Factory original 65 Firemist Gold strat, what do these stamps mean

richardb64

Strat-Talker
Jul 21, 2022
101
U.K.
well not sure about flux still being visible, the guitar is 57 years old so corrosion around solder does not seem unusual , and that solder is perfect as are all the other joints , u might see flux around joints on pots as its a different metal and does not rust like the metal on the claw can, so some flux may be visible more often on pots, the whole claw is showing that white powder looking corrosion so some rust corrosion area around solder is nothing unusual , way too many people serious collectors, dealers, luthiers here have seen the guitar in person , solder joints or finish is factory there has never been any question about that, but i am open to suggestions the refin may have been factory done in 68, but even this is still just opinions and guessing on stamps, no one has ever had any solid evidence on what the stamps mean
Ok, well I guess we all have our views and experience. Did Gruhn or anyone else that looked at it have an explanation for the residual solder on the two unused tabs on the tone pots? That’s a bit of a mystery.
 

richardb64

Strat-Talker
Jul 21, 2022
101
U.K.
yep yours does give some backup for the theory, it would be good to see a whole bunch of these stamps matching up with neck dates and all the rest on various guitars, as its just not stratocasters these stamps are on all fenders, u would think by now someone would have researched and seen enough examples to really say what stamps are, a date or colour or ?.. so my strat is E818, so if going by these thoughts its 18th week around May roughly, but neck is september, so its not working as good as your dates, unless we start saying ONLY body got refinished, but then other people say when factory refined they always did neck too, im not sure why that would always be the case, so im not convinced on anything, need to see lots of body stamps i will be taking more notice in future.....all guesses....
Im not sure you can use the theory to compare week 18 of 1965 with your September 1965 neck date. I have never seen a single 1965 neck pocket with this type of stamp in it.

The neck pocket in your guitar is dead on early 1968 and if it weren’t for all the attached 1965 parts, everyone would be saying “nothing to see here, it’s a 1968 body”. The paint is a bit of a mystery as it seems to have black or sunburst under the gold but the paint stick only seems to have been attached one time. Hard to be sure what’s gone on.
 

Parksie

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 6, 2020
1,227
Sydney
hi i dont see how pics of guitar will help i know what it is, it is factory no question no issues, i dont have any questions about guitar, i am just curious about stamps, its the stamps that are the unknown , but u can see pics of guitar on my website, its a site i run as a hobby its not a dealer thing its collecting and searching, but guitar is there if you all want to look, my site is www.vintageguitarsaustralia.com

This is just my opinion but if your asking just shy of $60k for your guitar you really have to have something to back up the paint being an 100% original Fender factory finish.

Receipt, paperwork, photos anything that’s unquestionably proof.

I’m not for a moment suggesting it’s not but for that asking price I would want rock solid proof that that finish was sprayed onto that guitar by someone on Fender’s payroll.

Otherwise there is always going to be a question mark over originality.

That’s just the way it is.
 

64blackstrat

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 4, 2018
61
australia
Thing is, there are guesses and there are guesses. There are a LOT of original late 67 and early 68 strats and teles out there with neck dates and in some cases, pot and pickup dates that support the theory that, for example B 744 would be week 44 of 1967. These codes appeared from time to time on guitars through to 1969 and some strats even had the code stamped on the face of the body under the guard. The code is always consistent with a year and week number which is where the idea has come from, obviously as it’s the most likely explanation.

818 being the 1994 paint code for gold is pretty out there as a guess for a guitar that was done in the 60s!
i am not suggesting 818 paint code is anything to do with 60's just saying there are many codes meaning many things, and paint codes did carry on thru many years too....it was just a coincidence found 818 as a gold colour in the 90's, but agreed getting off the track too much
 

64blackstrat

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 4, 2018
61
australia
Im not sure you can use the theory to compare week 18 of 1965 with your September 1965 neck date. I have never seen a single 1965 neck pocket with this type of stamp in it.

