Squier Serial Number Lookup: Guitar Decoder Tool

Squier is a subsidiary brand of Fender. It’s known for producing quality, budget-friendly Fender guitar shapes.

But how can you tell where an instrument was made and when? One way to determine the age and authenticity of a Squier guitar is by decoding its serial number. 

This can be a great way to make sure you are getting a real instrument and not a fake. This is especially valuable when you are buying or selling.

In this Killer Rig article, we will explore the various formats and methods for deciphering Squier serial numbers! Including identifying the year of production, factory of manufacture, and other valuable information. You can also use our tool below!

What are Squier Factory Codes?

Squier serial numbers are unique codes. They are assigned to each guitar produced by the company.

These numbers can be used to determine the year of production and legitimacy of a Squier guitar. As well as the factory and country, among other things.

The format of Squier serial numbers has changed over the years. This makes it necessary to understand the codes used during different periods of production.

Yet, with a little bit of knowledge and some detective work, it’s possible to decode a Squier serial number. Thus uncovering valuable information about your guitar.

Have other guitars that need decoding? We have tools for that here:

Squier Factory Code.

Squier Serial Number Decoder

We have built a tool that covers a large range of Squier serial numbers. It’s limited because some of them are used more than once.

But each in different countries. Our decoder would not be able to tell you accurate information. And so some of the codes are not going to be recognized.

Input your serial number to get information like the factory and date it was made. Then, explore the information below the tool to find out more about your Squier guitar!

If it doesn’t recognize the number, use the tables below to figure out the information manually.

Enter your serial number in the tool and press verify!

Understanding Squier Serial Numbers

Below you will find the countries and codes used to mark Squier guitars. This includes most models and prefixes used.


If your Squier was made in Japan, it came from one of two factories. You can determine this by the label it was given. If it says Made in Japan, then it came from the FujiGen factory and is dated between 1982 and 1987.

On the other hand, it says Crafted in Japan, it came from the Tokai factory and was made between 1995 and 2008.

This is really the only way to determine what year it was made. This is because some of the same serial numbers were used by both factories!

As a result, we couldn’t put these into our lookup tool. It just wouldn’t know for sure which factory made it. Nor would it know which year it was made in. But here is some information about each factory.


DateSerial Number Prefix (+ 5 or 6 Digits)
1985-1986A, B, C
1989-1990I, J
1993-1994N, O, P, Q
1994-1995S, T
1995-1996U, N


DateSerial Number Prefix (+ 6 Digits)
1995-1996N (+ 5 digits)


All Squier guitars made in the USA are from the factory in Corona, California. They come with two prefixes, which are either an E or N. The E prefix signifies that it was made in the eighties. The N means the nineties.

The first digit following the letter marks the year it was made. The serial code also includes 6 or 7 more numbers specific to the guitar.

First LetterFirst Digit
E = EightiesE9 = 1989
N = NinetiesN9 = 1999

There are also some USA-made Squiers that don’t have a letter prefix in the factory code. These numbers are normally 6 digits long. These codes were not found on the headstock, but on the neck plate.


The guitars made in the Ensenada factory use the same number system as the USA instruments. The country code appears first, followed by the decade it was produced in. These letters are N for the nineties and Z for the 2000s.

First LetterFirst Digit
N = NinetiesN9 = 1999
Z = 2000sZ9 = 2009


The guitars marked as made in China were produced in many factories. One of which is located in Taiwan but marked as China.

This factory is known as Yako and is used to make many guitars. Some of the others located in China are, Cort, Axl, Samick, Muse, and Grand Reward.

Factory Prefix

CD, CT, CJ, CY, YNYako
CGS, CGR, CGTGrand Reward


Some of these numbers consist of up to 4 letters and make use of the year code in different ways.

In some cases, the first 2 digits following the letters are the year. In others, a single digit is used to display this information. The numbers can range from 6 to 13!

First Two DigitsRemaining Digits
Year6 to 13 Numbers
7 = 1997Could be the month and build order.
08 = 2008Month and or build order.

The prefixes that use single digits for the year include:

  • YN.
  • CY.

Most of the others use the two digits after the letters to denote the year of manufacture. Some of the Grand Reward, Muse, and Samick guitars have 4 letters, with the last one perhaps indicating the month. But this hasn’t been confirmed.


The factories you will find making Squier guitars in Korea include Cor-Tek, Sunghan, and Samick.

These are popular factories in Korea that make many of the guitars for big brands. Their codes are relatively the same in that they use prefix letters and digits for the year.

Factory Prefix

CN, KCCor-Tek
E, SSamick
KV, VNSunghan


Most of the codes use a single digit for the year, except for KC and KV. These use 2 numbers for the year, which has a range starting from 1997. CN and VN use the second letter to denote the decade.

First Two DigitsRemaining Numbers
Year6 to 8 Numbers
6 = 1996Build order and other information.
98 = 1998Build order.

There are also a few serial codes without a prefix at all. These are 6 or 7 digits long, with the very first one marking the year. For example, a serial number like 601382 would tell us it was made in 1996.


Indonesian factories that make Squier guitars use similar codes. These also consist of anywhere from 2 to 4 letters and a series of digits. Factories here are also Cort and Samick, and they use the first two numbers for the year of construction.

Factory Prefix

There are a few different prefixes used by each of the factories. They are as follows.

  • Cort: IC, ICF, ICO, ICS.
  • Samick: IS, ISS, SI.


First Two DigitsRemaining Numbers
Year6 to 8 Numbers
19 = 2019Build lot and other information


Guitar manufacturers from India are responsible for a few different series. But only for a short period.

Some Squier 2 guitars were made here in the late eighties. These models had a sticker applied to them with the factory code. But they tend to fall off quite easily after a few years.

You can expect to find Squier guitars made in India to have the following prefixes and numbers.

DateSerial Number Prefix (+ 6 Digits)
2007-2008CS07, SH07, ZSSH07
2008-2009NSHJ08, SH08, ZSSH08
2009-2010NSHA09, NSHD09 – NSHK09
2011-2012NHS11 (+ 5 digits)


Where Can You Find the Serial Number?

Over the years, Squier has changed the area of the guitar where they place the serial number. There are a few places to inspect:

  • Front or rear of the headstock.
  • The neck plate.
  • Neck heel.

The neck heel should be inspected when there is no sign of the code anywhere else. To get at it, the neck needs to be removed from the body. This one is a last resort.

What If The Serial Number is Missing?

If you have looked over the entire guitar and can’t locate the serial number, all is not lost! You can first try and compare your guitar to other pictures online. Look for things like pickups, body shapes, and other features.

When you find one like yours, see if you can locate more information. There are also many forums of people who can help you. You can always contact a Squier dealer to help you decode your guitar.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!