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For example 55395 = 1955 920874 = 1959 1977 Forward - finally a standard serial number was used.
The first and fifth numbers are the year, for example 8997653 = 8997653 or 1986 ES (Electric Spanish - hollow body with fixed pickup(s) T - Thinline D Double - 2 Pickups C Cutaway or Cherry Finish 3/4 - 3/4 side and short scale SV - Stereo and Veritone wiring option Please keep in mind that Serial numbers show approximate date of manufacture.
An ink stamp on the back of the headstock which included either 5 or 6 digits.
Serial numbers show approximate date of manufacture.
10, 1978, in Kalamazoo and was the 276th instrument stamped that day. 3, 1985, in Nashville and was the 1st instrument stamped that day.
Many players don't, and sometimes (unless you bought it from new) it can be hard to tell.
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.
For more details on Gibson Serialization prior to 1975 and historical product specs, use your Gruhn's Guide or view the following PDF files: Since 1989, all Gibson acoustics are built in Bozeman, MT and all Gibson electrics are built in Nashville or Memphis.