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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member JJ Blair's Avatar
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    Gold Top greening gallery

    I was hoping we could have a good collection of greening pics. I've noticed that none of the refinishers actually do it right, and it would be nice to have a resource to look at for comparison. Also, feel free to post '68s and '69s, because I'm curious to see if my observation that they tend to wear and green differently than '50s GTs is correct.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member GTP 70929's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Good proposal. I also look forward to seeing the pics

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member captaincanada's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Here's a 69' (not owned by me )



    Lee Roy Parnell's 56' is pretty green:


  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member mbowen's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Here is a 1957-i owned that had some green where the arm rests--shown with an SG Special in TV yellow.Mike B.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    This one is a bit green:

    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    And, a close up shot:

    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member JJ Blair's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Notice how the kelly green one that '69 never happens on '50s Pauls? I wonder what was different about the finish that made that happen. We're they spraying green under the gold or something?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Greco's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    I think the reason most refinishers can't replicate this to a satisfactory level is it is difficult to speed up the process, and easier to use some kind of green dye. Although this looks fake, and fake greening is generally perceived as negatively as a heavy relic.

    As far as I'm aware all real greening is from corrosion of the metal flakes in the paint. The metal flakes become exposed to air and moisture through areas of heavy wear and heavy checking. Most refinishes aim for light wear and have brand new checking. The checking is important because, new checking is undetectable at certain angles and if you run your finger over it and wouldn't expose much gold flake to the elements. Where as old checking (like on Tom's GI Paul) is defined by deep wide valleys which you would feel if you ran your finger over them and go down to the bare wood in some cases. It's very hard to fake this old checking.

    Then there's the pigment itself. We know what the stuff was which was used in the 50s and it's available today from the same manufacturer. HM and Florian use it, among others I believe. It's a bronze(?) powder suspended in clear lacquer. Where as the stuff used in the 60s looks totally different. Probably a different manufacturer, grade of powder, or even a different metal altogether, maybe some sort of pre-made 'gold paint' available at the time.

    There are many examples of 50s gold where the paint seems to wear off in layers. I think they sprayed the bodies clear first, then built up layers of gold, clear, gold , clear. Usually about 3 or 4 layers of quite thick paint until it had enough coverage:



    This means that it takes a lot of wear to expose the gold flakes. The 60s and Norlin goldtops seem to green very easily and it seems to green the top layer of paint, which makes me think that maybe (because the paint is metal flakes in clear) they didn't clear coat the guitars as a final step? Or certainly didn't use so many layers. This means that there's a lot more flake exposed to the surface.

    Anyway we need more photos of all gold LPs, they're my favourite
    Last edited by Greco; 10-19-12 at 07:04 AM.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Greco's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Here's a good one


  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Hardrockmapletop's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery


  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member GTP 70929's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery



    If there was a contest of the World's most beaten 50's GTP (but still playable), I think that TW59 GI Paul and Lee Roy Parnell's 56 would be in the short-list.

    As far as I remember from Robb Lawrence's Les Paul Legacy Vol.1, Bruce Conte's 57 GTP was quite beaten as well.

    Thanks for all these incredible pics.

  12. #12

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery



    '52 all gold with minimal greening.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Here's Snowy White's Goldtop:

    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Blair View Post
    Notice how the kelly green one that '69 never happens on '50s Pauls? I wonder what was different about the finish that made that happen. We're they spraying green under the gold or something?
    Yes the 68-early 70's had a little different Gold color and hue to begin with.
    Top carves are sexy

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner and Moderator CDaughtry's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    The Mutt wants to play......




  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member alschnier's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    here's a well loved, all gold '54 that just came my way...








  17. #17

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post

    There are many examples of 50s gold where the paint seems to wear off in layers. I think they sprayed the bodies clear first, then built up layers of gold, clear, gold , clear. Usually about 3 or 4 layers of quite thick paint until it had enough coverage:





    Interesting to say the least. I have this '53 GT that I always have thought was over sprayed/ refinished. I can see at least two layers of gold in the arm wear area. It looks exactly like this one but just two layers. Hmm....this put things in a new light

    Here's the guitar in question.

