How To Date Your Gibson Guitar

121 Comments

[UPDATE: THE FOLLOWING IS AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY DOLPHINMUSIC.CO.UK. FOR A LOOK AT OUR CURRENT STOCK PLEASE CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINKS: GIBSON GUITARS]

How To Date Your Gibson Guitar

Do you know when was your Gibson made? Many players don't, and sometimes (unless you bought it from new) it can be hard to tell. Also, Gibson, as we all know, is one of the greatest manufacturers of guitars, and having the status of one of the most desirable guitar brands ever has some disadvantages, too: counterfeit Gibsons have been sold for many decades now, and many players sometimes don't even realise they've been fooled.

Learn How to Date Your Gibson Guitar

Knowing how to identify correct serial numbers still remains one of the best and most effective ways to date your Gibson, and at the same time confirm its authenticity. So... let's all crack on with it!

Gibson Serial Numbers 1975-Present

This Article is designed to assist in dating and/or identifying instruments manufactured or distributed by Gibson Guitar Corp. Please note that most of this information relates to serial numbers used from 1975 to present. For more details on Gibson Serialization prior to 1975 and historical product specs, use your Gruhn's Guide or view the following PDF files:

Corrections and additions to this section will be made as necessary.

Gibson USA, Gibson Acoustic, Gibson Memphis

From 1975-1977 the number is typically found on a decal on the back of the headstock. This should be an 8 digit number that can be dated by the 1st and 2nd digits as follows:

99 = 1975
00= 1976
06 = 1977

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.

The serial number will be an 8 digit number impressed into the back of the headstock with "MADE IN USA" below.

The pattern is as follows

  • YDDDYRRR
  • YY is the production year
  • DDD is the day of the year
  • RRR is the factory ranking/plant designation number.

Prior to 1984 when the Kalamazoo, MI factory was closed, the numbers 001-499 indicated Kalamazoo production. Ranking numbers 500-999 continued to indicate Nashville production through 1989.

Since 1989, all Gibson acoustics are built in Bozeman, MT and all Gibson electrics are built in Nashville or Memphis. Ranking numbers for Bozeman start each day at 001 and the electrics may start as low as the 300s.

Examples:

  • 70108276 means the instrument was produced on Jan. 10, 1978, in Kalamazoo and was the 276th instrument stamped that day.
  • 82765501 means the instrument was produced on Oct. 3, 1985, in Nashville and was the 1st instrument stamped that day.

NOTE - Gibson USA goes to a 9 digit serial number in early July 2005..

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. The first 5 numbers remain the same, the last 3 numbers will remain the same. The only difference is the addition of this batch indicator.

buy gibson 2019

There are always exceptions to these rules, the two listed below are worth noting:

Les Paul Classic: This model features an ink stamped serial number with no "MADE IN USA" (just as we used on the original 1952-1960 Les Pauls). Most will be 5 to 6 digits in length, but the earliest examples feature 4 digit serial numbers. There should be a space after the 1st digit with the 4 and 5 digit serial numbers, and no space with the 6 digit numbers.

The 1st digit indicates the year of manufacture for the 4 & 5 digit serial numbers, these were used from 1989-1999. The 1st and 2nd indicate the year of manufacture for the 6 digit serial numbers which we've been using since 2000.

Examples:

  • 9 xxx = 1989 (4 digit number beginning with "9" used only in 1989)
  • 0 xxxx = 1990
  • 9 xxxx = 1999
  • 00xxxx = 2000
  • 05xxxx = 2005

Those beginning with "94":

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.

Gibson Custom

1952-1960 Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, and Futura reissues (since late 1992):

  • M YRRR or MYRRRR
  • M is the model year being reissued
  • Y is the production year
  • RRR(R) indicates the guitar's place production for that year. NOTE: This number includes all models for a particular reissue year - so, for example, a 1958 Reissue serial number may include '58 Reissue LP Standard and '58 Explorer production.

Example:

  • 7 5123 is the 123rd 1957 reissue model produced in 2005.

