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For all dates, you will need to look at the construction technique and components used to get a more precise date of manufacture.

See my note at the bottom of the page for some 1953 and earlier models that do not have a serial number. Click Here To Visit My Store Gibson Solid Body Serial Numbers Gibson Serial numbers are located on the back of the headstock Years 1953-1961 Use the first number of the 5 or 6 digit serial number.

Since the value of a Gibson Les Paul differs widely between 19, it is very important to pinpoint the year.

As for dating pots, you are correct that the fourth and fifth numbers of the potentiometer date code indicate the last two digits of the year (that is, the “71” in your serial number stands for 1971).

The first two digits are the date code , for example 8699753 = 8699753 or 1986 note: The 1952 and 53 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top had no serial numbers.

On many of these and other Les Paul's lacking serial numbers you can read the code numbers on the volume and tone potentiometers, their on the sides of the cases.

I read on a Gibson forum that, on seven-digit pot codes, the fourth and fifth numbers represent the date.Based on the charts originally compiled from Gibson’s shipping ledgers by author A. Duchossoir, the serial number you provided could have been used on Gibson guitars produced in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, or 1975.The most important dating feature on guitars with six-digit serial numbers is that, starting in 1970, Gibson began stamping “Made In USA” near the serial number on the back of the headstock.I’ll start with trying to date the instrument, but keep in mind that dating and identifying Gibson guitars typically go hand in hand.I get several questions about Gibson serial numbers every day, and my initial answer is always to not expect or rely on the serial number alone to determine the year of manufacture.

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