial numbers) on Gibson guitars are usually found either on the inside of the back of the guitar (inside the sound hole) or on the back of the headstock). There are some other ways you can get an idea of the age of your Gibson. You can also use other features to help identify the time period of your instrument. so why discuss all these other aspects, when this post is supposed to be about serial numbers!

The first guitar built that day would have the production number 500.

Guitars built in the Nashville Factory from 1990 onwards have production numbers 300-999 – so the first guitar produced that day would have the production number 300.

The new system used a letter to prefix the numbers.

Again, please keep their identity a secret Click on the "Continue" button search with your zip/postal code.

In the first 45 years of production the number system was pretty cut and dry.

So this serial number represents the 45th guitar built on February 4, 1981 in the Kalamazoo factory.

The Kalamazoo factory operated until 1984 and guitars made in that factory from 1977 to 1984 had the last 3 digits (the production number) that were between 001 and 499.

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