1961-1969 Firebird, Les Paul, and SG reissues (since 1997):

  • YYRRRM
  • Y is the production year
  • RRR(R) indicates the guitar's place in production for that year.
    M is the model being reissued
  • Reissue model codes:
    • 1= SG Custom and Special
    • 2= SG Standard
    • 3= 1963 Firebird 1
    • 4= 1964 Firebird III
    • 5= 1965 Firebird V & VII
    • 8= 1968 Les Paul Custom

Examples:

  • 050102 is the 10th SG Standard reissue produced in 2005.
  • 030084 is the 8th 1964 Firebird III reissue produced in 2003.

Historic ES MODELS (since 1995):

  • (A or B)-MYRRR
  • M is the model year being reissued
  • Y is the production year
  • RRR indicates the guitar's place in the sequence of Historic ES production for that year.
  • Reissue model codes:
    • 2= ES-295
    • 3= 1963 ES-335 (block inlays)
    • 4= ES-330
    • 5= ES-345
    • 9 with an "A" prefix = 1959 ES-335 (dot inlays)
    • 9 with a "B" prefix= ES-355

Example:

  • A-38005 is the 5th '63 ES-335 Reissue produced in 1998.

Carved Top models (serial number on orange label)

  • YDDDYRRR
  • YY is the production year
  • DDD is the day of the year
  • RRR indicate the guitar's place in the sequence of carved tops made that day.
  • NOTE - as of 2000, 1st digit will be a "2"

Examples:

  • 91418009 is the 9th carved top produced on the 141st day of 1998.
  • 20045002 was the 2nd carved top stamped on the 4th day of 2005.

Custom Shop regular production models

  • CSYRRRR
  • CS stands for "Custom Shop"
  • Y indicates the production year
  • RRRR indicates the guitar's place in the sequence of production

Example:

  • CS10845 is the 845th reg. production CS model produced in 2001.

buy gibson 2019

Shop a full range of Gibson guitars over at PMT Online today or call in to selected PMT stores today to see a full range.

TOURTECH LP Electric Guitar Case

£49.99 Add To Cart

TOURTECH Basic Square Bass Guitar Case

£69.99 Add To Cart

Marshall Handwired 2245THW Guitar Amplifier Head

£2,299.00 Add To Cart

Gibson 2019 Les Paul High Performance, Seafoam Fade

£2,799.00 Add To Cart

Gibson 2019 Les Paul High Performance, Heritage Cherry Fade

£2,299.00 Add To Cart

Gibson 2019 Les Paul Standard, Blueberry Burst

£1,899.00 Add To Cart

Gibson Memphis ES-335 Dot, Graphite Metallic

£2,399.00 Add To Cart

Marshall CODE 100H 100W Modelling Amp Head

£269.00 Add To Cart

Gibson 2019 SG High Performance, Trans Ebony Fade

£1,499.00 Add To Cart

Gibson 2019 Firebird Tribute, Satin Cherry

£999.00 Add To Cart

121 Comments on “How To Date Your Gibson Guitar”

  • Dave Jones
    19th November 2019

    Hi, I'll be looking at what I think is a fake gold top in the style of Slash signature, plain headstock this morning.
    Serial number L09855122
    Got to be fake right??
    Thank you, for your help

    • Lee Glynn
      22nd November 2019

      Hi Dave, probably best contacting Gibson about that one...

  • Levent Altun
    11th November 2019

    Hi . I got SG black , 3 nobs Serial number is 91001484 . I'm not sure which years product. Can you help me?
    Thanx

    • Lee Glynn
      22nd November 2019

      Hi Levent, based on our research this guitar was made 10 April 1991 (serial nr.: 484)
      (Manufactured in Nashville or Memphis. Acoustic: Bozeman, Montana)

  • Craig Bailey
    9th November 2019

    Hi
    I'm trying to determine what type of electric Gibson my father has. He bought it when he was about 20. The serial number is V4973 19 so I think its 1956. Can the serial number identify what type of guitar it is as well?
    Thanks
    Craig

    • Lee Glynn
      22nd November 2019

      Hi Craig, we can't find anything on this. Perhaps contact Gibson direct and include some photos?

