• 1250 Boston Post Road
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Serial Numbers

Back to History

Martin Serial Numbers

Identifying Martin Stringed Instruments

Martin began producing instruments in 1833. Prior to serial numbers, the different instruments were identified by the Martin brand which was stamped into the back of the headstock, the upper portion of the back or on the back binding strut visible through the soundhole (the eased blocking reinforcing the center joint between the 2 back pieces).

The original instruments had a paper label that read: “Martin and Coupa”

1833 to 1867 The brand reads: “C.F. Martin New York”.
1867 to 1898 The brand reads: “C.F. Martin & Co. New York”.
1898 onward The brand reads: “C.F. Martin & Co. Nazareth, Pa.”
1888 to 1898 Paper label includes: “Charles A. Zoebisch & Sons” (Zoebisch was the sole distributor of Martin at the time).
1898 Serial numbers begin at #8000
1929 Model numbers were marked on the neck block, inside the body.

Some pre-1898 guitars have the date penciled on the top just inside the sound hole.

Before 1929, the model size and style designation was generally written on a paper label and glued inside the top of the instrument case.

1895 Mandolins were introduced
1915 Ukuleles, taropatches, tiples and Hawaiian guitars were introduced
1923 Tenor banjos were introduced

After workers at the Nazareth factory had been employed for a period of years they were permitted to fashion an instrument for themselves at the plant. Many of these unique instruments pop-up today and don’t fit any clear category. Fortunately, they are often signed by the builder.

Ukuleles did not carry serial numbers but can be roughly identified and dated by the headstock:

1895 to 1932 The Martin brand stamped on the back of the headstock.
1930 onward The Martin logo decal on the front of the headstock.
1895 to 1934 Bar frets
1934 onward Standard frets

Interestingly, the original order for Martin decals was placed in June of 1932. This implies that a number of ukuleles built in 1930 remained in the factory until being sold in 1932. It was, after all, the depression. This would also explain why the occasional pre-1932 Martin guitar appears with a decal.

Martin Serial Numbers: Guitars
Year Last Number
1898 x8,348
1899 x8,716
1900 x9,128
1901 x9,310
1902 x9,528
1903 x9,810
1904 x9,988
1905 10,120
1906 10,329
1907 10,727
1908 10,883
1909 11,018
1910 11,203
1911 11,413
1912 11,565
1913 11,821
1914 12,047
1915 12,209
1916 12,390
1917 12,988
1918 13,450
1919 14,512
1920 15,848
1921 16,758
1922 17,839
1923 19,891
1924 22,008
1925 24,116
1926 28,689
1927 34,435
1928 37,568
1929 40,843
1930 45,317
1931 49,589
1932 52,590
1933 55,084
1934 58,679
1935 61,947
1936 65,176
1937 68,865
1938 71,866
1939 74,061
1940 76,734
1941 80,013
1942 83,107
1943 86,724
1944 90,149
1945 93,623
1946 98,158
1947 103,468
1948 108,269
1949 112,961
1950 117,961
1951 122,799
1952 128,436
1953 134,501
1954 141,345
1955 147,328
1956 152,775
1957 159,061
1958 165,576
1959 171,047
1960 175,869
1961 181,297
1962 187,384
1963 193,327
1964 199,626
1965 207,030
1966 217,215
1967 230,095
1968 241,925
1969 256,003
1970 271,633
1971 294,270
1972 313,302
1973 333,873
1974 353,387
1975 371,828
1976 388,800
1977 399,625
1978 407,800
1979 419,900
1980 430,300
1981 436,474
1982 439,627
1983 446,101
1984 453,300
1985 460,575
1986 468,175
1987 476,216
1988 483,952
1989 493,279
1990 503,309
1991 512,487
1992 522,655
1993 535,223
1994 551,796
1995 570,434
1996 592,930
1997 624,799
1998 668,796
1999 724,077
2000 780,500
2001 845,644
2002 916,759
2003 978,706
2004 1,042,558
2005 1,115,862
2006 1,197,799
2007 1,268,091
2008 1,337,042
2009 1,406,715
Martin Serial Numbers: Mandolins
Year Last Number
1895 x,x23
1896 x,112
1897 x,155
1898 x,359
1899 x,577
1900 x,800
1901 x,881
1902 1,171
1903 1,348
1904 1,507
1905 1,669
1906 2,026
1907 2,357
1908 2,510
1909 2,786
1910 3,098
1911 3,431
1912 3,847
1913 4,162
1914 4,462
1915 4,767
1916 5,007
1917 5,752
1918 6,370
1919 7,237
1920 8,761
1921 9,627
1922 10,196
1923 11,020
1924 11,809
1925 12,520
1926 13,359
1927 13,833
1928 14,170
1929 14,680
1930 14,892
1931 15,290
1932 15,476
1933 15,528
1934 15,729
1935 15,887
1936 16,156
1937 16,449
1938 16,580
1939 16,747
1940 16,957
1941 17,263
1942 17,405
1943 none
1944 none
1945 none
1946 17,641
1947 18,303
1948 19,078
1949 19,559
1950 20,065
1951 20,521
1952 20,902
1953 21,452
1954 21,952
1955 22,254
1956 22,629
1957 22,985
1958 23,111
1959 23,262
1960 23,512
1961 23,663
1962 23,938
1963 24,139
1964 24,339
1965 24,439
1966 24,564
1967 24,639
1968 24,839
1969 24,989
1970 25,039
1971 25,065
1972 25,289
1973 25,339
1974 25,679
1975 25,895
1976 26,045*
1977 26,101
1978 None
1979 26,112
1980 26156
1981 26,215
1982 26,225
1983 26,247
1984 26,254
1985 26,263
1986 26,273
1987 26,279
1988 26,281
1989 26,283
1990 26,291

