DATING YOUR GIBSON
Serial Number Configuration and Placement:
White label as used from 1908 to 1932.
Gibson Non-Hyphen Serial Numbers, 1902 to 1947.
"A" style serial numbers as used from 1947 to 1961.
Gibson Serial Numbers for Hollow bodies, 1947 to 1961.
Left: The "inked on" serial number on a 1955 Les Paul standard solidbody guitar. This style serial number was used on all 1953 to 1960 solidbody Gibson guitars.
Gibson Serial Numbers, 1952 to 1961, solid body models.
Note this style of "Made in the U.S.A." is NOT what is described below.
Stamped in serial numbers, used from 1961 to 1969. The 1964 number on the left is still a "pressed in" number, though gibson has inked the impression to make it more readable (they started doing this about 1963 or 1964, when serial numbers went to six digits). The number in the middle is from 1964 (on an ES-335), and the number in the right is from 1961 (on an Les Paul TV Special). Note the lack of "Made in USA", thus denoting these are pre-1970 guitars.
1970`s style stamped serial
Left: 1977 Gibson decal serial number for an ES-335,