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My neighbor is selling a J 200 that he thinks is from 1969.  The serial number on the back of the headstock is 604040.  I’m having trouble finding this number series.  It’s a sunburst design that looks similar to photos of a 1970’s model.  No “Made in America” stamp under the serial numbers.  No dot above the i in the Gibson lettering on the front of the headstock. “J-200” on the truss rod plate.  Red paper label inside, with J-200 Artist printed on the label.  Also, it’s not a mustache bridge but a more standard looking rectangle bridge with some mother of pearl behind the pegs.  It has a pickup in the butt.  Can anyone help me with identifying the guitar?

It has some wear.  Pick scratches on the body above the strings. Some cracks in the soundboard finish between the bridge and the butt but it appears to be structurally sound.  I used a mirror to look inside and did not see any evidence of cracks on the inside of the soundboard.  Some heavier wear on the neck.  Some chips in the headstock and around the body.  It has a good full low end sound and keeps tune. It comes with the original case but the case is pretty beat up.  The buckles still close but the stitching is coming apart and it doesn’t look like a safe place for a vintage guitar.

Any suggestions on a fair price between neighbors.

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Every place that I looked showed that range of serial numbers being assigned to guitars built in 1969.  A '69 J200 may or may not have that large floating cross brace attached to the top.  Gibson started installing these in 1961 .  If you buy the guitar and it had not already been removed (which was commonly done) get it out of there.  As to price just do some research and check the usual places such as completed eBay sales, the Reverb Price Guide and such.  Then throw in the "friend's discount."

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