JACKSON SERIAL NUMBER LOOKUP USA & Japan Guitars! How To Date & Identify a Jackson Guitar

Jackson Guitar Serial Number USA Lookup! This is the ULTIMATE GUIDE on how to date and identify your Jackson guitar. Essex Recording Studios is the largest collector and seller of Jackson guitars in the world, so it makes sense for you to come to us to get the facts and details on when your Jackson guitar was built. Jackson guitars has changed ownership several times, so someone working at the company today under Fender's ownership will not know what was going on when Grover Jackson owned Jackson Guitars back in the 80's! 

On Bolt-On-Neck models, the serial numbers are stamped into the neck plates
Jackson Guitar Serial Number USA Lookup Date Identify Lookup
On Neck-Thru-Body models, the serial number is stamped into the fingerboard at the last fret
Jackson USA Guitar Serial Number Neck-Thru Through Guitars Date Identify Lookup
The "Golden Era" of Jackson Guitars when they were at the height of their influence on rock and metal music is when they operated out of the San Dimas, California workshop. There were a few prototypes and pre-serialized guitars built, but the first Jackson serial number J0001 appeared in 1983 as did the first Randy Rhoads serial number RR0001. Production Jackson Bolt-On neck guitars will have a serial number that begins with 00 where a Custom Shop Bolt-On will just have the number with no 0's in the front of the serial number. Ontario, California factory neck-thru production guitars will gave a serial number beginning with "UO" where Ontario Custom Shop Jackson guitars have serial numbers that start with a "J". There are many people online claiming they have a "Custom Shop" Jackson that is in reality just a normal production model "USA Select" guitar. This is usually because the owner is not aware that special graphics could be ordered on production guitars or that different pickups were added later in its life, giving the guitar an appearance of being different from a "regular" USA production guitar. The serial number is always the dead giveaway. There are on rare occasions "UO" prefix guitars that are taken off the production line and given special paintjobs or hardware for NAMM or an endorsed artist, but this is rarely seen.

Jackson JS, X and Pro Series guitars that were made from 2013 until present day feature a 10-digit alphanumeric serial number located on the back of the headstock or neckplate. The first two number digits in the serial number identify the year the guitar was created. For example, a guitar with the serial number ICJ1500001 was made in 2015. The letter digits indicate the country and brand. J is of course for Jackson, and country letters like MX will indicate Mexico, or I for Indonesia or India. 

All Randy Rhoads neck-through-body guitars were given “RR****” serial numbers from 1983 to spring 1990. After that, only custom Rhoads guitars bore “RR****” serial numbers; production Rhoads guitars were considered “USA” models and given “U0****” serial numbers.

Neck-through-body guitars that weren’t Randy Rhoads models were given “J****” serial numbers, including Soloist™, King V™, Kelly™, Concert Bass and other models. After spring 1990, only custom neck-through-body models were given “J” serial numbers; production Soloist, Kelly and King V models, etc., were also considered “USA” models and given “U0****” serial numbers. There are exceptions to this rule—production neck-through-body models from the 1990s can sometimes be found with “J” or “RR” serial numbers instead of “U” serial numbers; these typically identify an instrument as a Jackson Custom Shop prototype of some kind. Also, a few Rhoads guitars were mistakenly released with “J” rather than “RR” serial numbers.

Jackson Import Bolt-on serial number guide:

6 Digit Serials
Starts w/ | Type of Jackson Guitar
0-5 | Professional (MIJ) [or No Series (MIJ) for 1995], first digit denotes year (0=1990, 5=1995)
6 | 1996 No Series (MIJ)
90-95 | Fusion (MIJ), first two digits denotes year (90=1990, 95=1994)
96 | 1996 No Series MIJ before switch to 7 digit serial

7 Digit Serials
Starts w/ | Type of Jackson Guitar
1 | Performer (MIK)
94 | 1994 MIJ Concept guitars, first two digits denotes year (only made in 1994)
9 | 1996+ MIJ (all MIJ series, even JS MIJ), started with 96xxxxx and went up sequentially (97,98, etc)

8 Digit Serials
Starts w/ | Type of Jackson Guitar
00-04 | JS (MII), X (MII) or very early JS30xx (MII) [2004 only], first two digits denotes year (00=2000, 04=2004)
6 | JS (MIT), probably the first digit denotes year (6=1996)
96-99 | JS (MII) or X (MII) first two digits denotes year (96=1996, 99=1999)

9 (or 10) Digit Serials
Starts w/ | Type of Jackson Guitar
2 | JS30xx (MII), first four digits denotes year, 10th digit added at start of 2008

Year by year serial number scheme information:

