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How do I tell how old a gibson sg body is by going by the…

How do I tell...

How do I tell how old a gibson sg body is by going by the serial number ***** *****. I want to by one for my brother. I already have the hardware Please Help

Technician's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Im in West Virginia

Technician's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No I just found it on the internet. I dont even know where it is, I can tell on a fender and a les paul but not an sg

Technician's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No except I would like to by it. My brothers neck on his broke and I want to fix it for his birthday 4/5189

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Answered in 7 hours by:
3/9/2018
Ron Winston
Ron Winston, Owner of Winston Electronics, Servicing music electronics for over 50 years
Category: Electronic Musical Instruments
Satisfied Customers: 491
Experience: Factory Certified Technician
Verified

Hello: my name is ***** ***** I am a certified technician. I hope this information will answer your question.

Dating a Gibson by Serial Number

Acoustics and Electric Archtops 1902-1961

1902-1947

Gibson’s earliest serialization system was more or less sequential, where each new instrument was assigned the next highest available number. Below is a table of the the highest known number for each production year.

YearLast Numbers

1903-1150

1904-1850

1905-2550

1906-3350

1907-4250

1908-5450

1909-6950

1910-8750

1911-10850

1912-13350

1913-16100

1914-20150

1915-25150

1916-32000

1917-39500

1918-47900

1919-53800

1920-62200

1921-69300

1922-71400

1923-74900

1924-80300

1925-82700

YearLast Numbers

1926-83600

1927-85400

1928-87300

1929-89750

1930-90200

1931-90450

1932-90700

1933-91400

1934-92300

1935-92800

1936-94100

1937-95200

1938-95750

1939-96050

1940-96600

1941-97400

1942-97700

1943-97850

1944-98250

1945-98650

1946-99300

1947-999999

1947-1961

When the original serial system reached 999,999 in 1947, Gibson started over with an ‘A’ prefix

YearLast Numbers

1947A 1305

1948A 2665

1949A 4410

1950A 6596

1951A 9420

1952A 12460

1953A 17435

YearLast Numbers

1954A 18665

1955A 21910

1956A 24755

1957A 26820

1958A 28880

1959A 32285

1960A 34645

Solid Body Electrics 1952-1961

Early Gibson solidbody electrics received a serial stamp on the back of the headstock, with the first number indicating the year of production.

The serial number on this Les Paul Junior indicates it was made in 1956.

1961-1969

Starting in 1961, Gibson implemented a new serialization system designed to cover its entire lineup. However, while the intent was to maintain a more organized catalog, this system in practice achieved the exact opposite. Numbers from this era were flipped, reused, and in many cases can date an instrument to several non-sequential years. 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.

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.

YearApprox Serial Range

1***-***-****0

1962-42441-61180

1963-61450-64220

1964-64240-70500

1962-71180-96600

1963-96601-99999

(###) ###-####008010

1967-010000-042900

1967-044000-044100

1967-050000-054400

1967-055000-063999

1967-064000-066010

1967-0670000-070910

1967-090000-099999

1963, 1967-100000-106099

1963-106100-108900

1963, 1967-1090000-109999

1963-110000-111549

1963, 1967-111550-115799

1963-115800-118299

1963, 1967-118300-120999

1963-121000-139999

1963, 1967-140000-140100

1963-140101-144304

1964-144305-144380

1963-144381-145000

1963-147009-149864

1964-149865-149891

1963-149892-152989

1964-152990-174222

1964, 1965-174223-176643

1964-176644-199999

1964-200000-250335

1965-250336-291000

1965-301755-302100

1965-302754-305983

1965, 1967-306000-306100

1965, 1967-307000-307985

1965, 1967-309848-310999

1965-311000-320149

1967-320150-320699

YearApprox Serial Range

1965-320700-321100

1965-322000-326600

1965-328000-328500

1965-328700-329179

1965, 1967-329180-330199

1965, 1967-68330200-332240

1965-332241-327090

1965-348000-348092

1966-348093-349100

1965-349121-368638

1966-368640-369890

1967-370000-370999

1966-380000-385309

1967-390000-390998

1965-68400001-400999

1966-401000-407985

1966-408000-408690

1966-408800-409250

1966-420000-426090

1966-427000-429180

1966-430005-438530

1966-438800-438925

1965-66, 1***-**-****00-500999

1965-501010-501600

1968-501601-501702

1965, 1968-501703-502706

1968-503010-503110

1965, 1968-503405-520955

1968-520956-530056

1966, 1968-69530061-530850

1***-**-****51-530993

1969-530994-539999

1966, 1969-540000-540795

1969-540796-545009

1966-550000-556910

1969-558012-567400

1966-570099-570755

1969-580000-580999

1***-**-****00-600999

1969-601000-601090

1969-605901-606090

YearApproximate Serial Range

1***-**-****00-700799

1***-**-****00-750999

1***-**-****00-800999

1966, 1969-801000-812838

1969-812900-814999

1969-817000-819999

1966, 1969-820000-820087

1966-820088-823830

1969-824000-824999

1966, 1969-828002-847488

1966-847499-858999

1967-859001-880089

YearApproximate Serial Range

1967-893401-895038

1968-895039-896999

1967-897000-898999

1968-899000-899999

1968-900000-902250

1968-903000-920899

1968-940000-941009

1968-942001-943000

1968-945000-945450

1968-947415-956000

1968-959000-960909

1968-970000-972864

1970-1975

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.

Fortunately, there were two notable changes to the entire lineup that occurred during the transition that make differentiating ‘60s and ‘70s Gibsons straightforward.

The Volute: c.1969-c.1981

1970 SG Standard

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.

‘Made in USA’ Stamp: 1970-current

1973 Les Paul Custom

Starting in 1970, ‘Made in USA’ was stamped on the headstock below the serial number.

The serial numbers from this period are generally as follows:

NumberYear

000000S-1973

100000S-1970-1975

200000S-1973-1975

300000S-1974-1975

400000S-1974-1975

500000S-1974-1975

600000S-1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975

700000S-1970, 1971, 1972

800000S-1973, 1974, 1975

900000S-1970, 1971, 1972

1975-1977

NumberYear

99XXXXXX-1975

00XXXXXX-1976

06XXXXXX-1977

1977-Current

Starting in 1977, Gibson adopted the current date-based serial system which codes for the year and day of production. The first number of the sequence indicates the decade of production, followed by the three digit day of the year, and finally the year. For example, the serial number 90237XXX corresponds to a production date of 1/23/97. 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.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Got me on the right track. I can get it from here. Thank you so much

Great, If you could take a Minuit and rate my service it would be helpful.

Ron Winston
Ron Winston, Owner of Winston Electronics, Servicing music electronics for over 50 years
Category: Electronic Musical Instruments
Satisfied Customers: 491
Experience: Factory Certified Technician
Verified
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