On Telecasters and certain other models, you will find the serial number on the bridge.The serial numbers will start with a letter that corresponds to specific years of production. You will not find the MADE IN JAPAN stamp on the headstocks of Fender MIJ guitars. acronym for "CRAFTED IN JAPAN" These guitars were made from 1997 and are still being manufactured today.You will find the MADE IN JAPAN stamp on the heel of every guitar's neck, without variation.

The Squiers will typically go for less money because they're "Squiers" and not "Fenders" but other than that, there seems to be very little difference.

Your best bet for info is really just the guitar itself. I have an '85 MIJ Squier for example and the neck is stamped "ST-362" which tells me the neck is a '62 reissue. What's more is on mine there is a date hand written on the end of the neck heal...

Many also have penciled neck dates () you can only see when the neck is removed from the body of the guitar. acronym for "Squier" These models were made by a different division of Fender and bear the Squier logo and not the Fender logo.

These models have the serial numbering and markings in the same location as Fender JV guitars, and were made only during the years 1983 to 1984. acronym for "MADE IN JAPAN" These models spanned the years from 1984 to 1997.

On later Fender JV models, the "MADE IN JAPAN" can be found on the heel of the guitar neck, just above the metal neck plate.

All Fender JV models had the serial numbers engraved into either the neck plate or bridge.

In the case of my '96 MIM Standard, I -know- it's a '96 because both the body and neck are stamped Feb 1996 (about a week apart in fact) and these stamps are clearly readable...although the serial number indicates the neck was actually made in '92.

More over, I got this guitar brand new in the summer of 1996.

In other words I -know- my '96 is a '96 because I bought it brand new in '96 and the neck and body stamps verify this.