* 259,996-260,020 could also be 1976

Martin Serial Numbers: Range & Production
Year Serial #-Start Serial #-End (Total production)
1898 8001 8349 (347)
1899 8350 8716 (367)
1900 8717 9128 (411)
1901 9129 9310 (181)
1902 9311 9528 (217)
1903 9529 9810 (281)
1904 9811 9988 (177)
1905 9989 10120 (131)
1906 10121 10329 (208)
1907 10330 10727 (397)
1908 10728 10883 (155)
1909 10884 11018 (134)
1910 11019 11203 (184)
1911 11204 11413 (209)
1912 11414 11565 (151)
1913 11566 11821 (255)
1914 11822 12047 (225)
1915 12048 12209 (161)
1916 12210 12390 (180)
1917 12391 12988 (597)
1918 12989 13450 (461)
1919 13451 14512 (1061)
1920 14513 15484 (1335)
1921 15485 16758 (909)
1922 16759 17839 (1080)
1923 17840 19891 (2051)
1924 19892 22008 (2116)
1925 22009 24116 (2107)
1926 24117 28689 (4572)
1927 28690 34435 (5745)
1928 34436 37568 (3132)
1929 37569 40843 (3274)
1930 40844 45317 (4473)
1931 45318 49589 (4271)
1932 49590 52590 (3000)
1933 52591 55084 (2493)
1934 55085 58679 (3594)
1935 58680 61947 (3267)
1936 61948 65176 (3228)
1937 65177 68865 (3688)
1938 68866 71866 (3000)
1939 71867 74061 (2194)
1940 74062 76734 (2672)
1941 76735 80013 (3278)
1942 80014 83107 (3093)
1943 83108 86724 (3616)
1944 86725 90149 (3424)
1945 90150 93623 (3473)
1946 93624 98158 (4534)
1947 98159 103468 (5309)
1948 103469 108269 (4800)
1949 108270 112961 (4691)
1950 112962 117961 (4999)
1951 117962 122799 (4837)
1952 122800 128436 (5636)
1953 128437 134501 (6064)
1954 134502 141345 (6843)
1955 141346 147328 (5982)
1956 147329 152775 (5446)
1957 152776 159061 (6285)
1958 159062 165576 (6514)
1959 165577 171047 (5470)
1960 171048 175689 (4641)
1961 175690 181297 (5607)
1962 181298 187384 (6086)
1963 187385 193327 (5942)
1964 193328 199626 (6298)
1965 199627 207030 (7403)
1966 207031 217215 (10184)
1967 217216 230095 (12879)
1968 230096 241925 (11829)
1969 241926 256003 (14077)
1970 256004 271633 (15629)
1971 271634 294270 (22636)
1972 294271 313302 (19031)
1973 313303 333873 (20570)
1974 333873 353387 (19513)
1975 353388 371828 (18440)
1976 371829 388800 (16971)
1977 388801 399625 (10824)
1978 399626 407800 (8174)
1979 407801 419900 (12099)
1980 419901 430300 (10399)
1981 430301 436474 (6173)
1982 436475 439627 (3152)
1983 439628 446101 (6473)
1984 446102 453300 (7198)
1985 453301 460575 (7274)
1986 460576 468175 (7599)
1987 468176 476216 (8040)
1988 476217 483952 (7735)
1989 483953 493279 (9323)
1990 493280 503309 (10032)
1991 503310 512487 (9177)
1992 512488 522655 (10167)
1993 522656 535223 (12567)
1994 535224 551696 (16472)
1995 551697 570434 (18737)
1996 570435 592930 (22495)
1997 592931 624799 (31868)
1998 624800 668796 (43996)
1999 668797 724077 (55280)
2000 724078 780500 (56422)
2001 780501 845644 (65143)
2002 845645 916759 (71115)
2003 916760 978706 (61947)
2004 978707 1042558 (63852)
2005 1042559 1115862 (79904)
2006 1115863 1197799 (81937)

Gibson Serial Numbers

The serial numbers started with number 100 and go to 99999. We’ve found many exceptions to these numbers but they are an OK guideline to the approximate date of manufacture.

