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Where things go astray is when the Jem line went to AANJ in 93'.This is where you start seeing consecutive numbered plates on the remaining regular joint models that no longer indicate year.
An 8 digit number example - C03114373 - translates, 03 = 2003, 11 = 11th month [November], 4373 = 4373rd guitar built in November 2003.F is the production factory which stands for Fujigen.The first digit will be the last digit of the year, ie. The last 5 numbers will be the consecutive number denoting production count for the year with the caveat that each month will start at predetermined intervals of 3000 or 5000, etc.Here is the breakdown courtesy of Ibanez Collectors World.Until 1977 Maxon used 5 digit serials: 1st character is a production code (1,2,3, etc., maybe related to different production location) 2nd character indicates the year of production (2=1972, 3=1973, etc.) 3rd character indicates the month of production (0=January, 1=February, ...
In a case where a guitar has both the true serial number will always be the headstock number.