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These markets operate completely independent of the new-instrument market.If, however, you’re interested in determining a relative value for your instrument(s), we recommend that you contact used or vintage instrument dealers in your area.But once again, due to Fender’s modular production methods and often non-sequential serial numbering (usually overlapping two to four years from the early days of Fender to the mid-1980s), dating by serial number is not always precisely definitive.The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.They were made for the export market and have Made in USA stamped on the heel of the neck. REFERENCE MATERIALS FOR DATING FENDER INSTRUMENTS If you’re unable to identify the approximate production year of your instrument using the above charts, several excellent books are available that contain invaluable and reliable information on the history of Fender instruments. They are detailed reference resources with a wealth of information on determining the production years of various instruments and on Fender history in general.Indeed, we use these same books here at Fender when researching historical and date-related issues.For years, serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments, such as the top of the neck plate, the front or back of the headstock and the back of the neck near the junction with the body.
These serial numbers did not identify the country of origin in the body of the number.Notice that there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years.The only way to try to narrow the date range of your specific instrument is to remove the neck and check the butt end of the neck heel for a production date, which may be stamped or written there (if you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, please refer to an experienced professional guitar tech in your area). Serial numbering didn’t change immediately because instruments continued to be made using existing, tooling, parts and serial number schemes.You might consider referring to magazine ( a great and helpful resource for those who buy, sell and trade vintage instruments.You might also consider consulting one or more of the many instrument dealers who offer appraisals of vintage instruments, such as Elderly Instruments ( Gruhn Guitars ( Mandolin Bros.