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May 04

gibson serial numbers

Wondering how old your Gibson or Epiphone guitar is?  Maybe you have a Gibson banjo, dobro, or a Goldtone amplifier you’re not sure about.  This serial number guide will help you to figure it all out.  This guide, republished courtesy of Gibson.com, provides information from 1975-present, covering thousands of Gibson instruments.  For instruments older than 1975, you’ll need to consult a Gruhn guide or one of the Blue Book PDFs available through Gibson’s site.

serial number information republished from Gibson.com:

Gibson USA, Gibson Acoustic, Gibson Memphis

– From 1975-1977 the number is typically found on a decal on the back of the headstock. This should be an 8 digit number that can be dated by the 1st and 2nd digits as follows:

99 = 1975
00= 1976
06 = 1977

– In 1977, Gibson introduced the serialization method that we primarily use to this day at Gibson USA, Gibson Acoustic, and the Gibson Custom facility in Memphis, TN.

The serial number will be an 8 digit number impressed into the back of the headstock with “MADE IN USA” below.

The pattern is as follows:
YY is the production year
DDD is the day of the year
RRR is the factory ranking/plant designation number.
Prior to 1984 when the Kalamazoo, MI factory was closed, the numbers 001-499 indicated Kalamazoo production. Ranking numbers 500-999 continued to indicate Nashville production through 1989.

Since 1989, all Gibson acoustics are built in Bozeman, MT and all Gibson electrics are built in Nashville or Memphis. Ranking numbers for Bozeman start each day at 001 and the electrics may start as low as the 300s.

Examples: 70108276 means the instrument was produced on Jan. 10, 1978, in Kalamazoo and was the 276th instrument stamped that day.

82765501 means the instrument was produced on Oct. 3, 1985, in Nashville and was the 1st instrument stamped that day.

NOTE – Gibson USA goes to a 9 digit serial number in early July 2005..
The sixth number is now a batch number- batch 0 starts at the beginning of the day, and once we stamp 699, the batch number will change to 1. The first 5 numbers remain the same, the last 3 numbers will remain the same. The only difference is the addition of this batch indicator.

There are always exceptions to these rules, the two listed below are worth noting:

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. 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.

The 1st digit indicates the year of manufacture for the 4 & 5 digit serial numbers, these were used from 1989-1999. The 1st and 2nd indicate the year of manufacture for the 6 digit serial numbers which we’ve been using since 2000.

Examples –
9 xxx = 1989 (4 digit number beginning with “9” used only in 1989)
0 xxxx = 1990
9 xxxx = 1999
00xxxx = 2000
05xxxx = 2005

Those beginning with “94”:
In 1994, Gibson’s Centennial year, many instruments have a serial number that begins with “94” for the year, with the remaining 6 digits indicating the ranking number.

Gibson Custom

1952-1960 Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, and Futura reissues (since late 1992):
M is the model year being reissued
Y is the production year
RRR(R) indicates the guitar’s place production for that year. NOTE: This number includes all models for a particular reissue year – so, for example, a 1958 Reissue serial number may include ’58 Reissue LP Standard and ’58 Explorer production.

Example: 7 5123 is the 123rd 1957 reissue model produced in 2005.

1961-1969 Firebird, Les Paul, and SG reissues (since 1997):
Y is the production year
RRR(R) indicates the guitar’s place in production for that year.
M is the model being reissued
Reissue model codes:
1= SG Custom and Special
2= SG Standard
3= 1963 Firebird 1
4= 1964 Firebird III
5= 1965 Firebird V & VII
8= 1968 Les Paul Custom

Examples: 050102 is the 10th SG Standard reissue produced in 2005.
030084 is the 8th 1964 Firebird III reissue produced in 2003.