  • Darko Dropulja
    1st November 2019

    i have a Black Les Paul with the SN 110824 and Made in USA right under the Serial Num. It has a Les Paul Custom plate on the front , double binding on the body, binding on the neck and head, the first fret has a square inlay to. But i dont know from what year the guitar is. Any help?

    • Lee Glynn
      7th November 2019

      Hi there, we're getting conflicting information on this. It could potentially be from 1963, or 1970-72. I'd advise getting in touch with Gibson direct about this.

  • Wendell Fowler
    30th October 2019

    Hi Lee, I purchased a Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top in 1976. The serial is 178724. It has the Made in USA stamp so I know it is circa 1970. any ideas? I am thinking 1972. Thank you for your help!

    • Lee Glynn
      7th November 2019

      Hi Wendell, this could be from 1970 - 1972. But i'd advise getting in touch with Gibson direct for clarification.

  • Tyrone Lockhart
    20th October 2019

    i have a LP Special serial number CS53436
    i am told it is a 2006 but that does not make sense given these examples of serial numbers.

    • Lee Glynn
      22nd November 2019

      Hi, Tyrone, from what we can see it's either from 2003 or 2013 (Custom Shop) Manufactured in Nashville. But please check with Gibson for confirmation.

  • Eugene Molloy
    27th September 2019

    Have a Gibson les paul classic with serial number 043872 no made in USA stamp on it.Just want to know what factory it was built in and what year it is. Thanks

    • Lee Glynn
      1st October 2019

      Hi Eugene, we can't seem to find any info on that guitar. We suggest contacting Gibson directly.

  • Jenny Allen
    22nd September 2019

    Hi can anyone help?! I’m trying to date my late Dads Gibson Les Paul. Serial 776510 (it is also engraved with ‘made in America just under the serial number)
    I know it’s from the 60’s. I think it’s a sunbeam? ?‍♀️

    • Lee Glynn
      23rd September 2019

      Hi Jenny, we cant seem to find anything on that guitar. Perhaps contact Gibson directly? -Lee

  • Sebastien from France
    30th August 2019

    Hi everybody,
    I have a Gibson Les Paul Custom Florentine Plus Custom Shop AAA
    It has the serial number 79111x

    Could you help me and tell me what year and where it was made please?

    Many thanks

    • Lee Glynn
      4th September 2019

      Hi, that seems like a custom shop order. I suggest contacting Gibson about that as they'll be able to advise on details.

  • Gavin
    6th August 2019

    Hi,

    Looking at a guitar with serial number 70399584 but NO made in USA.

    Could it be a fake? It looks to have age...

    Thanks for the help!

    Gavin

    • Lee Glynn
      19th August 2019

      Hi Gavin, from our research this guitar was made 08 February 1979 (serial: 584). Manufactured in Nashville or Memphis. Acoustic: Bozeman, Montana). Should be legit, but feel free to check with Gibson for verification. - Lee

  • John Muniz
    26th June 2019

    HI I purchased a les Paul custom a long time ago about 1980's with a serial number on the neck of 134932. any info on this guitar would be appreciated, Im trying to find out when and where it was made.
    Thank you

    • Lee Glynn
      27th June 2019

      Hi John according to our research this guitar was made in 1963. If it says 'Made in USA' on the headstock it might be from 1970 - 1975. (Year overlap as a result of random method 70s) (Manufactured in Kalamazoo)

  • cindy
    13th June 2019

    Have a Standard Les Paul 028650635 made in USA. Please let me know the meanings of these digits.

    • Lee Glynn
      14th June 2019

      Hi, according to our research this guitar was made in the Nashville Plant, TN, USA on October 13th, 2005 Production Number: 335

  • Paul Anthony Croft
    6th June 2019

    My Les Paul Custom says Serial No. 017160739, on rear of headstock, with "Made In USA". Is it genuine, and if so, what year? Thanks in advance for any help.

    • Lee Glynn
      10th June 2019

      Hi Paul, according to our research this is from the Nashville Plant, TN, USA and was built on June 20th, 2006.

