About Hamer Serial Numbers

In 1974 Hamer used a four digit number stamped into the wood starting with guitar #0000 and until the launch of the Sunburst this system was used on all guitars. The Sunbursts were numbered using a different system : the first digit represents the year of production and the following four (or later five digit number) is the total number of guitars made by Hamer and numbered using this system. So for example guitar #8 0196 was made in 1978 and was the 196th guitar to be numbered using this system. Similarly # 8 21416 was made in 1988 and was the 21416th guitar to be numbered. These numbers were printed using ink or paint (black on most but yellow on black and dark coloured instruments).

By 1980 most guitars made were numbered using this later system but some custom instruments (notably Standards and Eight-string basses) were numbered using the older four digit numbering system, a very few were still numbered using this system up until 1985 (e.g Standard #0722 was completed in May 1984); in total about 750 instruments were numbered using these four digit numbers.

Late in 1987 the serial numbers were stamped into the wood rather than printed. Just to complicate matters many one-of-a-kind and prototype instruments have numbers that do not relate to either of the above systems.

Ted Martin
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