Gibson Serial Numbers: 1903-1947
Year Last Number
1903 1150
1904 1850
1905 2550
1906 3350
1907 4250
1908 5450
1909 6950
1910 8750
1911 10850
1912 13350
1913 16100
1914 20150
1915 25150
1916 32000
1917 39500
1918 47900
1919 53800
1920 62200
1921 69300
1922 71400
1923 74900
1924 80300
1925 82700
1926 83600
1927 85400
1928 87300
1929 89750
1930 90200
1931 90450
1932 90700
1933 91400
1934 92300
1935 92800
1936 94100
1937 95200
1938 95750
1939 96050
1940 96600
1941 97400
1942 97700
1943 97850
1944 98250
1945 98650
1946 99300
1947 99999

Labels that are white oval were used from 1902 to 1954. The oval label were then changed to orange. On instruments with round sound holes, the label is visible directly inside. On f-hole instruments, it is visible through the upper f-hole. The second type of serial numbers used started with an A prefix and ran from 1947 to 1961. The first number is A 100.

Gibson Serial Numbers: 1947-1961
Year Last Number
1947 A 1305
1948 A 2665
1949 A 4410
1950 A 6595
1951 A 9420
1952 A 12460
1953 A 17435
1954 A 18665
1955 A 21910
1956 A 24755
1957 A 26820
1958 A 28880
1959 A 32285
1960 A 35645
1961 A 36150

In 1961 it changed again. The following are the approximate serial number ranges.

Gibson Serial Numbers: 1961-1968
Year Serial #-Start Serial #-End
1961 100 42440
1962 42441 61180
1963 61450 64220
1964 64240 70500
1962 71180 96600
1963 96601 99999
1967 000001 008010
1967 010000 042900
1967 044000 044100
1967 050000 054400
1967 055000 063999
1967 064000 066010
1967 067000 070910
1967 090000 099999
1963-67 100000 106099
1963 106100 108900
1963-67 109000 109999
1963 110000 111549
1963-67 111550 115799
1963 115800 118299
1963-67 118300 120999
1963 121000 139999
1963-67 140000 140100
1963 140101 144304
1964 144305 144380
1963 144381 145000
1963 147009 149864
1964 149865 149891
1963 149892 152989
1964 152990 174222
1964-65 174223 176643
1964 176644 199999
1964 200000 250335
1965 250336 291000
1965 301755 302100
1965 302754 305983
1965-67 306000 306100
1965-67 307000 307985
1965-67 309848 310999
1965 311000 320149
1967 320150 320699
1965 320700 321100
1965 322000 326600
1965 328000 328500
1965 328700 329179
1965-67 329180 330199
1965-67 1968 330200 332240
1965 332241 347090
1965 348000 348092
1966 348093 349100
1965 349121 368638
1966 368640 369890
1967 370000 370999
1966 380000 385309
1967 390000 390998
1965-67 1968 400001 400999
1966 401000 407985
1966 408000 408690
1966 408800 409250
1966 420000 426090
1966 427000 429180
1966 430005 438530
1966 438800 438925
1965-69 500000 500999
1965 501010 501600
1968 501601 501702
1965-68 501703 502706
1968 503010 503110
1965-68 503405 520955
1968 520956 530056
1966-69 530061 530850
1968-69 530851 530993
1969 530994 539999
1966-69 540000 540795
1969 540796 545009
1966 550000 556910
1969 558012 567400
1966 570099 570755
1969 580000 580999
1966-68 1969 600000 600999
1969 601000 601090
1969 605901 606090
1966-67 700000 700799
1968-69 750000 750999
1966-68 1969 800000 800999
1966-69 801000 812838
1969 812900 814999
1969 817000 819999
1966-69 820000 820087
1966 820088 823830
1969 824000 824999
1966-69 828002 847488
1966 847499 858999
1967 859001 880089
1967 893401 895038
1968 895039 896999
1967 897000 898999
1968 899000 899999
1968 900000 902250
1968 903000 920899
1968 940000 941009
1968 942001 943000
1968 945000 945450
1968 947415 956000
1968 959000 960909
1968 970000 972864

From 1970-1975 all numbers were stamped into wood and assigned a six digit number. There are many exceptions and sometimes letter prefixes were used. The orange labels inside hollow bodied instruments were discontinued in 1970 and replaced by white and orange rectangle labels on the acoustics and small black, purple and white rectangle labels were used on electric models.

