The sixth number is now a batch number- batch 0 starts at the beginning of the day, and once 699 is stamped, the batch number will change to 1.
The first 5 numbers remain the same, the last 3 numbers will remain the same.
It will return the birth date of your guitar and the manufacturing plant.
The ink stamped number consists of 5 digits, where there is a space between the first digit (representing the last digit of the year) and the following 4 (chronologic serial number).
Keep in mind, Gibson never inked serial numbers on the Gibson Les Paul Standard but they did ink the custom shop series and some Les Paul Classics. On the real one, you can see the binding actually rides up, just a little, on the fret.
Another thing to look for is whether the numbers are too close. The fake one on the right has no serial number at all. You can search for your serial number at The Guitar Dater Project.
First of all, if anyone, especially a seller based in China is selling a Gibson Les Paul for an alarmingly low price, you probably want to pass. Fakes usually have the serial number either engraved too deep into the wood or inked (with too much ink).
Electric Guitars built at the Gibson USA plant in Nashville are ranked from 500-999.
Hey Zach, I have a Gibson Les Paul I’m trying to identify.
Upper Right: Starting in 1970, Gibson began stamping “Made in USA” on the back of the headstock.
Lower Right: The fourth and fifth numbers of this seven-digit potentiometer date code reveal the last two digits of its year of manufacture. Hi Brian, There’s no question that dating Gibson guitars is challenging—and sometimes downright impossible.