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Serial numbers show approximate date of manufacture.For all dates, you will need to look at the construction technique and components used to get a more precise date of manufacture.The letter preceding the batch number in the FON, and indicates the year of production. Y1234 23 This were used from 1952 to 1961 on archtop models and stamped on the inside of the F-hole. An ink-stamped number from the back of the headstock. No serial numbers were used, Gibson just started therewith in 1953.The batch number, the first four digits of the FON, followed by a one or two-digit number. The first digit of the serial number is the last digit of the year.In 2005 the system was upgraded to first digit at the end of the batch number was inserted.
If follows there is a third letter E, it stands for Electric.FON consists a batch number of usually four digits, followed by a one letter (sometimes prefixed by a space) followed by one or two digits (ranking).1935-1937: Letter between the batch number and the order number. 0123 A5 1938-1941: Two or three letters before batch number. If there is a second character follows it is the code for the type of the instrument.Gibson stopped the stamped serial numbers at the end in 1960, although there are a few guitars made in 1961 with a "1" as a prefix.Some lap steels and Les Paul's from 1961 have such a serial number.