In 1970, the words “MADE IN USA” was stamped into instrument headstocks (though a few instruments from the 1950s also had MADE IN USA stamped into their headstocks).

Year(s) and Approximate Serial Numbers

  • 1970, 1971, and 1972 100000s, 600000s, 700000s, 900000s
  • 1973 000001s, 100000s, 200000s, 800000s and a few “A” + 6 digit numbers
  • 1974 and 1975 100000s, 200000s, 300000s, 400000s, 500000s, 600000s, 800000s and a few A-B-C-D-E-F + 6 digit numbers

During the period from 1975-1977 Gibson used a transfer that had eight digit numbers, the first two indicate the year, 99=1975, 00=1976 and 06=1977, the following six digits are in the 100000 to 200000 range. MADE IN USA were also included on the transfer and some models had LIMITED EDITION also applied. A few bolt on neck instruments had a date ink stamped on the heel area.

In 1977, Gibson first introduced the serialization method that is in practice today. This updated system utilizes an impressed eight digit numbering scheme that covers both serializing and dating functions. The pattern is as follows:

  • YDDDYPPP
  • YY is the production year
  • DDD is the day of the year
  • PPP is the plant designation and/or instrument rank.

The numbers 001-499 show Kalamazoo production, 500-999 show Nashville production. The Kalamazoo numbers were discontinued in 1984. When acoustic production began at the plant built in Bozeman, Montana in 1989, the series numbers were reorganized. Bozeman instruments began using 001-299 designations and, in 1990, Nashville instruments began using 300-999 designations. It should also be noted that the Nashville plant has not reached the 900s since 1977, so these numbers have been reserved for prototypes.

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. However, it has come to light recently that the Kalamazoo plant did not directly switch over to the “new” 8 digit serialization method in 1977. When the Nashville Gibson plant was opened in 1974, it was decided that the bulk of the production of products would be run in the South; the Kalamazoo plant would produce the higher end (fancier) models in the North. Of course, many of the older guitar builders and craftsmen were still in Kalamazoo; and if they weren’t ready to change how they built guitars, then they may not have been ready to change how they numbered them! Certain guitar models built in the late 1970s can be used to demonstrate the old-style 6 digit serial numbers.

It is estimated that Gibson’s Kalamazoo plant continued to use the 6 digit serial numbers through 1978 and 1979. So double check the serial numbers on those 1970s L-5s, Super 400s, and Super 5 BJBs!

Gibson’s Factory Order Number (FON) System
In addition to the above serial number information, Gibson also used Factory Order Numbers (FON) to track batches of instruments being produced at the time. In the earlier years at Gibson, guitars were normally built in batches of 40 instruments. Gibson’s Factory Order Numbers were an internal coding that followed the group of instruments through the factory. Thus, the older Gibson guitars may have a serial number and a Factory Order Number. The FON may indicate the year, batch number, and the ranking (order of production within the batch of 40). This system is useful in helping to date and authenticate instruments. There are three separate groupings of numbers that have been identified and are used for their accuracy. The numbers are usually stamped or written on the instrument’s back and seen through the lower F hole or round soundhole, or maybe impressed on the back of the headstock.

1908-1923 Approximate #s

Gibson Serial Numbers: 1908-1923
Year Factory Order Number
1908 259
1909 309
1910 545, 927
1911 1260, 1295
1912 1408, 1593
1913 1811, 1902
1914 1936, 2152
1915 2209, 3207
1916 2667, 3508
1917 3246, 11010
1918 9839, 11159
1919 11146, 11212
1920 11329, 11367
1921 11375, 11527
1922 11565, 11729
1923 11973

Factory Order Numbers for the years 1935-1941 usually consisted of the batch number, a letter for the year and the instrument number. Examples are as follows:

  • 722 A 23
  • 465 D 58
  • 863 E 02

Code Letter and Year

  • A 1935
  • B 1936
  • C 1937
  • D 1938
  • E 1939
  • F 1940
  • G 1941

Code Letter Factory Order Numbers were discontinued after 1941, and any instruments made during or right after World War II do not bear an FON codes. In 1949, a four digit FON was used, but not in conjunction with any code letter indicating the year.
From 1952-1961, the FON scheme followed the pattern of a letter, the batch number and an instrument ranking number (when the guitar was built in the run of 40). The FON is the only identification number on Gibson’s lower grade models (like the ES-125, ES-140, J-160E, etc.) which do not feature a paper label. Higher grade models (such as the Super 400, L-5, J-200, etc.) feature both a serial number and a FON.
When both numbers are present on a higher grade model, remember that the FON was assigned at the beginning of the production run, while the serial number was recorded later (before shipping). The serial number would properly indicate the actual date of the guitar. FON examples run thus:

  • Y 2230 21
  • V 4867 8
  • R 6785 15

Code Letter and Year

  • Z 1952
  • Y 1953
  • X 1954
  • W 1955
  • V 1956
  • U 1957
  • T 1958
  • S 1959
  • R 1960
  • Q 1961

After 1961 the use of FONs was discontinued at Gibson. There are still some variances that Gibson uses on some instruments produced today, but for the most part the above can be used for identifying instruments. For the most accurate identification you would need to contact the Gibson Guitar Corporation itself.

