Serial numbers are not the only thing that will give you a year for your Gibson. 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 Earlier models had an ink stamped serial number or no serial number at all, these are much more difficult to date.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).
2005-Current- 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 699 is stamped, the batch number will change to 1.
Right: The "inked on" serial number on this 1959 Les Paul Junior has no space between the "9" digit (year) and the rest of the numbers.
This happened only in 1955, 1956, 19 when production required a number above "9999", thus occupying the space. 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).
This is a quick way to tell if you have a post 69 Gibson. For Gibson's made after 1977, the first and fifth digit is the year made.
A" on the back of headstock, below the six digit serial number.
Lower Right: The fourth and fifth numbers of this seven-digit potentiometer date code reveal the last two digits of its year of manufacture. Hi Brian, There’s no question that dating Gibson guitars is challenging—and sometimes downright impossible.
There are two basic components to your Les Paul question: dating it and identifying it.
The first 5 numbers remain the same, the last 3 numbers will remain the same.
The only difference from the 1977-2005 is the addition of this batch indicator.
Around 1977, Gibson introduced the serialization method that they primarily use to this day at Gibson USA, Gibson Acoustic, and the Gibson Custom facility in Memphis, TN.