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PLATE NUMBERS Plate serial numbers have nothing to do with headstock serial numbers.In a case where a guitar has both the true serial number will always be the headstock number.1975 – Present This old style serial number will either be on the neck plate or impressed into the back of the headstock.It consists of a letter, A – L, followed by a 6 digit number.
HEADSTOCK SERIAL STICKERS 1987 – 1996 Guitars built in Japan between these years will have a serial number beginning with F followed by 6 numbers.On typical Ibanez serial numbers the first 2 digits will indicate year, or the first digit will indicate the last digit of the year, but there are also some that indicate no year at all.This page is for dating Ibanez guitars built in Japan only.The letter stands for the month, A for January etc., the first 2 digits will be the year, 76 is 1976, 96 is 1996, the last 4 digits will be the consecutive production number for that months production, 1356 would be the 1356th guitar produced that month.
This form of serial numbering is still used today on guitars where the number is impressed into the back of the headstock.Factories – Shown as F for Fujigen in the examples above, other factories used that mainly produced the budget models were C for Cort (Korea), S for Samick (Korea), W for World (Korea), and guitars are also built in Indonesia, China, and who knows where else.These serial numbers are usually quite different from the MIJ numbers, have many extra digits because of the enormous volume of guitars produced, and I am not familiar enough with any of them to tell you how to figure out the dating.JEM – UV – JEM plates are 6 digit and the first 2 digits is the production year while the last 4 is the consecutive number JEM built from inception. Except for the very first batch of 90′ UV plates that began 00, UV plates are also dated by the first 2 numbers. A Universe plate 912787 would denote a production year of 91 and the 2787th Universe built.