Gibson Banjo Serial Number Reference: 1925-1935

Gibson Banjo Serial Number Reference: 1925-1935
Serial # Model # Approx. Year of Mfg.
120-1 TB-1 1925
130.21 TB  
0394-5 TB-5 1929
416-8 TB-4 1930
800-7 TB-4 1932
807-1 RB-3 1933
820-1 TB-3 1925
8124-45 TB-3 1934
8161-22 RB-3 1934
8171-1 TB-3  
8208-7 TB-3 1926
8326-36 TB-1  
8444-8 TB-5 1926
8482-50 TB  
8535-2 TB-  
8662-6 TB-  
8684-3 GB-  
8701-9 TB-4 1929
8760-45 RB-  
8782-13 TB-4(5) 1928
8836-34 TB-4 1929
8852-14 GB-3 1930
8948-72 TB-3 1929
8977-54 TB-3 1928 (May 19th)
9114-4 TB-4 1929
9025-93 TB-3 1930
9135-4 All-Am 1934
9204-42 TB-3 1929
9226-27 TB-6 1929
9226-31 TB-6 1929
9470-42 Granada 1929-30
9639-9 RB-4 1934
9539-84 TB-1 1930
9549-64 TB-4  
9711-19 TB-2 1930
9711-24 TB-2 1930
9812-15 TB-3 1932
1107A-25 TB-1 1925
11109-14 TB 1923
11863-16 MB-3 1924
11938-13 TB-1 1925
41677-3 MB-3 1925

Gretsch Model and Serial Numbers

Gretsch Model Numbers

Gretsch Model Numbers: 1948-1975

1959

Model # Model Year
6000 Classic Hauser, inlaid headstock
6001 Classic Hauser, plain headstock
6002 Folk, sunburst
6003 Model 6003 1951-1955
Grand Concert 1955-1959
Jimmie Rodgers 1959-1963
Folk Singer 1963-1965
Folk, natural top 1965-1975
6004 Burl Ives 1952-1955
Folk, mahogany top 1970-1975
6005 Ozark Soft String
6006 Electro Classic
6007 Synchormatic Sierra
6008 Wayfarer Jumbo
6009 Jumbo Flat top
6010 Sun Valley
6014 Synchromatic 100, sunburst 1948-1949
Synchromatic 6014, sunburst 1949-1955
Corsair, sunburst 1955-1959
6015 Synchromatic 100, natural 1948-1949
Synchromatic 6015, natural 1949-1955
Corsair, natural 1955-1959
6016 Corsair, Bordequx burgundy
6020 12-string flat top
6021 Jumbo Synchromatic model 125F 1948-1955
6022 Rancher
6023 Bikini guitar
6024 Bikini bass
6025 Bikini double neck
6028 Synchromatic 160, sunburst
6029 Synchromatic 160, natural
6030 Synchromatic 6030, sunburst 1951-1955
Constellation, sunburst 1955-1959
Sho-Bro Spanish 1969-1971
6031 Synchromatic 6031, natural 1951-1955
Constellation, natural 1955-1959
Sho-Bro Hawaiian 1969-1971
6036 Synchromatic 300, sunburst 1948-1951
Synchromatic 6036, sunburst 1951-1955
6037 Synchromatic 300 1948-1951
Synchromatic 6037, natural 1951-1955
6038 Synchromatic 6038, sunburst 1951-1955
Fleetwood, sunburst 1955-1959
17″ Eldorado, sunburst 1959-1968
6039 Synchromatic 6039, natural 1951-1955
Fleetwood, natural 1955-1959
17″ Eldorado, natural 1959-1968
6040 Synchromatic 400, sunburst 1948-1951
Synchromatic 6040, sunburst 1951-1955
18″ Eldorado, surburst 1959-1968
6041 Synchromatic 400, natural 1948-1951
Synchromatic 6040, natural 1951-1955
18″ Eldorado, natural 1959-1968
6042 Synchromatic 400f flat top
6050 New Yorker
6070 Hollowbody bass, long scale, 1 pu
6071 Hollowbody bass, short scale, 1 pu
6072 Hollowbody bass, long scale, 2 pu
6073 Hollowbody bass, short scale, 2 pu
6075 12-string electric, sunburst
6076 12-string electric, natural
6079 Van Eps 7-string, sunburst
6080 Van Eps 7-string, walnut
6081 Van Eps 6-string, sunburst
6082 Van Eps 6-string, walnut
6000 Black Hawk, sunburst
6001 Country Club, stereo, sunburst 1959-1963
Black Hawk, black 1968-1972
6002 Country Club, stereo, natural 1959-1963
Streamliner double cutaway, sunburst 1969-1975
6003 Country Club, stereo, Cadillac Green 1959-1963
Streamliner double cutaway, cherry 1969-1975
6004 Rally, green
6005 Rally, bamboo yellow/cooper mist
6006 Princess
6011 Double Anniversary, stereo, sunburst
6012 Double Anniversary, stereo, 2-tone smoke green
6015 Rambler
6017 Double Anniversary, sunburst
Custom cat eye soundhole model 1965-1968
6018 Double Anniversary, 2-tone smoke green
6019 Chet Atkins Tennessean
6020 Chet Atkins Hollowbody 1954-1966
Nashville 1967-1971
6021 Chet Atkins Solidbody
6022 Chet Atkins Country Gentlemen
6024 Anniversary, sunburst
6025 Anniversary, 2-tone smoke green
6026 Astro-Jet
6027 DuoJet Tenor
RocJet, Porsche Pumkin 1969-1971
6028 DuoJet
6029 SilverJet
6030 Roundup 1955-1959
RocJet, Mercedes Black

1969-1973
6031 Jet FireBird
6032 Corvette Solidbody, 1 pu, no vibrato
6033 Corvette Solidbody, 2 pu, no vibrato
6034 White Penguin 1955-1963
Corvette Solidbody, 1 pu, vibrato 1963-1968
6035 Corvette Solidbody, 2 pu, vibrato
6036 White Falcon
6037 White Falcon, stereo
6045 Jet Airliner lapsteel
6047 Jet Mainliner lapsteel
6048 Jet Twin Console lapsteel, no legs
6048L Jet Twin COnsole lapsteel, 4 legs
6052 Electromatic Student lapsteel
6056 Electromatic Standard lapsteel
6058 Electromatic Console lapsteel
6082 Corvette hollowbody, sunburst
6083 Corvette hollowbody, natural
6084 Corvette holowbody, Jaguar Tan
6085 Electromatic Spanish, sunburst 1949-1955
Clipper, 2 pu, sunburst 1972-1974
6085N Electromatic Spanish, natural
6086 Clipper
6087 Electro II, non-cut, sunburst 1951-1955
Corvette, ivory top, grey mist body 1957
Corvette-style, cutaway, ivory top, grey mist body 1958
Clipper, natural 1959-1960
Viking, sunburst 1967-1975
6088 Electro II, non-cut, natural 1951-1955
Viking, natural 1967-1975
6089 16″ elctric cutaway, 2 pu 1950-1955
Streamliner single cut, bamboo yellow/copper mist 1955-1957
Viking, Cadillac Green 1967-1972
6090 16″ electric cutaway, 1 pu, sunburst 1950-1955
Streamliner single cut, sunburst 1955-1957
6091 16″ electric cutaway, 1 pu, natural 1950-1955
Streamliner single cut, natural 1955-1957
6092 Electro II, cutaway, sunburst 1951-1954
Country Club, sunburst 1955-1971
6093 Electro II, cutaway, natural 1951-1954
Country Club, natural 1955-1971
6096 Country Club, Cadillac Green
6099 Convertible 1955-1958
San Salvador 1958-1968
Gretsch Model Numbers: 1971-1981
Model # Model Year
7176 Southern Belle
7505 Folk, sunburst
7506 Folk, natural
7514 Sun Valley, sunburst
7515 Sun Valley, natural
7525 Rancher
7535 Deluxe
7545 Supreme
7555 Clipper
7560 Double Anniversary, sunburst
7565 Streamliner, sunburst
7566 Streamliner, cherry
7575 Country Club, sunburst
7576 Country Club, natural
7577 Country Club, walnut
7580 Van Eps, 7-string, sunburst
7585 Viking, sunburst
7586 Viking, natural
7593 White Falcon, single cutaway
7594 White Falcon
7595 White Falcon, stereo
7600 Broadkaster solidbody, natural
7601 Broadkaster solidbody, sunburst
7603 Broadkaster hollowbody, bigsby, natural
7604 Broadkaster hollowbody, bigsby, sunburst
7605 Broadkaster bass, natural
7606 Broadkaster bass, sunburst
7607 Broadkaster hollowbody, no bigsby, natural
7608 Broadkaster hollowbody, no bigsby, sunburst
7609 Broadkaster hollowbody, red
7610 RocJet, black 1971-1975
7611 RocJet, Porsche Pumpkin 1971-1975
RocJet, black 1975-1980
7612 RocJet, cherry
7613 RocJet, walnut
7615 Solidbody bass
7617 BST 1000, 2 pu, walnut
7620 Country Roc 1974-1979
BST 2000, walnut 1979-1980
7621 Roc II
7623 Corvette solidbody, 2 pu
7624 TK300, red
7625 TK300, natural
7626 TK300 bass, red
7627 TK300 bass, natural
7628 Committee
7629 Committee bass
7632 Deluxe Corvette
7655 Tennessean
7660 Nashville
7667 Streamliner II
7670 Country Gentlemen
7680 Deluxe Chet, red 1973-1975
Atkins Super Axe, red 1976-1980
7681 Deluxe Chet, walnut 1973-1975
Atkins Super Axe, ebony 1976-1980
7685 Atkins Axe, ebony
7686 Atkins Axe, red
7590 Super Chet, red
7691 Super Chet, walnut
7705 Sho-Bro Hawaiian, 6-string
7710 Sho-Bro Hawaiian, 7-string
7715 Sho-Bro Spanish
8210 BST1000, 1 pu, walnut
8211 BST1000, 2 pu, red
8215 BST1000, 2 pu, walnut
8216 BST1000, 1 pu, red
8217 BST1000, 2 pu, walnut
8220 BST2000, walnut
8221 BST2000, red
8260 BST5000
Gretsch Model Numbers: 1989-Present
Model # Model
400 Synchromatic, similar to Synchromatic 400
6010 Sun Valley, triangle soundhole
6020 Crimson Flyer, electric acoustic, cutaway, triangle soundhole
6022 Rancher acoustic
6030 Nightbird, electric acoustic, cutaway, triangle soundhole
6119 Tennessee Rose, similar to Tennessean
6120 The Nashville
6120w The Nashville, western
6121 Round Up
6122s Country Classic I, single cut, similar to 1958 Country Gentlemen
6122 Country Classic II, double cut, similar to 1961 Country Gentlemen
6128 DuoJet
6129 SilverJet
6131 Jet FireBird
6136 White Falcon I, single cutaway, no vibrato
6175 Electric acoustic fretted bass
6176 Electric acoustic fretless bass
7593 White Falcon I, single cutaway, bigsby
7594 White Falcon II, double cutaway, bigsby

Gretsch Serial Numbers

Before 1965 it is possible to determine the approximate date of the instrument by it’s serial number but a more accurate method is to consider both the serial number and the appropriate specifications together. The system of numbering at the Brooklyn Gretsch factory was approximate at best and many inconsistencies exist in both serial numbers and product line specifications. To complicate matters, Gretsch built many one-of-a-kind prototypes and there were employee variations on the cataloged lines.

Since there are examples of consecutively numbered instruments with different specifications, it appears that the serial numbers were not applied simply to batches of instruments.

1949 to 1965 Serial Numbers

Numbers can be found stamped in ink on the inside of the instrument back wood or on the Gretsch label itself. Most F-hole models have the label on the inside back and can be seen through the f-holes. Solidbody models with control plates have the label somewhere inside the control cavity. Some serial numbers have been found scratched on the inside control plate of solidbody guitars and sometimes the serial number is impressed on the top edge of the headstock.

Gretsch Serial Numbers: 1949-1965
Number Year
2000-3000’s 1949-1950
4000-5000 1951
5000-6000 1952
6000-8000 1953
9000-12000 1954
12000-16000 1955
17000-21000 1956
22000-26000 1957
27000-30000 1958
30000-34000 1959
34000-39000 1960
39000-45000 1961
46000-52000 1962
53000-63000 1963
63000-77000 1964
77000-84000 1964-early 1965 (partial-new number scheme started early 1965).

1965 to 1972 Serial Numbers

The number can be found on the back of headstock or on the top edge of the headstock and (prior to 1967) with no hypen in the number. Also: “Made in USA” is stamped on the back of the headstock next to the serial number starting in June 1967 through approximately 1973.

  • First digit or first 2 digits month (1-12)
  • Next digit last digit of the year (1965 to 1972: 5,6,7,8,9,0,1,2)
  • Remaining digits rank of individual instrument

Example:

  • 118243 November 1968, 243rd instrument
  • 31041 March 1971, 41st instrument
  • 993 September 1969, 3rd instrument

1973 to 1981 Serial numbers

Hyphenated number impressed into back of peghead.

  • 1 or 2 digits before hyphen month (1-12)
  • First digit after hyphen last digit of year
  • Last 3 digits rank of instrument

Example:

  • 10-5155 October 1975, 155th instrument
  • 4-622 April 1976, 22nd instrument

Levin Serial Numbers

1900-1970 Sequential-listed below
1-6 digits stamped into the top edge of the headstock-often difficult to read. Some banjo models have the serial number stamped on the inside of the rim.

1970-1972
6 digits hand-written on the label or printed on a silver sticker placed on, or near the label inside the instrument. It’s not uncommon for those stickers to fall off where they can sometimes be found loose inside the instruments.

1972-1974
6 digits printed on a small brown paper label glued to the label.

1974-1979
Six digits printed on the label.

Levin Serial Numbers
Year Serial #
1900 1-90
1901 91-473
1902 474-982
1903 983-1648
1904 1649-2673
1905 2674-4160
1906 4161-5842
1907 5843-8054
1908 8055-10065
1909 10066-12104
1910 12105-14475
1911 14476-17048
1912 17049-19757
1913 19758-22765
1914 22766-25785
1915 25786-29339
1916 29340-33829
1917 33830-38398
1918 38399-41750
1919 41751-45996
1920 45997-48663
1921 48664-49766
1922 49767-50960
1923 50961-52669
1924 52670-55018
1925 550>19-58262
1926 58263-61029
1927 61030-64274
1928 64275-68224
1929 68225-71939
1930 71940-75971
1931 75972-79078
1932 79079-82022
1933 82023-86306
1934 86307-91524
1935 91525-96981
1936 96982-102985
1937 102986-108392
1938 108393-114174
1939 114175-119373
1940 119374-123698
1941 123699-129542
1942 129543-135882
1943 135883-143365
1944 143366-154203
1945 154204-167856
1946 167857-183407
1947 183408-195194
1948 195195-208144
1949 208145-227015
1950 227016-243439
1951 243440-271455
1952 271456-291537
1953 291538-303551
1954 303552-321200
1955 321201-336743
1956 336744-350110
1957 350111-366295
1958 366296-384905
1959 384906-402016
1960 402017-411407
1961 411408-420508
1962 420509-429605
1963 429606-438472
1964 438473-448145
1965 448146-458480
1966 458481-474502
1967 474503-486142
1968 486143-491732
1969 491733-499256
1970 499257-507899
1971 507900-514799
1972 514800-522499
1973 522500-530599
1974 530600-538999
1975 539000-547499
1976 547500-554999
1977 555000-561600
1978 561601-564889
1979 564890-567750

The Levin factory closed in 1979. Some nylon string acoustic models were built by Landola in Finland.

Year Serial #
1980-198? 567751-570978 (latest known example)

Levin Serial Numbers and Model Names

In late 1947, Levin redesigned and modernized its entire line of instruments. Changes included cutaways on archtops, natural finish on some f-hole guitars and mandolins, and a line of nylon string acoustics. Up to that point, only the top 3 archtop guitar models (The De-Luxe, Solist and Royal), some early lutes and some fancier banjo models had names. All Levin’s other instruments were identified by a model number only.

After 1947 all models were given a name and a model number. The model number was inconsistently stamped as a prefix or suffix to the serial number. If the model was available in both natural and sunburst finish, the letter “N” would follow to denote a natural finish instrument. The use of a prefix or suffix was largely discontinued in 1955 when the most of the lines were redesigned again. Some prefix and suffix designations remained on old models until they were all discontinued by 1958. In the redesigned lines of 1955, all models were identified by model number only.

Levin Prefixes and Suffixes of the Lines of 1947-1955 (1958)
Model Name
1 De-Luxe
2 Solist
3 Royal
4 Orchestra
5 Star
6 Dansant
7 Valencia
8 Sevilla
9 Navarra
10 Madrid
11 Tarragona
12 Barcelona
13 Ambassadör
14 Princess
15 Diplomat
16 Carmen
17 Rio
18 Ideal
19 Amatör / Favorit
20 Senorita
21 Kentucky
22 Bolero
23 Havanna
24 Carmencita
25 Kansas
26 Pepita
27 Texas
28 Nevada
30 Trubadur
31 Artist
32 Opera
33 Sonett/Menuett
34 Revy/Elite
40 Aristokrat
41 King
42 Master
43 Serenad
44 Rosalie
45 Safir
46 Classic
47 Not Known
50 Konsert
52 Capri
53 Palermo
54 Taranto
70 Alto
75 Tenor
80 Oktavo
85 Oktavo
90 Kamiki
92 Honolulu
95 Hula

A few prefix or suffix’s were occasionally used-but without clear reason.

Levin Prefixes and Suffixes of the Lines of 1955-1963
Model Name
29 Rondo
55  
111  
112  
114  
115  
118  
124  
330  

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