  • Sarah
    7th May 2019

    Hello, my son has inherited his fathers Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, wine red, serial number 803905559. Currently in the process of renewing the house & contents insurance and the companies are asking for further info on the guitar in order to cover it. If possible could you please let me know when it was manufactured and an idea of the approx value?

    • Lee Glynn
      8th May 2019

      Hi Sarah, according to our research this guitar was made in 08-feb-1980 (serial: 5559) (Manufactured in Kalamazoo). I wouldn't be able to comment on the exact value but I would suggest insuring it for the value that resellers are selling it for on the likes of eBay etc. Or for teh price of a new Gibson Les Paul. -Lee

  • chris hale
    5th May 2019

    hi guys serial number 016570427
    model number lp56ebnhi,

    just curious thanks

    • Lee Glynn
      8th May 2019

      Hi Chris, according to our research this was built at the Nashville Plant, TN, USA on June 14th, 2007.

  • Chris
    4th April 2019

    Aloha,
    Inquiring about a 335 # 83013546

    Thank you.

    • Lee Glynn
      11th April 2019

      By the looks of things Chris, your guitar was built in Nashville Plant, TN, USA on October 28th, 1983. -Lee

  • Leonard Galanty
    26th March 2019

    Could you tell me what year my guitar is and iif it is a sg standard.

    • Lee Glynn
      1st April 2019

      Hi Leonard, if you give me your serial number I can do my best. -Lee

  • Kg
    23rd March 2019

    Trying to date my Gibson gold top custom headstock serial number is 565668 I bought it used in 1969

    • Lee Glynn
      1st April 2019

      Hi there, according to our research, this was built in either 1969 or 1974 - 1975 and manufactured in Kalamazoo. I hope that helps. -Lee

  • Jim Gregor
    14th March 2019

    1985 I purchased a Les Paul Custom (E Rubenson) re-issue. Please tell me about it #6 0471.

    • Lee Glynn
      15th March 2019

      Hi Jim, we're getting a few different dates for that serial number. I would suggest contacting Gibson direct about that guitar as it could potentially be from 1962 but I wouldn't like to say for definite. -Lee

  • Jacob Hester
    15th February 2019

    I recently got a lespaul that seems to come back as a 1976 but it also comes in as a 2005. The inlays seem to have only been used in the earlier days. It's a wine red aswell. The serial number is 00235065. Its not inked though and there is not a "made in usa" stamp. The pickups were checked and they come back to being only made in the 70s, the wiring is original coated, the pots show 1976, the binding and frets blend like they are supposed to. I'm just confused about it not having "made in u.s.a". Also. For the 1976 search answer, it says it was made in Kalamazoo

    • Lee Glynn
      20th February 2019

      Hi Jacob, that's an interesting one as our research is showing either 76 OR 2005...Maybe get in touch with Gibson and see what they say? -Lee

  • Erik Trammell
    25th January 2019

    Hi, can you give me some info for my Gibson SG please?

    018060626

    Thanks!

    • Lee Glynn
      11th February 2019

      Hi Erik, according to our research Your guitar was made at the Nashville Plant, TN, USA on June 29th, 2006 Production Number: 326

  • james hansell
    5th January 2019

    I have a ES135 in cherry , no 90945455 could you please tell when and where it was made. Jim

    • Lee Glynn
      11th February 2019

      Hi James, according to our research Your guitar was made at the Nashville Plant, TN, USA on April 4th, 1995 Production Number: 155

  • Gus Benedetti
    13th December 2018

    I just bought a custom shop 3 pup black beauty and the booklet says lpb-0 and serial number 001430 can you tell me the provenance and specs of this guitar

    • Lee Glynn
      13th December 2018

      Hi Gus, it's probably best getting touch with Gibson directly about that serial number.

  • Derek Firth
    20th November 2018

    I just picked up a Gibson Les Paul Standard with serial number C851133. Any idea what year this is?

    • Lee Glynn
      20th November 2018

      Hi Derek, this is potentially 1974 - 1975 however, I would check with Gibson direct to confirm though.

