The age of a Gibson guitar, along with the physical condition and relative rarity, are the major factors in determining its value.While physical condition can be assessed with a careful inspection, rarity and date of manufacture are not always easy to determine.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.Serial numbers show approximate date of manufacture.For all dates, you will need to look at the construction technique and components used to get a more precise date of manufacture.(G = Gibson, K = Kalamazoo, W = Recording King (Montgomery Wards).If follows there is a third letter E, it stands for Electric.
(After 5 9999 came 510 000) Evidently the production was high in 1956 because "6 9999" is exceeded.
Where to find the serial number The serial number is stamped or punched on the back of the headstock.
Factory Order Numbers (FON) with a letter from 1935 to 1941.
Gibson stopped the stamped serial numbers at the end in 1960, although there are a few guitars made in 1961 with a "1" as a prefix.
Some lap steels and Les Paul's from 1961 have such a serial number.