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usa headstock stamp


New member
Mar 8, 2007
I have a freind who swears his les paul custom is a 68 model and wants to sell it .The serial no. are 9xxxxx
so this is correct for a 68 and it is black which I believe was the only color availible, the problem is that it has MADE IN USA stamped under the serial no .I am sure I read that gibson did not start stamping MADE IN USA under the serial no. on the headstock untill the early 70's.
Could anyone shed any light on this please thanks

Bob Womack

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2002
According to Bacon & Day, "Made in USA" impressed in the back of the headstock occurred from 1970-1975. According to them, the 9xxxxx serials occurred in both 1968 and from 1970-1972.


Ebony Block

New member
Dec 20, 2006
Another way to confirm the year is the pot dates in the back control cavity.
I recently researched a guitar being sold on Ebay, claimed as being a 68/69 SG Std with the serial number 958346 with made in USA (made in USA was not mentioned in ad). After many emails the owner finally fessed up the pot codes 1377150.
137 being the manufacturers code, 71 being the year of maufacture and 50 being the week of the year. So Pots were made 1971, 50th week. So this guitar was a 1972 model.
This should help your mate come to terms with the year of manufacture of his guitar.
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All Access/Backstage Pass
Mar 11, 2002
Now, more than ever, people wish their guitars were 1968.

Besides the stamp, there will be a lot of thing different about his guitar that will tell him it's no 68.

The neck will be three piece, It has a volute, the body will be layered, the logo is block style with closed "b" and "o", the top carve will not be deep dish, etc.


Les Paul Froum Member
Dec 20, 2004
There is one exception (although rare) made in the USA stamp was sometimes put on export guitars before 1970. But all the other clues stated previously are more important (pot dates, volute, pancake body etc)


New member
Feb 25, 2024
@kink56 - I have a potential 1968 to by. Has volute, made in USA. Guy is in his 80s and assures me he purchased and played it in 1968. I have nothing else to go by until I see it. Could it even be possible ?