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If you know the backstory around when the instrument was purchased, this can provide some rough clues about its era.The most general physical piece of evidence on the instrument, however, is going to be the logo on the headstock.The original logo featured the words "The Gibson" inlaid in pearl at a slant, with an almost hand-written cursive font.
Plant designations are as follows: 001-499 = Kalamazoo 500-999 = Nashville (300-999 from 1990-present) 001-299 = Bozeman, Montana (acoustics only starting 1989) * Kalamazoo numbers were discontinued in 1984.
A difference of only one year - sometimes even several months - can mean a four-figure difference in value.
Our hope is to make the dating process and, in turn, the valuation as easy, accurate and transparent as possible.
Once again the system was modified in 1970 to a six digit number pressed into the back of the headstock.
Unfortunately, the numbers were in no particular order. 1970 also saw the end of the orange labels on the inside of hollowbodies and acoustics.Unfortunately not all instruments were numbered and not all followed the number pattern so all dates are approximate.