This was mainly caused by Gibson trying to keep up with production while attempting to serialize everything accurately, as well.
Unfortunately, during extremely busy times, production simply trumped serialization.
You need to post pics of the guitar, that's really the only way to tell. If you have a picture and a serial number, you could post it somewhere like here on the hopes that someone recognizes it.
However, you may just end up tipping someone off that it was stolen, and you may never see it again if the thief/owner decides it was a keeper.
Can you tell me what model this is and how much it is worth today? —Brian Page Left: The mystery ’70s Gibson Les Paul.
Upper Right: Starting in 1970, Gibson began stamping “Made in USA” on the back of the headstock.
I was told to check the potentiometer date codes, which all have “1377142” impressed into them.
I read on a Gibson forum that, on seven-digit pot codes, the fourth and fifth numbers represent the date.
So if they've got some random number on the back of a Chibson, they make a couple sites that say "SUPER RARE! I find their search tool to be very confusing and I don't trust the The Guitar Dater Project - Gibson Serial Number Decoder as it's wanted me go download something and I don't trust it.It'll show you the date and factory where it was made.The Guitar Dater Project - Gibson Serial Number Decoder Anecdotally, it shows the correct year and factory for my gibsons.Since the value of a Gibson Les Paul differs widely between 19, it is very important to pinpoint the year.As for dating pots, you are correct that the fourth and fifth numbers of the potentiometer date code indicate the last two digits of the year (that is, the “71” in your serial number stands for 1971).
Only two in existence, one belonged to Les Paul himself!