  • Pete Gardner
    31st October 2018

    I have a Gibson j200 boseman serial number 81529003 please can you when it was made

    • Lee Glynn
      31st October 2018

      Hi Pete, based on our search, this was made in the Bozeman Plant, MT, USA on June 1st, 1989. I hope that helps. -Lee

  • Mike Bembenek
    26th October 2018

    Can You Break Down My SN CS 700611 Thank You Mike

    • Lee Glynn
      31st October 2018

      Hi Mike, based on our search, this is potentially 1966, 1967, or 1969 (Manufactured in Kalamazoo). -Lee

  • Dave Burnard
    9th October 2018

    Hi,
    I have an Gibson ES-137 archtop It has the serial number 12201750

    Could you help me and tell me what year and where it was made.

    Many thanks

    • Lee Glynn
      10th October 2018

      Hi Dave, according to our findings, this is from the Nashville Plant, TN, USA and is from 2011. -lee

  • Kevin Gates
    7th October 2018

    Just recently aquired a Gibson Acoustic guitar!! Thinking 1940s?? Serial number 887220!! What do I have

    • Lee Glynn
      10th October 2018

      Hi Kevin, according to our research you have a 1967 Gibson Manufactured in Kalamazoo. I hope that helps -Lee

  • Lisa
    7th October 2018

    I have a Les Paul Custom chambered '57 reissue serial number CR75003... this one is not on the page.. I'm assuming the 7 is 57 reissue, 5 is for 2005, and 003 is the third guitar made in that year? Help, thanks!

    • Lee Glynn
      10th October 2018

      Hi Lisa, i'd suggest getting in touch with Gibson direct as I can't seem to find anything on that serial number. -Lee

  • pete james
    21st September 2018

    I bought a second hand SG JUNIOR serial number 515914 from Take 5, Shaftesbury Avenue, London in 1970. I would like to know what year it was made.

    • Lee Glynn
      25th September 2018

      Hi Pete, we can't seem to find anything on this serial number. I would suggest contacting Gibson directly on this. -Lee

  • James
    4th September 2018

    I have a Gibson LP S/N 90877 my father bought it new 57 or 59 I am curious regarding the info Thankyou for your time

    • Lee Glynn
      4th September 2018

      Hi James, according to our research, this looks like it was built in 1959. I would suggest getting in touch with Gibson directly as this could be an extremely rare guitar! -Lee

  • Marie
    18th August 2018

    Hi there - you guys are busy - I have Les Paul Jr with serial number 101155 - I think it's either a 2010 or 2011 - but what is the 55 lol ?

    • Lee Glynn
      20th August 2018

      Hi Marie, I cant seem to find anything on this. I'd suggest getting in touch with Gibson direct about this. -Lee

  • Mr Roubaix
    12th August 2018

    My Les Paul recording is serial no. 823622 made in america 2. Had this since the middle 80s and toured with it. Original owner said her purchased it at Manny's in 1970. Any info about it?

    • Lee Glynn
      13th August 2018

      Hi! According to our searches, the guitar was built in 1966 but if 'MADE IN USA' is impressed into the back of headstock it might be from 1970-1975 as a result of random method 70s. If you contact Gibson direct, they will be able to help more. I hope that helps. -Lee

  • Greg Hodgkins
    30th July 2018

    I have a red Gibson ES-335-TD that has the number 175075 on the headstock. Can you tell me what year it is? Thanks!

    • Lee Glynn
      31st July 2018

      Hi Greg, this is potentially made between 1970-1975. But best check with Gibson direct for clarification.

  • Craig T
    2nd July 2018

    I have a Gibson ES 335 in Black that I bought many years ago from a friend. I am trying to date the guitar and am confused by the serial number, which is AN42179. Any ideas or info would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Lee Glynn
      3rd July 2018

      Hi Craig we can't seem to find any info on that serial number so it might be best contacting Gibson directly. -Lee

  • D Cook
    27th June 2018

    Custom Gibson looks exactly like Randy Rhoad serial# 745757 Help..Has velute has no dot over I... has no made in USA stamp

    • Lee Glynn
      28th June 2018

      Hi, we can't find any info on that serial. It might help if you contact Gibson directly.