The neck pocket in your guitar is dead on early 1968 and if it weren’t for all the attached 1965 parts, everyone would be saying “nothing to see here, it’s a 1968 body”. The paint is a bit of a mystery as it seems to have black or sunburst under the gold but the paint stick only seems to have been attached one time. Hard to be sure what’s gone on.
obviously i understand we cannot use the theory 818 stamp matches neck september , so thats out.....
 

64blackstrat

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 4, 2018
61
australia
This is just my opinion but if your asking just shy of $60k for your guitar you really have to have something to back up the paint being an 100% original Fender factory finish.

Receipt, paperwork, photos anything that’s unquestionably proof.

I’m not for a moment suggesting it’s not but for that asking price I would want rock solid proof that that finish was sprayed onto that guitar by someone on Fender’s payroll.

Otherwise there is always going to be a question mark over originality.

That’s just the way it is.
well i see your from Sydney, if your in the know u would know who Piers Crocker is, do u ? and if so don't you think Piers has enough experience, i mean is there anyone in Australia that you can name that would know more than Piers in regards to vintage, when Lenny Kravitz toured here and bought a 60 les paul it was Piers he got to verify it, so Piers has the knowledge

then there is Steve Jackson, he ran as u might know the biggest most influential vintage store in Australia, he put Vintage on the map here, he seen and dealt and sold virtually all the strats u see around Australia, i have his written valuation and report its 100% factory

Then there is Gruhns like there report or not thats another

so we have Gruhns, Piers, Jacksons.....your not going to get any vintage guitar with any more proof than that....unless u owned it yourself since day one

and if needed i could get more inspections but where does it stop, anyone spending 50k odd will know by looking at it, if not they should not be in the market looking at guitars of this value
 

64blackstrat

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 4, 2018
61
australia
This is just my opinion but if your asking just shy of $60k for your guitar you really have to have something to back up the paint being an 100% original Fender factory finish.

Receipt, paperwork, photos anything that’s unquestionably proof.

I’m not for a moment suggesting it’s not but for that asking price I would want rock solid proof that that finish was sprayed onto that guitar by someone on Fender’s payroll.

Otherwise there is always going to be a question mark over originality.

That’s just the way it is.
and just to say i did not post on here to sell the guitar, i have 2 buyers already and one offer made and they are fully aware of the stamps, and i will probably let it go soon , so all this talk about 68 and proof and asking price all that is not what i asked, as said my question is what are these stamps, and so far as expected its all guess and theory, i hoped someone had some solid documentation, i had all these theory's already and maybes and thoughts, i am looking for that stamp info somewhere documented, not here to have my guitar valued or scrutinized
 

64blackstrat

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 4, 2018
61
australia
With due respect, I think Jackson tarnished his own crown....
yes of course he went down things happened GFC and all that, but you know he had them all, dealt them all, seen them all, and he knew his stuff, the strats i seen go thru there were amazing and the black gaurd teles, les pauls all of them, no one dealt as much vintage as him then or now in Australia, i knew him very well and he knew his vintage no question
 

richardb64

Strat-Talker
Jul 21, 2022
101
U.K.
Don’t take this the wrong way but there are quite a few bits of soldering on that guitar that don’t look factory to me. What did any of the above experts say about the additional solder on the tone pot lugs? Did they miss it or just ignore it?

These solder joints were done in their hundreds day in, day out and the factory ones are very consistent and some of the ones on your guitar are way outside the norm. Not impossible, it could have been someone‘s first day I suppose, but there‘s no reason for those two unused lugs on the tone pots to have solder on them.
 