    Last edited by GooCart; 10-19-12 at 09:16 AM.
    Magnus Melkersson/ Umeå, Sweden

  18. #18

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    1952. Unfortunately, somebody clear coated the top some time ago. Probably to stop the greening.








  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member gypsyseven's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    I love this thread!!!!!!!

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesforstevie's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by TW59 View Post
    This one is a bit green:

    That just kicks ass!!!

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Top carves are sexy

  22. #22

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher View Post


    '52 all gold with minimal greening.
    holy gold ju-ju-bees

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member roadrunner's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsyseven View Post
    I love this thread!!!!!!!
    Me too!
    Achieve the Possible!


  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Pat Boyack's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    She's not vintage but for the moment she was green. Weird.


  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner and Moderator CDaughtry's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery


  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member Musicman's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by CDaughtry View Post
    AMAZING, you'll never find your way out of that maze!

  27. #27

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    TW59,
    Can you explain the unique "extreme wear" on your gold top by the pickup selector ring? I see the other well worn GT's have slight wear in the same area but nothing like yours. I love it. I am trying to imagine what, other than being played hard for 50+ years, (e.g. jewelery? shirt sleves, etc.) could cause same to such a high degree.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member D'Mule's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by CDaughtry View Post
    I'd like to see someone attempt that with a razor blade.

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  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member 1970goldielux's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    This is my favourite guitar in the world. Not just this forum but anywhere in the world. (Though The Mutt is a close 2nd) I prefer this to any burst. And I know nothing about it.


  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member 1970goldielux's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Here is mine. The OP wanted to see how the later ones aged. Pretty well I think. I went over the cutoff date by a few months. This is a 1970 with Throbaks.


  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by 1970goldielux View Post
    This is my favourite guitar in the world. Not just this forum but anywhere in the world. (Though The Mutt is a close 2nd) I prefer this to any burst. And I know nothing about it.

    If you are ever coming to a Texas show, let me know and maybe I can bring G.I.Paul to show you.
    It is fun in person.

    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  32. #32

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery


    This belongs to a friend of mine.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member gypsyseven's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    My 2002 R6 is already getting a little greenier, but it's probably too early to get it on pics...

  34. #34

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by captaincanada View Post
    Here's a 69' (not owned by me )



    That's my '69, thanks for posting it.

    Here are a few more close-ups of the wear...






  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member avereste's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    ...
    Forgive my english

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member avereste's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Why do goldtops wear out much more than burts?
    And I'm not talking about the greening, but about the finish missing.
    Forgive my english

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by avereste View Post
    Why do goldtops wear out much more than burts?
    And I'm not talking about the greening, but about the finish missing.
    The metalic finish is very different.
    Much thicker and cracks differently.
    Plus, it corrodes.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  38. #38

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by skilback View Post
    That's my '69, thanks for posting it.

    Here are a few more close-ups of the wear...






    Thats one of the best looking guitar ive ever seen in my whole life ! its just breathtaking !


  39. #39

    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbag View Post
    Thats one of the best looking guitar ive ever seen in my whole life ! its just breathtaking !


    Glad you dig it too!

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Gold Top greening gallery

    here's what Gibson says about the old gold finish:

    "Despite being universally referred to as “gold,” the tint added to the mixture of clear nitrocellulose lacquer and reducer in order to produce the metallic gold effect is actual a bronze powder. This bronze powder doesn’t dissolve in the lacquer, rather its tiny reflective particles are suspended in it.

    Get up close to a genuine Goldtop and you’ll see not only the deep, almost three-dimensional luster this produces, but also the refracted light and reflectivity of the bronze powder flecks themselves. The overall effect is a kind of iridescence, with a deep, lustrous gold hue apparent in a straight-on view of the body, and a greenish-bronze tint when you view the guitar at a slight angle or tilt it to roll the light off the carved arches in the top.

    Over the bronze-tinted coat is sprayed a clear coat nitrocellulose lacquer, which is prone to further “greening” with age—a “flaw” that many makers sought to eliminate in the 1970s and ’80s with the use of more stable polyurethane and polyester finishes, but which is widely accepted as part of the natural beauty of many vintage guitars, as well as many contemporary reproductions. "

    http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyl...-Glorious.aspx

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