1990 to 2010 Made in Japan guitars
Jackson imports started in 1990 after the success of the Charvel import series (1986-1991), which came out of the merger of Jackson and IMC. Jackson only imported neck thru Professional series MIJ guitars (the Pro models) in 1990 and 1991. 1992 started the importation of bolt on Professional series MIJ guitars. The serial numbers of the Professional series MIJ guitars are 6 digits long and will start with 0-5 with the first digit corresponding to the year (0xxxxx = 1990, 5xxxxx = 1995). There is an exception to this serial number format, Fusion model guitars (1990-1995) also have a 6 digit serial but will start with 90-95 with the first two digits corresponding to the year (90xxxx = 1990, 95xxxx = 1995). In 1994 (technically Christmas 1993) a new MIJ series started, the Concept series. The Concept series was only produced in 1994 and had the first 7 digit serial number scheme (94xxxxx). 1996 saw the end of the Professional series guitars and a new serial number format. All MIJ bolt on guitars received a 7 digit serial number starting at 9600000 increasing sequentially as more guitars are built, this system continues to this day for MIJ guitars (as of the start of 2010 the serial numbers are up to approximately 9850000). There is a slight exception to this format for several 1996 models. The new 7 digit MIJ serial system was suppose to start at the end of the Professional series which was suppose to end in 1995, but it appears a few Professional series guitars were made into early 1996. Some new "No Series" name MIJ guitars for 1996 (like the SDK-2, the Stealth EX, etc) received 6 digit serial numbers during this transition period while the Professional series was ended (there also are some Professionals that received 7 digit new format serial numbers and some new "No Series" guitars that received the new 7 digit serial number sequence [96] in their 6 digit serial numbers, so anything is possible during this transition in early 1996).

1995 the Korean Performers
The less expensive MIJ Concept series (produced Christmas 1993 to 1994) moved production to Korea in 1995 and became the Performer series. All MIK Performers were given a 7 digit serial number that starts with the number 1 (there is some speculation that they can also start with a 0, but I have not seen a 7 digit serial number starting with 0 as of yet) and were assigned serial numbers sequentially. Production of the MIK Performers ended in 1998 and the production moved to Japan in 1999. There is not a precise way of dating the production numbers across all four years of MIK production.

1996 the JS20 MIT, MII, MIK, MIJ
The new "No Series" name MIJ guitars had a low priced student model companion, the JS20. The MSRP of the JS20 in 1996 was $325 and it could be purchased new for around $200 in the US at the time. A black JS20 (serial number 65002013) was my first electric guitar and my first Jackson, purchased new in 1996. The JS20 was initially made in Taiwan (MIT), India (MII), Korea (MIK) and Japan (MIJ). Serial numbers for the MIT JS20s are 8 digits long and the first digit probably denotes the year. No serial numbers are known except ones leading with a 6, so it is likely production of Jackson guitars in Taiwan started and ended in 1996. Serial numbers for the MII JS20s are also 8 digits long with the first two digits corresponding to the year (96xxxxxx = 1996, 99xxxxxx = 1999, 00xxxxxx = 2000, 04xxxxxx = 2004), JS20s are still made in India (as of 2010). Serial numbers for the MIK JS20s are 7 digits long and start with the number 1 (there is some speculation that they might also start with a 0, but I have not seen a 7 digit serial number starting with 0 as of yet), production ended in 1998 when the Jackson MIK production ended. Serial numbers for the MIJ JS20s follow the exact same format as all other MIJ serial numbers from 1996 on, they are assigned a 7 digit serial number which increases sequentially. I have never seen a pre-1998 MIJ JS20 and the MIJ JS20 appears to still be made today (2010). I suspect the move of the X series from Korea to Japan is why the MIK JS20s end in 1998 and MIJ JS20s appear to start in 1999 [speculation warning].

1998 the Indian X series
In 1998 Jackson started a new series called the X series, which was made in India. JS20s had been produced in India since 1996 using an 8 digit serial scheme where the first two digits corresponding to the year (96xxxxxx = 1996, 99xxxxxx = 1999, 00xxxxxx = 2000, 04xxxxxx = 2004). The new 1998 X series continued using this same serial number sequence until the X series ended production in India in 2001 and moved to Japan starting in 2002 (where it currently is made, as of 2010).

2004 the MII JS30xx series
End of year 2004, a new low cost student model series started production in India. In a very confusing manner, the new series was called the called the JS30xx series, which is not the same as the JS30 guitar made between 2002 and 2004. The new JS30xx series had low cost versions of the Jackson Randy Rhoads (JS30RR), the Jackson Dinky (JS30DK and JS30DKT), the Jackson Kelly (JS30KE), the Jackson King V (JS30KV) and the Jackson Warrior (JS30WR). The JS30xx guitars have fixed bridges (JT390), chrome hardware and two Jackson CRV2 humbucking pickups, except the JS30DKT model which has a licensed Floyd Rose tremolo instead of the fixed bridge. It appears some early JS30xx production guitars were given 8 digit serial numbers starting with 04xxxxxx identical to the MII JS20 guitars already produced in India. The normal serial number scheme for all JS30xx guitars is a 9 digit (or 10 starting in 2008) serial number where the first four digits correspond to the year of production (2004xxxxx = 2004, 2007xxxxx = 2007), many 2004xxxx serial numbers have been observed, so there is probably not a large number for 8 digit JS30xx guitars with 04xxxxxx serials (it is possible the 04xxxxxx marked JS30xx are prototype guitars and normal production JS30xx started with 2004xxxxx serials). At the beginning of 2008 a 10th digit was added to the normal MII 9 digit serial scheme (2008xxxxxx = 2008).

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published