Dating fende guitars
As an example, 2-365 would be February (2), 1973 (3).
In January of 2003 the serial number scheme changed from the system previously used by Gretsch Guitars.
My intent with this site is to educate those who are on the hunt for that last affordable vintage Fender Stratocaster.
Some dealers simply go by the serial number, which you will discover can be far from accurate.
First four digits are paired up, 09 is the model number for the Stratocaster, and 00 is the neck configuration, in his case a fretted Maple neck with a Rosewood fingerboard. 38 is the week, 9 stands for the year, 1979, and 3 is the day of the week, which is Wednesday.
The '*' represents a middle digit that is either an 'X', a '-' or something that resembles a '1/2' or '1/4' fraction.
The first two digits identify the year of production and the second two digits identify the production month.
The remaining numbers identify the sequential yearly factory unit number, and include all instruments, in all models, built in that factory, in that specific year.This third iteration of the label had “Fred Gretsch Mfg. and serial No., and it said “That Great Gretsch Sound” at the bottom. The 5-digit numbers on these labels always begin with 1 or 2 and are sequential, do not follow the “date-coded” convention, and precise dates cannot be determined using the serial numbers.