Topics: Gibson SG Guitar Serial # Question?

Like a fingerprint or a social security number, the series of digits inked or impressed on the back of a Gibson headstock can go a long way toward identifying a guitar. But, with more than 75 years of shipping records in the Gibson books, and dozens of variations on numerical schemes used over the years, serial numbers sometimes do little to shed light on the origin of a mysterious Gibson.

“Serial numbers can be extremely tricky,” says Gibson Customer Service Manager Jason Davidson, whose team fields calls and emails regarding every Gibson division. “Some can tell you a lot about a guitar, and some don’t really tell you anything. Gibson has had so many different schemes over the years, and now we’re using reissue serial numbers that look like the old serial numbers.”

When faced with a question about a guitar’s date, Davidson most always refers to his beyond-dogeared copy of Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars .

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