Gibson custom shop serial number dating
For old guitars we can only know the exact data reading the ESP warranty card (when there is), or unscrewing the neck (if the neck is bolt on) and read under it becuse probably theres the data write on pencil).I keep record of this data in order to try to deduce other correspondences.If you are lucky you can find a serial written on pencil where the body is bolted to the neck (or in the neck also) or in the pickup cavity.Follow this reference may not be accurate because probably they printed a certain number of plates and then put on guitars in a random manner, without noticing consecutive numeration. There are a number of distinct time periods for Gibson’s serial numbers, where the systems differed.
For this we apologize, and we are working to maintain a more consistent system going forward.
The first serial number for acoustic guitars was 100.
Once the serial numbers hit 99999, Gibson decided to change to a new system, rather than go into 6 digits.
The PRE-2015 system doesn't apply to early ESP's, some of which had no serial number tracking system at all and used random numbers. It all began a few years ago with the EU and a thing called the Ro HS (Regulation of Hazardous Materials) and Gotoh in Japan basically changed their production to ensure they didn’t lose the European market, and that being manufacturers who shipped to Europe, which is most everyone.
They changed pretty much everything for the “export” market, and export to most makers means anything but US. They have a way of producing black again now so expect it to all go back to the way most of us prefer over of old esp's does not have any serial on the back of the headstock.