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Sometimes a date is stamped or hand-written on the butt of the neck.Vintage reissue instruments have the date on the butt end of the neck like the originals.Also, labeling techniques have changed with Fender owners, slightly adding to the confusion. S.-made Fender guitars and basses from 1950 until today, since they are some of the predominant vintage guitars for sale on Vintageand Typically the serial number is penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.1972: A new eight-digit neck stamp was introduced colored either green or red. From 1972 to around March 1973, this new system was used simultaneously with the previous “XX MMM-YY W”.Again, either stamp can occur on instruments from this era.Determining the date can also be important from a collector’s perspective, since the pre-1966 vintage Fender guitars are generally considered the most valuable.
Since Fender could probably produce more than 999 of any one type instrument in a month, it is more likely a batch or lot number.On early ’50s Stratocaster guitars serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate.On some Telecaster guitars the serial number is found on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles.How to date and identify your Fender instruments using serial numbers and production date stamps.No one likes it when you forget their birthday and neither does your Fender. For most of Fender’s production history they have applied serial numbers and production dates that can help you determine their production date (within a few years’ margin, at least).