Thousands of dating numbers
Serial numbers have six numbers, with a three digit suffix. The final numbers are the sequential order of the model made during the lifespan of the model (not that year).For example, 946119-976 would be a June 1994 Tennessee Rose, the 976th made.Gretsch used several different serial number schemes through the years.Each of them can be used to accurately pinpoint the age of a guitar, if you have the correct information.For example, 27136 should be February (2), 1967 (7) and the 136th instrument made that month. (i.e., 1974 would be 4) Last 3 digits = number of the instrument.A hyphenated number was embossed on the back of headstock. For example, 3-8094 would be March (3), 1978 (8) and the 94th guitar made that month. The next three digits are the model number, without the 6 at the beginning.
Beginning in about 1957 a new label was introduced, which lasted until about 1965. Co." was printed in black on an orange shape that vaguely resembles a musical note. On the white part, the serial number is printed, and the model number should be handwritten.For example, serial number JT03074463 would break down as: Of those, JT is by far the most common on the pro-line instruments.However, other Japanese facilities have been used, so it's not particularly unusual to see JD and JF prefixes.After World War II, some guitars had a serial number embossed on the head, but reliable numbers didn't really appear until the advent of the first labels, around 1949.Early labelled Gretsches will usually have a printed serial number and a handwritten model number.