Re: Universe Serial numbers???
Plate serial numbers have nothing to do with headstock serial numbers. In a case where a guitar has both the true serial number will always be the headstock number. Plate numbers usually follow the pattern of the first 2 digits denoting year of production followed by a 4 digit number that denotes consecutive production for that model for that year, or consecutive production number for that particular model from the models inception. In cases where generic non model specific plates are used the 4 digit number is just the consecutive number of that plate which could have made it on possibly 10 different models.
JEM - UV - JEM plates are 6 digit and the first 2 digits is the production year while the last 4 is the consecutive number JEM built from inception. 870060 is an 87' and the 60th JEM built. Except for the very first batch of 90' UV plates that began 00, UV plates are also dated by the first 2 numbers. 00 is a 90', 90 is a 90', 91 is a 91'. A Universe plate 912787 would denote a production year of 91 and the 2787th Universe built. 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. 160225 was a very odd plate number I came across on a Jem. Most that I'm aware of are what I call 250k plates [25****] and current 2003' FP15th's have 260K plates [26****] meaning there have been over 10,000 Jem's made since they deviated from the serial plate numbering. No matter as most can be dated by the headstock serial # but there will be guitars without them and the plate number will be the only number available. Late BFP's with direct mount pickups for example which bear these 160k/250k plates and no headstock sticker. The UV plate numbers also changed to these consecutive plates and will be found on late UV7BK's in both green dot and silver. Universe plate 912787 would denote a production year of 91 and the 2787th Universe built.. Universe number 250435 could be a 96' UV7 green dot and the 435 indicates the 435th plate. Pinning these guitars down to closer than a 2 year window would be tough. This actually makes alot of sense from a manufacturing stance as they no longer had to order plates that denoted year of production and could just order consecutive numbered plates without care to year. They would no longer be restricted to using a specific plate in a specific year and any batch of plates would be good forever.