Gibson serial numbers 1952 to 1961, solidbody model.
A number stamped with ink on the back of the headstock.
Gibson's solid bodys were released in 1952. Gibson did not use serial numbers at that time but started in 1953.
The first digit of the series number is the last digit of the year.
If the stamped number consists of 5 digits, there is a space between the first and second digit
(a separation between the last digit of the year and the actual serial number).
If it concerns a 6digit serial number, there is no space, because the highest
4digit number (9999) has been exceeded and the space therefore fills up.
This was the case in the years 1955, 1956, 1959 and 1960.
In 1955, Gibson forgot to reset the series of serial numbers to 0001.
So they had only set the year from 4 to 5.
For this reason the series of 4 digit serial numbers was exceeded after 9999.
Hence 5 digits and no space between the year (5) and the serial number.
(after 5 9999 came 510 000)
Apparently the production was high in 1956 because 6 9999 is exceeded.
Also in 1959 and 1960 there was a high production, 9 9999 is exceeded to 932 000 or higher.
Thus, from the production in 1959, a 1, 2 or 3 may be the second digit.
Gibson stopped the stamped serial numbers at the end of 1960, although a few instruments were made in 1961 with a 1 as a prefix.
Some lap steels and Les Paul's from 1961 have such a serial number.
Another exception to the above rules is in the fall of 1958, where some Les Paul Juniors and Specials had a fourdigit serial number.
1st digit

PRODUCTION YEAR

None 
1952 
3 
1953 
4 
1954 
5 
1955 
6 
1956 
7 
1957 
8 At the end of 1958, a number of LP Juniors/Specials had a fourdigit serial number without a prior annual digit

1958 
9 
1959 
0 
1960 
1 (rare) 
1961 
Gibson serial numbers, early to mid seventies.
From 1970 to 1975 the 6 digit serial numbers were randomly created.
Numbers were stamped on the back of the headstock in a random order.
For some instruments preceded by a letter.
In 1970 the orange labels in the sound box of acoustic guitars were replaced by
white with orange rectangular labels. The electric models were provided with
a rectangular with black and purple triangle.
From 1970 "MADE IN USA" was also stamped on the back of the headstock.
Some instruments from the fifties also had such a stamp.
Gibson serial numbers, 19701975.
After production continued by Gibson's new company Norlin (19691986), the same confusing sixdigit serial system from the 1960s continued until 1975.
(see: Norlin)
This means that instruments with the same serial number were produced either in the 1960s or 1970s.
Guitars got six digits in random order, and in some cases they were preceded by a letter that
did not seem to have meaning.
Note that the series between 1970 and 1975 can overlap the production from 1964 and 1965.
The table below shows the years to which the numbers can relate.
Seral number range

PRODUCTION YEAR

000000  099999 
1973 
100000  199999 
1970  1975 
200000  299999 
1973  1975 
300000  399999 
1974  1975 
400000  499999 
1974  1975 
500000  599999 
1974  1975 
600000  699999 
1970  1972 and 1974  1975 
Serials since 1977.
Gibson's most sustainable numbering system was launched in 1977, an eightdigit number.
The first and fifth digits represented the year of manufacture.
The three intervening digits, the day of that year.
The digits six to eight indicated the sequence number.
Example: 80923015
80923015
is: 1983, day 092 (day 92 of 1983 is 2 April), production number 015.
After the opening of the new factory in Nashville, production was also included in the serial numbers.
001 to 499 appeared on instruments built in Kalamazoo, 500 to 999 built in Nashville.
Even after the Kalamazoo plant closed in 1984, this process continued until 1989 in Nashville.
The system was updated in 2005 when 1 digit was inserted at the end of the batch number.
The sequence numbers ranged from 500 to 699, after which the batch number was increased by 1, and the sequence number went back to 500.
Gibson closed the Memphis plant in April 2019.
The production of "USA made" solid body guitars is now only produced in Nashville.

Gibson serial numbers, from February 1961 until 1970.
Gibson started in 1961 with a new series numbering system.
They wanted to apply a more structured series of sequences, but in practice the opposite happened.
Numbers were reused during this period, and in many cases the numbers were not strictly applied for successive years.
For all models, the serial number is stamped on the back of the headstock.
A number of serial numbers were duplicated from 1963 to 1969.
From this period the 5digit and 6digit numbers are easy to confuse and give an incorrect year.
Serial

PRODUCTION YEAR

0100  42440 
1961 
42441  61180 
1962 
61450  64222 
1963 
64240  71040 
1964 
71041  96600 
1962 (some 1963 en 1964) 
96601  99999 
1963 
000001  099999 
1967 (all 6digit numbers starting with 0. are 1967) 
100000  106099 
1963 or 1967 
106100  106899 
1963 
109000  109999 
1963 or 1967 
110000  111549 
1963 
111550  115799 
1963 or 1967 
115800  118299 
1963 
118300  120999 
1963 or 1967 
121000  139999 
1963 
140000  140100 
1963 or 1967 
140101  144304 
1963 
144305  144380 
1964 
144381  149864 
1963 
149865  149891 
1964 
149892  152989 
1963 
152990  174222 
1964 
174223  176643 
1964 or 1965 
176644  250335 
1964 
250336  305983 
1965 
306000  310999 
1965 or 1967 
311000  320149 
1965 
320150  320699 
1967 
320700  329179 
1965 
329180  330199 
1965 or 1967 
330200  332240 
1965, 1967 or 1968 
332241  348092 
1965 
348093  349100 
1966 
349121  368638 
1965 
368640  369890 
1966 
370000  370999 
1967 
380000  385309 
1966 
390000  390998 
1967 
400001  406666 
1966 
406667  409670 
1966  1968 
409671  410900 
1966 
410901  419999 
(unknown) 
420000  429193 
1966 
500000  500999 
1965, 1966, 1968 or 1969 
501009  501600 
1965 
501601  501702 
1968 
501703  502706 
1965 or 1968 
503010  503109 
1968 
503405  520955 
1965 or 1968 
520956  530056 
1968 
530061  530850 
1966, 1968 or 1969 
530851  530993 
1968 or 1969 
530994  539999 
1969 
540000  540795 
1966 or 1969 
540796  545009 
1969 
555000  557999 
1966 
558000  567400 
1969 
570087  570643 
1966 
570645  570755 
1966 or 1967 
570857  570964 
1966 
580000  580080 
1969 
580086  580999 
1966, 1967 or 1969 
600000  600998 
1966, 1967, or 1968 (low end model) 
600000  606090 
1969 (high end model) 
700000  700799 
1966, 1967 or 1969 
750000  750999 
1966, 1967 or 1969 
800000  800999 
1966, 1967, 1968 or 1969 
801000  812838 
1966 or 1969 
812900  819999 
1969 
820000  820087 
1966 or 1969 
820088  823830 
1966 
824000  824999 
1969 
828002  847488 
1966 or 1969 
847499  858999 
1966 or 1969 
859001  891999 
1967 
892000  896999 
1968 
897000  898999 
1967 or 1969 
899000  899999 
1968 
900000  909999 
1970 
910000  999999 
1968 
