Dating guild guitars from serial numbers
Unfortunately, some documentation has been lost or destroyed over the years, resulting in some holes in the historical record in addition to a small number of anomalies, inconsistencies and outright dating errors.
All GAD instruments are stamped with a 10 digit internal manufacturing number located in the soundhole, at the base of the heel block.
This number embodies production information about the instrument.
Unfortunately, once again, records of Guild serial numbers before 1960 are at best sketchy, preventing us from being able to assure dating accuracy before that year.
Nonetheless, the charts below contain the best information we have on the approximate last serial numbers produced each year before 1960.
There are no corresponding model names or numbers available.
1952 – 1960 YEAR APPROXIMATE LAST SERIAL NUMBER PRODUCED 1953 1000-1500 1954 1500-2200 1955 2200-3000 1956 3000-4000 1957 4000-5700 1958 5700-8300 1959 12035 1960 – 1969 The following chart displays the first and last serial numbers of guitars produced in each given year (1960 to 1969).
There are other resources for dating Guild guitars which you may also want to consult, such as: “The Guild Guitar Book” by Hans Moust, and “Gruhn’s Guide To Vintage Guitars” by George Gruhn.
Both are excellent references and may be quite helpful to you in both determining the year of production of your instrument as well as identifying specifications and a historical context for the instrument.
If you are in the market to purchase an older Guild Guitar I would recommend checking the following sites on a regular basis: "for sale" section) 1. This allows you to personally inspect the instrument before purchasing. If you have the time to wait this is almost always the best option. Gbase is a good resource if you cant find what your looking for on ebay or craigslist.
Prices will be slightly higher on gbase when compared to ebay or craigslist.
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