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what year is my rootbeer Jem?

2888 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  stratosqueeg
My rootbeer jem has a kinda olive green neckplate and serial number 870889. No f before or anything just 870889 stamped on the neckplate and of course the Jem logo and made in Japan stamped there also. Anyone know the year it would be? I'm getting conflicting reports.
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'87, and that neckplate wasn't olive green back in the day. I bet she's nice, got a pic?
yeah, it's on some auction site somewhere....hmmm what's the 4 letter name of that place again...?
back then the 1st number was the year, so its an '88...

From Ibanez Rules:

1987 - 1996 - Guitars built in Japan between these years will have a serial number beginning with F followed by 6 numbers. F is the production factory which stands for Fugijen. The first digit will be the last digit of the year, ie. F8***** is a guitars made in Fugijen in 1988. The last 5 numbers will be the consecutive number denoting production count for the year. 25899 would be the 25899th guitar built that year.

It could even be an '89 with an early plate :)
Wrong section


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.
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so is serial # 870889 stamped on the rootbeers neckplate only make it a '87 or an '88? There is no # stamped on the back of the headstock or sticker there either...
But I thought the rootbeer jems were only made in 88 and 89. Why is this one an 87??????????

And by the way, it greatly pains me to see you put this up for sale Mr. J.
My rootbeer is also stamped 87, but I got it in 88, which is when I beleive they were released, but as the story goes, ibanez just used plates based on a stock pile when building guitars, :)

Jemsite has a info on this: (Scroll down the page)
They were made in 87'. There are plenty of 87's out there. I have one with an original handrest right now putting it at early LNG dating.
bluealien said:
My rootbeer is also stamped 87, but I got it in 88, which is when I beleive they were released, but as the story goes, ibanez just used plates based on a stock pile when building guitars, :)
No, that's not how the story goes.
Rich said:
No, that's not how the story goes.
Should I start with Once upon a time?

Ok I may be wrong with the stock pile story, but my old catalogue has only 88 & 89 for RootBeers, and so does JemSite in Jem Specs... :)
I don't know, but Rich is usually not wrong.
Actually there was a NAMM show in 87, I think with JEMs, but dont know which ones were available, I thought only the JEM777DY, JEM777LNG, & JEM777SK were available.

Is there any 87 cateloge or Ads?
To say they used plates based on a stock pile is what is incorrect. If you have an 87' plate [and it's original] the guitar was built in 87'. If you have a 91' plate for ie. a PMC that would indicate the parts were pulled to do the guitars at that time for assembly later when ready, or, the guitars were assembled at that time for later release.

Guitars can be made long in advance of any public release.
Rich said:
Guitars can be made long in advance of any public release.
What'd I say on the phone Mr. J???? LOL
Hey guys

So it's safe to say that if it starts with an 87 neckplate then she
is a real 87, especially if she has a hand rest, then that would make
her a true early piece?
Why would an RB have a hand rest????? Hmmmmmm

Even Steve Vai's RB from his collection has a 87 serial number but
no hand rest.....
So for you guys who have one, it's super cool in a way....


For the guys with 87 RB's, what serial numbers do you guys have?
It would be cool to see if one of us has a RB being only a few digits off.

Good times

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Rich said:
871406, with handrest
Nice ^. ;)

So....my UV7PWH's neck plate says 910760 denoting year '91 and 760th one made....correct?
Does the last couple of digits denote the 760th UV7PWH, 760th UV in general or 760th guitar that year.
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