Bazz Jass

Chairman of the Fingerboard
Silver Member
Nov 19, 2014
6,224
Off the map
and just to say i did not post on here to sell the guitar, i have 2 buyers already and one offer made and they are fully aware of the stamps, and i will probably let it go soon , so all this talk about 68 and proof and asking price all that is not what i asked, as said my question is what are these stamps, and so far as expected its all guess and theory, i hoped someone had some solid documentation, i had all these theory's already and maybes and thoughts, i am looking for that stamp info somewhere documented, not here to have my guitar valued or scrutinized
Fair call. Hope someone can find earlier instances of the stamp. Bringing it to a public forum will not always get every opinion you hope for, and this has played out here. It's obviously a 1965 strat with a Fender factory finish and that's not open for dispute. All available evidence points to the stamps in question being used from 67 onward. It matters very little to me. A fine guitar and not priced at 75K where some dealers would have it. All the best with the sale from across the ditch here in Auckland NZ :)
 

Parksie

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 6, 2020
1,227
Sydney
well i see your from Sydney, if your in the know u would know who Piers Crocker is, do u ? and if so don't you think Piers has enough experience, i mean is there anyone in Australia that you can name that would know more than Piers in regards to vintage, when Lenny Kravitz toured here and bought a 60 les paul it was Piers he got to verify it, so Piers has the knowledge

then there is Steve Jackson, he ran as u might know the biggest most influential vintage store in Australia, he put Vintage on the map here, he seen and dealt and sold virtually all the strats u see around Australia, i have his written valuation and report its 100% factory

Then there is Gruhns like there report or not thats another

so we have Gruhns, Piers, Jacksons.....your not going to get any vintage guitar with any more proof than that....unless u owned it yourself since day one

and if needed i could get more inspections but where does it stop, anyone spending 50k odd will know by looking at it, if not they should not be in the market looking at guitars of this value

Yep, I get everything you're saying.

However, even with Piers Crockers OK I would still want to know the history of the guitar.

I would only spend this kind of cash if it was documented.

Thats all I'm saying which as I said earlier is just my opinion.

Cheers.
 

richardb64

Strat-Talker
Jul 21, 2022
101
U.K.
and just to say i did not post on here to sell the guitar, i have 2 buyers already and one offer made and they are fully aware of the stamps, and i will probably let it go soon , so all this talk about 68 and proof and asking price all that is not what i asked, as said my question is what are these stamps, and so far as expected its all guess and theory, i hoped someone had some solid documentation, i had all these theory's already and maybes and thoughts, i am looking for that stamp info somewhere documented, not here to have my guitar valued or scrutinized
Hope you get it sold soon. To be fair, you did come on here to ask about the stamps but you also added a link to your website with all the pics of the guitar and people on here are going to look.

Guesses and theories are a two way street and I’m struck by how definitive your description is in terms of the guitar being 100% factory this and that. No guesses or theories there! The pictures are not quite so definitive but never mind, I’m not buying it! I’m sure it’s a great guitar but it’s not definitely 100% factory in my opinion.
 

SoK66

Strat-Talk Member
Aug 3, 2010
31
Soutwest USA
i have seen and owned many pre cbs strats, my knowledge and research and talking to serious collectors is most of the Early strats were NOT custom colours over sunburst, only when covering up a dodgy sunburst job but in general early strats are not over sunburst, but later years especially around 64/65 it is more common to see colour over sunburst, i think u will find colours pre say 63 are mostly not over sunburst, but 64 onwards yes more common but not always
In this case the candy red base coat is visible and is silver, which dates it to at least pre-68. If you look at the neck pocket shots you can see the base yellow, then black, then silver then red, then the thicker white. If I knew how to get in contact with the gent I bought it from 30 years ago I could determine the original color. But, alas....
 

SoK66

Strat-Talk Member
Aug 3, 2010
31
Soutwest USA
I wanted to add to this very informative discussion that I'd run this past Norm Harris at Norman's Rare Guitars in LA. Just my opinion but I find he and his staff to be more knowledgeable where vintage Fenders are concerned than I do Gruhn, who is no doubt an expert on Martins, acoustic Gibsons, etc.
 

64blackstrat

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 4, 2018
61
australia
just to be clear here, i am a 40 year collector, bought my first strat around 1974 a factory black 62, been buying and trading ever since in vintage, know all the reputable dealers, not the insta newbys, i am talking the real long term guys that know there stuff, i am still learning , but you would think after 40 years of vintage traveling thru the usa many times on buying trips, i might know something too, i mention others like Gruhn or Piers as they have a reputation to back up there opinion, but i also been around and there is absolutely no way this guitar body is 68, i could get my other 64 and 65 guitar and show pics to show contours but this is silly, its 65

saying all this i am frequently talking to much more knowledgeable collectors than myself i am a newby compared to the vintage collectors i have met, collectors who have dealt in the extremely high end guitars for decades, flying v, les pauls to all the biggest musicians in the world, wrote many books on vintage blah blah, so i am not just going on about what i see, its collective info from many sources, as said i am learning after 40 years i am still trying to find the facts

a comment was made that i put a link up to my website, i assume saying i am looking for customers, that's so wrong, i am a collector hardly look at my site, couldn't care less about selling i am looking to buy, i have many pre cbs vintage guitars, various 54 strats, black gaurds, les pauls, i could list on my site but don't as i am not a seller, the few on there are just to get some interest, i mean if u run a site u got to have something on there for sale

i put a pic up of the stamp only in my first post, but various forum members asked to see pics, see my first posts members asking for pics, , so i directed to my site as there are lots of pics and description there, Richard that is the only reason i put a link to my site , if i wanted more customers or whatever i would have put a link up in my first post

so again i am learning, first to say i don't know anything near what the seasoned long term vintage guys do, this is my hobby i am not a dealer, have NOT held 4000 pre cbs strats like Gruhn tells me they have, 40 years yes i know some stuff but here looking to learn more
 

64blackstrat

Strat-Talk Member
Jan 4, 2018
61
australia
i did a look thru my pics of guitars i own and had a close look at my 68 Firemist tele, i knew it had a stamp under pickgaurd, i enlarged the pic and see the stamp on paint under pickgard is...818...YES 818 but no letter, no stamp in neck pocket, neck is date 3 march 68

so if the theory is that the stamp in my strat E818 is the date as some have saiid , 68 , 18th week, then that is saying the 818 stamp on my tele is the same 68, 18th week

both guitars have 818, i think it would be extremely rare to actually own 2 firemist guitars both dated the same, owning 2 firemist is rare enough, but both being 18th week, thats lottery winning odds

as said before i found 818 for paint code Gold in 1994 catalog, paint codes carried thru many years, maybe someone in 94 knew 818 was a code for code in the 60's who knows, it would be good to find what code was used in 65 or 68 for firemist if there was a code....

maybe it is a paint code, 818 for firemist, but just guessing and not saying, anyway there's some more info to really confuse
i have a offer on the guitar from a major player in the usa, and am thinking i might let it go not sure, they are fully aware of the stamps, so its not a problem for me i am just curious i like to know the facts
 

Parksie

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 6, 2020
1,227
Sydney
i did a look thru my pics of guitars i own and had a close look at my 68 Firemist tele, i knew it had a stamp under pickgaurd, i enlarged the pic and see the stamp on paint under pickgard is...818...YES 818 but no letter, no stamp in neck pocket, neck is date 3 march 68

so if the theory is that the stamp in my strat E818 is the date as some have saiid , 68 , 18th week, then that is saying the 818 stamp on my tele is the same 68, 18th week

both guitars have 818, i think it would be extremely rare to actually own 2 firemist guitars both dated the same, owning 2 firemist is rare enough, but both being 18th week, thats lottery winning odds

as said before i found 818 for paint code Gold in 1994 catalog, paint codes carried thru many years, maybe someone in 94 knew 818 was a code for code in the 60's who knows, it would be good to find what code was used in 65 or 68 for firemist if there was a code....

maybe it is a paint code, 818 for firemist, but just guessing and not saying, anyway there's some more info to really confuse
i have a offer on the guitar from a major player in the usa, and am thinking i might let it go not sure, they are fully aware of the stamps, so its not a problem for me i am just curious i like to know the facts

I’d take the offer….
 


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