Another New Serial Number Scheme 1973 to 1981 A number is impressed into back of the headstock.
The 1 or 2 digits before the hyphen show the month (1=Jan, 12=Dec.) The first digit after hyphen shows the last digit of year.
Of those last four sequential-order digits, 0001 through 0100 designate prototype and one-off models, sample instruments and other special instruments; 0101 through 9999 designate all regular production models.
Toward the end of 1967, Baldwin took over the Gretsch Company.
We’ll cover those older serial numbering systems in another installment.
As for the present, the modern system is quite simple.
In other words, try not to obsess over this stuff too much.
On solidbodies, it's usually inside the control cavity.
Note also that Gretsch, like the Detroit automakers, had model years, so in the same way a '57 Thunderbird may have been made in 1956, a '57 White Falcon may have been made earlier.
Most online guides (and quite a few print guides) are based on Jay Scott's groundbreaking book "Gretsch: the guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company," which is a fine book, but is nearly two decades old.
Subsequent research has unearthed quite a few inaccuracies in Scott's numbers, so any serial number guides cribbing from Scott are also incorrect.
In about 1969, Gretsch began to use another version of the Orange and Grey label on F-Hole instruments.