Dating martin guitars with serial numbers
For all Martin guitars manufactured after 1928, the model and serial number is written here.Some older models also have the serial number written here.There is no master list to correlate to a model number, these are consecutive serialized numbers only.If you're trying to figure out what model something is from the serial number, figure out what year it is then go to the catalog library for the corresponding year [or year before or after] to find the model.Read the paper label on the inside of your guitar if you have yet to find a serial number. New York” and guitars made from 1898 onwards read “C. They have an easy-to-read chart telling you when your guitar was manufactured.The original Martins had a label that read “Martin and Coupa,” instruments made between 18 have the brand listed as "C. Martin New York," guitars manufactured between 18 have the brand listed as “C. Familiarize yourself with Martin's size designations. The common size designations are O, OO, OOO, OM and D, from small to large. Larger instruments tend to be worth more than smaller ones.
Just see where your serial fits in, and you'll have the year: There are a number of exceptions to the above.
Placing one of these designations on an older Martin guitar can be difficult, but as long as you have some idea, you can better ascertain the value of your guitar.
Contact Martin directly via their website if you have a guitar you think may be manufactured before 1898 (see Resources).
It can be a little dark in there, so you may need to use a flashlight (or the glow of smartphone) to read each digit.
There are other instances where you may find the serial number of any extant paperwork that came with the instrument.