Historic ES MODELS (since 1995):
(A or B)-MYRRR
M is the model year being reissued
Y is the production year
RRR indicates the guitar’s place in the sequence of Historic ES production for that year.
Reissue model codes:
2= ES-295
3= 1963 ES-335 (block inlays)
4= ES-330
5= ES-345
9 with an “A” prefix = 1959 ES-335 (dot inlays)
9 with a “B” prefix= ES-355

Example: A-38005 is the 5th ’63 ES-335 Reissue produced in 1998.
Carved Top models (serial number on orange label)
YY is the production year
DDD is the day of the year
RRR indicate the guitar’s place in the sequence of carved tops made that day.
NOTE – as of 2000, 1st digit will be a “2”

91418009 is the 9th carved top produced on the 141st day of 1998.
20045002 was the 2nd carved top stamped on the 4th day of 2005.

Custom Shop regular production models
CS stands for “Custom Shop”
Y indicates the production year
RRRR indicates the guitar’s place in the sequence of production

Example: CS10845 is the 845th reg. production CS model produced in 2001.

CS Signature Models:
The list below is not an exhaustive listing but we have included many of our most popular Signature models. Please contact us at service@gibson.com should you have any questions.

Ace Frehley Les Paul
– 1997 Limited run, numbered in sequence as “ACE xxx”
Note: The discontinued Gibson USA Ace Frehley Signature Les Paul has a standard 8 digit serial number.

Andy Summers ES-335
Limited edition of 50. Numbered in sequence as “AS xxxx”

Dickey Betts ’57 goldtop Les Paul
Limited edition of 114. Numbered in sequence as “DB xxx”

Dickey Betts ’57 red top Les Paul
Numbered in sequence as “DBR xxx”

Gary Rossington Les Paul
Limited edition of 250. Numbered in sequence as “GR xxx”

Gary Rossington SG
Limited edition of 250. Numbered in sequence as “13xxx”

Jimmy Page Les Paul (3 versions)
-1st 25 aged models were hand numbered 1-25 and signed by Jimmy Page, no other number is on this model.
-Limited run of 150 aged models are numbered in sequence as “PAGE xxx”
-Unlimited run of Custom Authentic models are numbered in sequence as “JPP xxx”
Note: The discontinued Gibson USA Jimmy Page Signature Les Paul has a standard 8 digit serial number.

Joe Perry Les Paul (2 models)
– Joe Perry Signature Les Paul from 1996 (trans black finish) – numbered in sequence as “JPxxx”
– Boneyard LP – Pilot Run models have an inked number and hand written “Pilot Run”. The production version (no difference in spec) numbered in sequence as “BONE xxx”
Note: The discontinued Gibson USA Joe Perry Signature Les Paul made has a standard 8 digit serial number.

Johnny A.
Numbered in sequence as “JA xxx”

Pete Townshend LP Deluxe
Limited run of 75, numbered in sequence as “PETE xxx”

Peter Frampton Les Paul (2 models)
– PF LP Custom – numbered in sequence as “PF xxx”
– PF LP Special – numbered in sequence as “PFYxxx” Y indicates the year of production.

Slash Les Paul (2 models)
– 1997 limited edition model, cranberry finish: numbered in sequence as “SL xxx”
– Regular production model introduced in 2004, also numbered in sequence as “SL xxx”
Note: The discontinued Epiphone Slash Les Paul made has a standard Epiphone serial number.

Tony Iommi SG
Numbered in sequence as “TI xxx”

Zakk Wylde Les Paul
Bullseye and the rare “Rough Top” version numbered in sequence as “ZW xxx”
Camo version numbered in sequence as “ZPW xxx”

Gibson Banjos 1988 to present

Earl Scruggs Models
Sequential production number, starting at 001

’49 Classic:
YY = Year of manufacture
RR = ranking number (starts at 01)

Golden Deluxe:
YY = Year of manufacture
RR = ranking number (starts at 01)

Flint Hill Special:
YY = Year of manufacture
RR = ranking number (starts at 01)

YY = Year of manufacture
RR = ranking number (starts at 01)

Style 250
YY = Year of manufacture
RR = ranking number (starts at 01)

