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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.
When a six-digit serial number is concerned, there is no space, because the highest number in four digits (9999) has been exceeded and so fills the space. In 1955, Gibson forgot to put back the serial number range to 0001. For this reason, the array of four-digit serial number was exceeded after 9999.
Thence 5 digits and no space between the year (5) and the serial number.
Please note that most of this information relates to serial numbers used from 1975 to present.
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.
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.Factory Order Numbers (FON) with a letter from 1935 to 1941.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).There should be a space after the 1st digit with the 4 and 5 digit serial numbers, and no space with the 6 digit numbers.