Gibson is one of the most famous and prolific guitar makers having created collectible models before the World War II and continuing to produce their famous instruments today. Because of the time span when the vintage Gibson guitar was produced, identification of each particular model is an important first step in determining the value and collectibility of the instrument.
Gibson produced both electric and acoustic guitars starting about 1930. A vintage Gibson guitar must first be classified by its type. Flattop, archtop, thinline, lapsteel and double neck are examples of guitar styles produced by Gibson. The year and model must then be determined, along with the originality of the parts incorporated into the guitar. Most pre-1970 Gibson guitars are collectible, with the Les Paul models being some of the most desirable.