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The “10” prefix was designed to identify the first year of the second decade of the new millennium, and while it appears on the instrument decals, it was not captured in Fender’s operating system.Only the seven-digit suffixes were actually entered into the database.The charts below detail the most common Fender serial number schemes from 1976 to the present.Once again, there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years.The chart below details Fender serial number schemes used from 1950 to 1964.Notice that there is quite a bit of overlap in numbers and years.Serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate on early ’50s Stratocaster® guitars, and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecaster® guitars.But once again, due to Fender’s modular production methods and often non-sequential serial numbering (usually overlapping two to four years from the early days of Fender to the mid-1980s), dating by serial number is not always precisely definitive.
(Please remember that this information is a compilation over time -- collected from secondhand information. We reserve the right to make changes at any time and make no claims as to accuracy.
Below is the download link for a special resource for dating Winchester firearms.
These pages were scanned from documents compiled over the years by the customer service department of Winchester Repeating Arms.
The only way to try to narrow the date range of your specific instrument is to remove the neck and check the butt end of the neck heel for a production date, which may be stamped or written there (if you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, please refer to an experienced professional guitar tech in your area). instruments with “V”-prefix serial numbers is to remove the neck and check the butt end of the neck heel for a production date, which may be stamped or written there.
Serial numbers with an “S” prefix denote the 1970s (signifying a CBS attempt to use serial numbers to identify production years); an “E” prefix was introduced in 1979 to denote the 1980s. Vintage Series instruments and “V”-prefix serial numbers. “N”-prefix serial numbers denoting the 1990s were introduced in 1990.