Telecaster, Numbers On Bridge Plate
0001 to 0999 = 1950 to 1952
1000 to 5300 = 1952 to 1954
Precision
Basses 1951 to 1955 (number on bridgeplate). Note there is some overlap.
This system of serial numbers is unique to this model until about 1955 (even
though Fender went to a universal neckplate serial number system on all
instruments in 1954, some old style Precision Bass serialized bridges were
still left over and used until 1955.)
Pbass, Numbers on Bridge Plate
100 to 400 = 1951 to 1952
0001 to 0999 = 1952 to 1954
1000 to 2000 = 1953 to 1955
Neck plates, clockwise from top left:
1954, 1956, 1972, 1960.
All Models, summer 1954 to mid 1976 (serial number on neckplate).
In 1957/1958 some serial numbers started with a minus sign (""), or
had a "0" prefix before the number. Also in 1959/1960 some serial numbers
were at the bottom of the neck plate instead of the usual top. Double
stamped serial number plates were also produced (number on both front
and back of the neck plate) in late 1957 to early 1959. As a good example
of all four of these serial number oddities, click here.
This shows a "double stamped" neck plate, one number with a "" prefix
and stamped on the bottom of the plate, and the other number with a
"0" prefix! And yes there is some overlap in serial numbers between
years.
4 to 6 digit Neck Plate Serial Numbers (no other letters or
markings on the neck plate, except for the rare "" or "0" prefix, as
noted).
0001 to 6000 = 1954
6000 to 9000 = 1955
9000 to 16000 = 1956
16000 to 25000 = 1957 (some numbers with a "0" or "" prefix)
25000 to 30000 = 1958 (some numbers with a "0" or "" prefix)
30000 to 40000 = 1959
40000 to 58000 = 1960
55000 to 72000 = 1961
72000 to 93000 = 1962
93000 to 99999 = late 1963 to mid 1963
LSeries (late 1962
to late 1965) (serial number on neckplate preceded with an "L"):
L00001 to L20000 = late 1962 to late 1963
L20000 to L55000 = 1964
L55000 to L99999 = 1965
FSeries (late 1965
to mid1976) (big script "F" on neckplate below serial number):
100000 to 110000 = late 1965
110000 to 200000 = 1966
180000 to 210000 = 1967
210000 to 250000 = 1968
250000 to 280000 = 1969
280000 to 300000 = 1970
300000 to 330000 = 1971
330000 to 370000 = 1972
370000 to 520000 = 1973
500000 to 580000 = 1974
580000 to 690000 = 1975
690000 to 750000 = 1976
Serial Number on
Peghead Decal.
U.S. made Fenders, starting in mid1976 has the serial number on the peghead.
Note the following number could be off as much as two years. Generally
speaking, a "S" prefix equals the 1970's, "E" prefix equals the 1980's,
and "N" prefix equals the 1990's. Note "E" and "N" prefix models are sometimes
also Japanesemade (see below).
7600000 ("76" in bold) = 19761977
800000s = 19791981
1000000 to 8000000 = 19761981 (7 digits)
S100000'sS600000's = 19791982
S700000's to S770000's = 1977
S740000's to S800000's = 1978
S810000's to S870000's = 1979
S880000's to S980000's = 1980
S950000's to S990000's = 1981
E000000's to E100000's = 19791982
E200000's = 1982 
E300000's to E310000's = 1983  The serial # on Jeff's Telecaster is E 316334.  E320000's to E390000's = 19841985
E400000's = 1984, 1985, 1987
E800000's = 19881989
E900000's = 19891990
N900000's = 1990
N000000's = 19901991
N100000's = 1991
N200000's = 1992
N300000's = 1993
N400000's = 1994
N500000's = 1995
N600000's = 1996
N700000's = 1997
N800000's = 1998
N900000's = 1999
Japanese Serial
Numbers on Peghead Decal
Note the lack of S, E, N series. These are reserved for U.S. made Fenders
in their corresponding decade. BUT note that the "E" and "N" series does
sometimes appear on "made in Japan" models. This could have been a mistake
on Fender's part using the same prefix for both U.S. and Japmade guitars.
In any case, if it says "made in Japan", then it is...
JV + 5 Digits = 1982 to 1984
SQ + 5 Digits = 1983 to 1984
E + 6 Digits = 1984 to 1987
A + 6 Digits = 1985 to 1986
B + 6 Digits = 1985 to 1986
C + 6 Digits = 1985 to 1986
F + 6 Digits = 1986 to 1987
G + 6 Digits = 1987 to 1988
H + 6 Digits = 1988 to 1989
I + 6 Digits = 1989 to 1990
J + 6 Digits = 1989 to 1990
K + 6 Digits = 1990 to 1991
L + 6 Digits = 1991 to 1992
M + 6 Digits = 1992 to 1993
N + 6 Digits = 1993 to 1994
O + 6 Digits = 1994 to 1995
P + 6 Digits = 1995 to 1996
Dating Mexican Made Fenders
SERIAL NUMBERS CIRCA

MN0+ 5 DIGITS 
19901991 
MN1+ 5 DIGITS 
19911992 
MN2+ 5 DIGITS 
19921993 
MN3+ 5 DIGITS 
19931994 
MN4+ 5 DIGITS 
19941995 
MN5+ 5 DIGITS 
19951996 
MN6+ 5 DIGITS 
19961997 
MN7+ 5 DIGITS 
19971998 
MN8+ 5 DIGITS 
19981999 
MN9+ 5 DIGITS 
19992000 
MZ0+ 5 DIGITS 
20002001 
MZ1+ 5 DIGITS 
20012002 
MZ2+ 5 DIGITS 
20022003 
MZ3+ 5 DIGITS 
20032004 
MZ4+ 5 DIGITS 
20042005 
MZ5+ 5 DIGITS 
20052006 
Other Fender
Serial Number Schemes.
Fender has recently (in the last 20 years) introduced LOTS of different
serial numbers schemes, depending on the country the Fender was made
(USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea, etc). Not all schemes are covered here.
Below are some examples of letter prefixes used in recent serial number
schemes.
V : this prefix used for US made "vintage reissue" models, 1982 to present.
25 + 4 digits : 1979 to 1980 Anniversary Stratocaster.
AMXN : "AMX" means assembled in Mexico with American parts,
"N" is the decade (1990s).
MN : "M" means Mexican made, "N" is the decade (1990s).
C : this prefix used in 1982.
D : this prefix used in late 1981 to early 1982.
GO : this prefix used in the early 1980s.
SE : this prefix means a Signature Edition, 1982 to present.
4 digit decal on back of peghead: custom order model 1987 to present.