YY = Year
MM = Month
RR = ranking number (starts at 01)

RB### = sequential production number

All other models
S(S) = style (excluding style 250 – see above)
YY = Year
MM = Month
RR = ranking number


Most regular production models since ca. 1993. Many ’80s and early ’90s serial numbers may follow a similar scheme, but may not include a factory ID code.
F= Factory code (this can be 2 letters as well)
YY= year of manufacture (this can also be just 1 digit for ’90s models)
MM= month of manufacture
R= ranking number (may be more or less digits, not necessarily indicative of total units produced)
Example – S02021234 was issued in Feb. 2002.

Another code used on some current Epiphone models
F= Factory code
YY=Year of manufacture
M= This will be a letter code corresponding to the month (A=January, B=February, etc…)
RRRR= ranking number
Example – R03D0263 was issued in April 2003.

Epiphone Elite/Elitist models
F= Factory Code (this code will be an “F” or “T”)
Y= Year of manufacture (2 = 2002, 3 = 2003, etc.)
SSSS= Sequential Serial Number
Example – T41234 is a 2004 Elitist model.

Dobro (1995-present)

A(A) (#)###YY
A(A) = model code
(#) ### = ranking number
YY = last 2 digits of year
Example – BA xxx 95 dates to 1995

Y = last digit of year
MM = Month
DD = day of month
RR = ranking number
Y (last digit) = decade

Gibson Goldtone Amps

Product code/production number/quarter and year made

Example – G-03/207/299

Note that the “‘G” is often mistaken for a “6”. This amp was made in the second quarter of 1999.


100 Responses to “Gibson And Epiphone Guitars Serial Number Guide”

  1. ben says:

    Hi I have seen a Gibson Les paul which is labelled 1994 year the serial number starts with 94 I have seen literature online saying this was the only year that Gibson did this because of the 100 year anniversary is it true
    thanks ben

  2. xavier says:


  3. Tim Reynolds says:

    Appears to be a 2003 model. If you’d like, you can email the sales staff and send a few photos of it for clarification.

  4. Jim K. says:

    According to this coding system, my Epiphone SG was made in July of 1921.
    (MC21070080) Any idea what this means?

  5. Rachel says:

    I bought an Epiphone recently and decided I’d try and find out a little background information on it, unfortunately I can’t find anything that will help. My Epiphone is an acoustic/electric El Segundo Bass with the serial number SM0598269. Thanks!

  6. Rachel says:

    That would be amazing! thank you so much!

  7. Tim Reynolds says:

    Not totally sure on that one… please email some photos to the sales team and they will assist in narrowing it down for you!

  8. Darko says:

    I have Epiphone Special Model. Black finish. On the cover on headstock says Gibson. Serial number is JI98080023. Where and when it was made, please? Tnx!

  9. ZooKeeper says:

    Sounds like a 1998 model from the serial number you have provided…

  10. celo says:

    Can somebody help me to identify this epiphone?
    It’s les paul model and i know only serial number. 3200309

  11. Blake says:

    I’m looking to purchase a mandolin and I found this website but I can’t seem to make sense of it. Here is the model and serial number can you tell me when it was built (1990?) and how much it might be worth in fair condition.
    RB-100 / serial # 99110039

  12. Blake says:

    Sorry I meant banjo, oops.

  13. Tim Reynolds says:

    If it is a Gibson branded item, then yes 1990 would be correct. Hope this helps!

  14. Ruud says:

    Hi, my dad has a flying v guitar that was signed by the band metallica. Toe verify what type it is I really can not find a single clue. I have a serial on the back. PL06030205503 0063. Does anyone know what type it is from what manifacturer? He paid like 7-9 thousand USD

  15. Larry Crecelius says:

    I have a Epiphone made by Gibson acoustic guitar PR 350 S, with the serial number: 8612033. Can anyone help me find out when this guitar was made? I must be missing something. I can’t find out anything for sure about the date.

