Dating guitars by serial number loveaffairdating com
Date-coded serial numbers are typically found stamped on the back or top of the headstock, and "Made in USA" is stamped next to the number starting in June 1967. The next digit = last digit of the year (1966 to 1972: 6,7,8,9,0,1,2).The remaining digits = number of individual instrument, probably.For example, 27136 should be February (2), 1967 (7) and the 136th instrument made that month. (i.e., 1974 would be 4) Last 3 digits = number of the instrument.A hyphenated number was embossed on the back of headstock. For example, 3-8094 would be March (3), 1978 (8) and the 94th guitar made that month. The next three digits are the model number, without the 6 at the beginning.Subsequent research has unearthed quite a few inaccuracies in Scott's numbers, so any serial number guides cribbing from Scott are also incorrect.The Gretsch-GEAR database exists to get it right: to document the actual serial numbers, to determine once and for all what was built and when, and to harness the collective knowledge of thousands of Gretsch fans to put the pieces together.If you'd like to learn more about Gretsch serial numbers, we highly recommend Ed Ball's "Gretsch 6120: The History of a Legendary Guitar." Ball is one of the key researchers who have determined the actual dates, years and features Gretsch serial numbers correspond to.
Each of them can be used to accurately pinpoint the age of a guitar, if you have the correct information.
Unfortunately, correct information can be very difficult to come by.
Most online guides (and quite a few print guides) are based on Jay Scott's groundbreaking book "Gretsch: the guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company," which is a fine book, but is nearly two decades old.
Serial numbers have six numbers, with a three digit suffix. The final numbers are the sequential order of the model made during the lifespan of the model (not that year).
For example, 946119-976 would be a June 1994 Tennessee Rose, the 976th made.