  • Raymond Lord
    26th June 2018

    Hi hope you can help
    I have a Gibson. 12 string acoustic. ( 912340)
    The only other number is on a bell shape black tab with
    LG - 12
    Is it possible to date- and proximity cost condition is
    Good. Many thanks.
    Ray

  • Vidir T.
    19th June 2018

    Sorry :-)
    It is a LP Classic! and not Standard.. My mistake
    Gibson Les Paul Classic with black humbuckers.. serial 034064

    • Lee Glynn
      20th June 2018

      Hi Vidir, we can't seem to find any information on that guitar with that serial number. It might be best to get in touch with Gibson directly. -Lee

  • Doc Quinn
    14th June 2018

    Forgot to post ser# 017160613

    Thanks again

    • Lee Glynn
      18th June 2018

      Hi Doc, this looks like it was built in the Nashville Plant, TN, USA on June 20th, 2006

  • Doc Quinn
    14th June 2018

    Just bought a Les Paul Custom Gibson and would kinda like to know the year model of it. Still has plastic on pickups and pick guard. Thanks in advance. Doc

  • Vidir T.
    13th June 2018

    I bought a Gibson Les Paul Standard with black humbuckers.. serial 034064 and i have no idea where or when it was made?

    Thanks for a greate website :-)

    • Lee Glynn
      18th June 2018

      Hi, it might be best to get in touch with Gibson directly regarding this, as I cant find any information on this serial number. -Lee

  • Russell J Wright
    11th June 2018

    I have a Gibson Les Paul studio with a serial # 026250549. I need help trying to figure out what this means. Thank you.

    • Lee Glynn
      12th June 2018

      Hi Russell, by the looks of it your guitar was built in the Nashville Plant, TN, USA on September 19th, 2005. I hope that helps. -Lee

  • Ulf Forslund
    3rd June 2018

    Hi. I stumbled upon a Les Paul Classic Reissue with Serial No. 133332. Stamped on the headstock with gold color. When I check that serial number, I get it 1991 or 2001. How do I know more exactly which of the years it is?

  • Carl Mansson
    27th May 2018

    My Gibson Flying V has serial no. 001670597.
    I understand its somewhere around 2000 but what exact date year month day and where was it made? Thanks.

    • Lee Glynn
      29th May 2018

      Hi Carl, based on our research, this looks to have been made at the Nashville Plant, TN, USA on January 16th, 2007. I hope that helps! -Lee

  • Alex Tarsus
    16th May 2018

    I bought a Gibson 335 from PMT leeds according to the serial no 12580705 the guitar is made in Nashville but the orange label inside says Gibson Memphis where is my guitar made pls and why are 2 different labels ?

    • Lee Glynn
      17th May 2018

      Hi Alex, hollow body and semi-hollow body Gibson guitars are made in Memphis but the Gibson brand is based in Nashville, hence the two different labels. I hope that helps! -Lee

  • Julie Gerard
    15th May 2018

    I have a absolutely gorgeous Les Paul Artisan, #066204318
    So she's a 77, but what's her birthday? :)
    Thanks so much!

  • Caleb Harrison
    10th May 2018

    I need to confirm to see if this is correct. I believe I have 97 epiphone Gibson s-310 and my serial is j97080467. Please help

    • Lee Glynn
      15th May 2018

      Hi Caleb, according to our research, that guitar will be from 1997. -Lee

  • R. L.
    7th May 2018

    Need help....170013989. Thanks

  • Michael Sampson
    6th May 2018

    Hello,
    I have a blonde-colored Gibson ES335TD with serial number D348707. What can you tell me about my guitar? Thanks.

  • Maurizio
    2nd May 2018

    Hi!
    I have a Gibson Les Paul which, in the certificate of authenticity, reports "Gibson Art and Historic".
    Is a Custom Shop that, in the back of the headstock, reports "0 5358".
    I bought it from a violinmaker in 2013, after having tried it, I liked it a lot.
    If I remember correctly, he told me that it was made by Gibson in 2008.
    What can you tell me about it?
    Thank you!
    Maurizio

    PS: a little while ago I sent the same message, only that, erroneously, I wrote to have taken it in 2008, while, instead, I took it in 2013 (2008 is the year I remember I was told it was made)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *