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Another exception to the above rules is in the autumn from 1958, where a some Les Paul Juniors and Specials had a four-digit serial number. From 1970 to 1975, the 6-digit serial numbers randomly generated.
In a random sequence numbers were stamped on the back of the headstock. In 1970, the orange labels in the body of acoustic guitars were replaced by white with orange rectangular labels.
Gibson has used various methods of numbering from 1900, so it is not simply based on the serial number to identify the year of manufacture..
From 1902 to 1976, Gibson instruments have a serial number or a FON (Factory Order Number) or both.
Thence 5 digits and no space between the year (5) and the serial number.
(After 5 9999 came 510 000) Evidently the production was high in 1956 because "6 9999" is exceeded.
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.
The batch number, the first four digits of the FON, followed by a one or two-digit number. The first digit of the serial number is the last digit of the year.
This means that instruments with the same serial number can be from the 60s or 70s.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).1935-1937: Letter between the batch number and the order number. 0123 A5 1938-1941: Two or three letters before batch number. If there is a second character follows it is the code for the type of the instrument.They wanted to introduce a more structured series of sequences but in practice, the opposite happened.During this period, numbers were reused, and in many cases the numbers were not strictly applied for the consecutive years.