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(Numbers are consecutive, but all number/year matches are approximate) Be aware that these numbers, while considered by most authorities to be accurate, may be substantially off. The next three digits are the model number, without the 6 at the beginning.
Several guitars have appeared that seem to use the new dating scheme from as early as Feb. There may have been overlap between the two numbering schemes, or the earlier method may have been phased out as early as 1963. The final numbers are the sequential order of the model made during the lifespan of the model (not that year).
When Fender took over production in January 2003 the serial number scheme changed again.
Toward the end of 1967, Baldwin took over the Gretsch Company.
Also, on guitars built in October, November or December, the third AND fourth digits denote the month.
One last thing to remember is that Gretsch years through the 90s were like model years for cars.
The only way to be clear, is to have an understanding of the feature sets of the instruments from the era.“Made In USA” was added to the serial number stamp and the numbers were date coded in the same way that they had been between ’65 and ’67.These serial numbers were also either 5 or 6 digit numbers, depending on the month of production.After the war that method continued, but some guitars had the serial number embossed on the headstock.With the advent of labels in the late '40s, the serial number is usually found on the label, which is usually visible through the soundhole on hollowbody models.