  16. kate pangeli says:

    I have a Gibson Epiphone s900
    I want to sell it and would like to know what its worth….does anybody know?

  17. Emily says:

    Im trying to sell a guitar, and i cant find any info on this to set a price… It is a electric Gibson epiphone special model 6 string in ebony, with original amp. Im having trouble with the code as well. Model MC 22096001. There is a sticker on the back with inspected in US 27. Any further details would be awesome!

  18. Mike Yates says:

    I bought a Gibson rb350 in 1976. It was stolen from my van in 1979. I think the serial number was 0009. Does that sound right. Would sure like to have that thing back

  19. Jorgen says:

    Hi I have a Gibson Epiphone 1992 model, don’t know if it’s SG or something else? serial nr = 2120129
    I wanna sell it but don’t know what to ask? Anyone?

  20. Ty says:

    Love to solve this mystery….I’ve an Epihone/gibson on headstock, acoustic 6string, unusual tobacco burst, inside label is, PR-100-VS, serial# C 20709 G or a 6..then 3. Backside of headstock labeled, 100% Inspected & Setup by USA #29 A comlete mystery! Spent hrs to no avail! Plz, HELP! Thank you, Ty, vetran working player/musician/entertainer, Guitarist/Vocalist/Bassist

  21. Nuno says:

    J97060509 I own a guitar with this serial number. It’s a epiphone les paul junior. Any idea of where it’s made. Some people say Japan others Jacarta,Indonesia. would be appreciated if someone could confirm this.

  22. Shane says:

    I have a red SG bass # on chrome plate at the base of the neck is: SJ03082344
    I also have a black SG electric with # on the back of headstock is: 11052301909
    These are my twin brother and I’s twin guitars and would love to know the actual year, make and model info on these guitars if possible.We love them and would be good to know for gaining manual info or even proper replacement parts if necessary. These guitars made the dreams of two you kids in diapers, now men come true to have the opportunity to learn to play the instruments we’ve always loved. You have no idea how much that means to share when one of us is also a cancer survivor who continues his fight as well.

    Thank you,
    Beginners looking for knowledge.
    Shane and Shaun

  23. Steve R says:

    Hi Guys…
    I have an Epiphone PR-650-N natural acoustic made in Japan serial #84512 and wondering how old she is and approximate value. Thanks! – SteveR

  24. Lennart Schutt says:

    IT just bought an Ephiphone SG in a second hand shop with the Number 10081506896 on it.Can you give me some clues of what it stands for ?

  25. Eric says:

    Mike Yates: Any luck on that RB350 from ’76? No, 0009 does not make sense for a serial number, although there were less than 30 made. Mine is a 6 digit number in a 300000 series; I have seen two other serial numbers in a series of 8 digits starting with 00. Some explicitly say RB-350; mine does not. The 350 was essentially a 250 with a special resonator for the bicentennial. I don’t suppose you could find your original receipt?

  26. Hank says:

    Hi can any one help i have a Epi’ V with serial 71202404 any clues please, headstock is similar to firebird with ‘Epiphone by Gibson’ decal, thanks

  27. Terry says:

    I have a Epiphone Les Paul birds eye sunburst was made in Korea s# S5046812 can you tell anything about it . Thank You

  28. Jason says:

    I have what appears to be a Les Paul Studio. I say “appears” because I have only identified it by matching pictures on the web. The serial number indicates that it was made January 28th, 1980 in Kalamazoo (80280226).

    What puzzles me is that Gibson says they didn’t produce this guitar until 1982-1983.

    Any thoughts are appreciated!

  29. Jono says:

    I have an Epiphone Made In Japan 61’Reissue SG, with the Gibson headstock, and I believe Gibson electronics. The serial # is 807938 – any ideas as to what the serial is telling me?

    Any help greatly appreciated.

