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Gibson Serial Numbers

Also See Fender Serial Numbers

Gibson GuitarsGibson Guitar serial numbers are not a simple as one would expect. Some are impossible to figure out. From what I can find is basically a list of Gibson serial Numbers. There are two basic types of numbers used, the Factory Order Number, or FON, and the actual serial number. Both of the numbers allow Gibson to track the guitars sold through dealers and ultimately to the actual original owners.

Factory Order Numbers (FON)

Pre-War Alphabetical (1936 to 1942)- These are 3 to 5 numbers to identify the Batch (Rack) and then another number which identifies the Guitar itself.

1936 = B
1937 = C
1938 = D
1939 = E
1940 = F
1941 = G
1942 = H

Post War - These from 1949 to 1952. Many of the economy models didn't have or show the FON.

1949 = 100s - 1000s - low 2000s
1950 = 2000, 3000, 4000, and lower 5000's
1951 = 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000, and lower 9000's
1952 = High 9000's

Reverse FON's (1952 to 1961)- When the Pre-War Alphabetical's limit was reached (99999) in mid 1952 a letter (ie. Z, Y, X etc...) was applied before the number. Starting with Z.

1952 = Z
1953 = Y
1954 = X
1955 = W
1956 = V
1957 = U
1958 = T
1959 = S
1960 = R
1961 = Q

The Serial Numbers

Starting in 1961 usually the higher priced guitars got serial numbers while the lower grade guitars had work order numbers. The serial numbers but where also found on hollowbody models labeled on paper which was placed inside the guitar near the f-hole or sound hole. Also some guitar models made between '42 and '49 had no numbers of any kind and have to be dated by what they are (Features, type of wood, among other things).

This two number system was done away with in the early 60's and the work order number and serial numbers where merged into one system. This new system allows the guitars to tracked better as well as be identified. Where the serial number was attached was determined by where on the guitar it was placed:

  • 1953-1961 Solidbody Guitars the serial number was inked or pressed into the wood on the back of the headstock.
  • 1936-1965 Hollowbody Guitars the serial number was on a label glued on the inside of the guitar body beneath the top f-hole.
  • 1951-1961 Flat Top electrics had the number rubber stamped on the beck block inside the body.
  • 1961 onward found the serial number on a lable glued on the inside back of the body

There where four basic serial number systems used:

  • (1936 - 1947) 5 Numbers Where Used for PreWar Models
  • (1939 - 1940) 2 Letter Prefix Where Used for PreWar Models ie. EA5376
  • (1947 - 1961) Post War Artist Models

5 Numbers for PreWar Models:
This is the original gibson system used a linear numbering system, ie. 1, 2, 3, etc... which comprised of 5 digits 00001, 00002... The problem was it was limited to 99999 guitars. In 1947 they made their 100,000th guitar (which gibson new about) and the system was changed. Another problem with this system is there's no real identification about the guitar or when/where it was built etc...

For guitars made between 1902 to 1936 this system was also used. The numbers themselves where stamped using black ink on a white label a placed inside the guitar. Usually the label would have the model type on it as well.

Approximate Year Made Last Number in Serial Range

1903
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935

1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945
1946
1947

1150
1850
2550
3350
4250
5450
6950
8750
10850
13350
16100
20150
25150
32000
39500
47900
53800
62200
69300
71400
74900
80300
82700
83600
85400
87300
89750
90200
90450
90700
91400
92300
92800

94100
95200
95750
96050
96600
97400
97700
97850
98250
98650
99300
99999

Approximate Year Made Last Number in Serial Range

1947
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960
1961
1961
1962
1963
1964
1962
1963

1967
1967
1967
1967
1967
1967
1967
1967
1963, 1967
1963
1963, 1967
1963
1963, 1967
1963
1963, 1967
1963
1963, 1967
1963
1964
1963
1963
1964
1963
1964
1964, 1965
1964
1964
1965
1965
1965
1965, 1967
1965, 1967
1965, 1967
1965
1967
1965
1965
1965
1965
1965, 1967
1965, 1967
1965
1965
1966
1965
1966
1967
1966
1967
1965, 1966, 1967, 1968
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1965, 1966, 1968, 1969
1965
1968
1965, 1968
1968
1965, 1968
1968
1966, 1968, 1969
1968, 1969
1969
1966, 1969
1969
1966
1969
1966
1969
1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
1969
1969

A 1305
A 2665
A 4410
A 6595
A 9420
A 12460
A 17435
A 18665
A 21910
A 24755
A 26820
A 28880
A 32285
A 35645
A 36150
100-42440
42441-61180
61450-64220
64240-70500
71180-96600
96601-99999

000001-008010
010000-042900
044000-044100
050000-054400
055000-063999
064000-066010
067000-070910
090000-099999
100000-106099
106100-108900
109000-109999
110000-111549
111550-115799
115800-118299
118300-120999
121000-139999
140000-140100
140101-144304
144305-144380
144381-145000
147009-149864
149865-149891
149892-152989
152990-174222
174223-176643
176644-199999
200000-250335
250336-291000
301755-302100
302754-305983
306000-306100
307000-307985
309848-310999
311000-320149
320150-320699
320700-321100
322000-326600
328000-328500
328700-329179
329180-330199
1968330200-332240
332241-347090
348000-348092
348093-349100
349121-368638
368640-369890
370000-370999
380000-385309
390000-390998
400001-400999
401000-407985
408000-408690
408800-409250
420000-426090
427000-429180
430005-438530
438800-438925
600000-500999
501010-501600
501601-501702
501703-502706
503010-503110
503405-520955
520956-530056
1969530061-530850
530851-530993
530994-539999
540000-540795
540796-545009
550000-556910
558012-567400
570099-570755
580000-580999
600000-600999
601000-601090
605901-606090