As demand and production increased in the '70s, Alvarez began assigning serial numbers to their products to easily identify the year and month of production. This number can be used to date a guitar and in some cases tell where it was made. According to one dating method I found 600807 should be July 1985. Their website is the info below with a grain of salt because there is conflicting info. So the best they could tell me was my guitars were made somewhere between 1974, and 1978.
since 09 was also used in 1997 as the 9th year of reign of Emperor Heisa.” Alvarez – Yairi catalogs 2009 Alvarez catalog 2013-2014 Alvarez guitars catalog Alvarez Catalog 2015 Alvarez Catalog 2016 see Westone 1976 label courtesy of Bobbie.Basically the importer could (and still can) specify a brand name and have it put on an banjo. Crowe models that were frankly better than the then current Gibson product (1981) and arguably equal or better than the originals from the 1930's. The importer could specify what he wanted, and there were/ are at least 30 quality brands and over 100 others.There are about 6-8 levels of hardware and finish overall, ranging from a very plain wood pot (body) or cast aluminum pot to replicas of a pre WWII Gibson RB-Granada flathead Mastertone (the bluegrass holy grail largely because Earl Scruggs used one for decades, and there were only about 12-15 original 5 string ones built in 1931-34). Actually, all of the Gold Stars had the best hardware available, there are some extra supernal touches in the early Gold Star J. The quality also varied across the product lines; there were for instance some very entry level Arias and some better Arias at the same time, sort of like Chevrolets and Cadillac Limousines.The brown line between the gold tone ring and the resonator flange is the wooden rim.Going down in the picture, there is white drumhead, the gold tension hoop (with arches engraved between the hooks, and an engraved armrest over it on the right side of the picture), the white edge of the drumhead, the gold tone ring, the brown wood of the pot, the gold flange, the white binding on the resonator, the brown wood of the side of the resonator, white binding again, the maroon of the case lining, and the silver paint on the (fiberglass Leaf) case.In some cases date of manufacture on label – see below. Louis or Woodinville offices of Loud Technologies can determine a manufacture date for a particular serial #” [source: Alvarez message board May 2006, link no longer viable] There was an automated Alvarez-Yairi serial number decoder but link no longer working.