  30. Jens Remur says:

    Gents I have just bought an Epiphone S800 equipped with two single coil black pickups and one humbucker that can be switched to a singlecoil by pulling the tone. The serial number is 71011609. It seems to be coming from Samik Korea and is from the period of 1986-1989. Is this correct? When I try to identify the guitar by using the alternative identification system it claims that the guitar is from 1971!! I can post some picture of the guitar if necessary.

  31. Gar says:

    looking how to date an Epiphone Les paul style guitar with serial number
    206093 with Made in Japan both listed on rear of the headstock. Thanks

  32. don says:

    i have a 5 string Epiphone banjo no on back of peg board are 107622 is old in very good shape like to know its history thank you

  33. Shelbie says:

    I have a Gibson that was passed down to me from my grandfather, but it was made before 1977 so I am having a hard time finding the specific year it was made the number on the back is 344067.. Anybody that can help me I would greatly appreciate it!

  34. mike says:

    Hi everybody,

    someone ofered me an Epiphone Les Paul, colour Sunburst. I only got the serial and some Fotos. After a while of research I can t find any infomation. Can someone help me? It says 80204098 on the back of the headstock. No sticker – stamped in. Thanks a lot

  35. john patterson says:

    Hi been offered this guitar searched the serial number which seems fine but it does not confirm what type of guitar it should be. the number is s5086663 any idea.

  36. patrick r says:

    i have an early nineties not sure epiphone chet atkins sst custom and want to know manufacture date and place the serial number is 185452

  37. James a McIntyre says:

    I bought this about ten yrs ago it is a black EPIPHONE Les Paul jr,serial #Sjo3030199 is this a Samick factory? and what yr was this made

  38. Marcus says:

    Hi, I have an Epiphone Regent. It has an orange label. The serial # is R04J0412. I tried to look up and follow this sequence but can’t make any sense of it. Any ideas on year made? Label on back of headstock says set up in USA.

  39. Stacey says:

    Hi I have an electric guitar the back plate says SJ03092689 but I can’t find anything SJ front says epiphone Gibson

  40. Hi Stacey, please give our sales staff a call at 1-844-MUSICZOO!

  41. Thomas Rogers says:

    Hello, I have a beautiful Epiphone ft-650, sr.#1162814. Can’t seem to find anything on line about it other than a couple of pictures . It also says “excellente” inside as well as made in Japan. Do you have any idea of when it was made?

  42. Contact our sales staff at sales@themusiczoo.com or call 516-626-9292! They’ll be able to help you out!

  43. Jan says:

    Just purchased from a friend of a friend. An epiphone off white. It’s missing the back plate and don’t see serial numbers anywhere. Only marking is on the top in curse “Epiphone by Gibson ” . Age or style.

  44. Phil Mitchell says:

    Hi, all, I have a Epiphone Made in Korea sticker, Electric Hollow Body and has stamped on back of head numbers 104101434, ,trying to work out which it is and maybe it’s value. Thanks Phil

  45. Jason Miler says:

    I have a Gibson Epiphone Acoustic PR350 with the serial number 9121533…. would that make this a 1991 acoustic… its not a pr350s, or any other, it just says model Pr350.. nice acoustic, looks great, just wanted to know if the year was 1991? Thanks Jason!

  46. Our sales staff can help you out. Contact them at sales@themusiczoo.com or call 516-626-9292

  47. Our sales staff can help you out. Contact them at sales@themusiczoo.com or call 516-626-9292

  48. denny bales says:

    i have 3 epipphone accoustics and would love to know what year they were made the 1st one is a FT 150 ser # BARD the 2nd is AJ 200S NA Ser # SM 04010287 the 3rd one is another FT 150 ser 143849. thank you so much for your time and help with this, i think epiphone is great company .
    thank you
    denny bales

  49. Darren says:

    I’m looking at buying an epiphone ace frehley Les Paul. Says made in Korea
    Sn i06041754. Is this a real or fake epiphone?

  50. Our sales staff can help you out with that. Email them at sales@themusiczoo.com or call 516-626-9292.

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