Gibson Enters Vintage Guitar Market with Pioneering ‘Certified Vintage’ Program

Gibson Certified Vintage logo
(Image credit: Gibson)

The vintage guitar industry has changed dramatically in recent years. Once the preserve of specialist dealers and stores, the used market now encompasses innumerable online ‘boutique’ traders located in every corner of the globe.

When it comes to investing in a vintage instrument, condition and assurance of originality are key. Those two things will affect the price and, importantly, a customer’s peace of mind. Like any collectible, determining authenticity is crucial.

It takes skill, knowledge and experience to professionally assess a guitar, inside and out. Most buyers know this and are more than happy to pay the premium for such valuable expertise. We all love a bargain, but in the vintage guitar world, a so-called "bargain" can prove costly.

Suffice it to say, reputation is everything. And who better to authenticate a vintage Gibson than Gibson?

Enter the new Gibson Certified Vintage program.

Gibson Certified Vintage first guitars on offer: 1959 Les Paul Standard, 1959 ES-355 with mono wiring, 1956 Les Paul Junior, 1982 Moderne and 1957 ES-225T

The inaugral batch of Gibson Certified Vintage guitars (L-R): 1957 ES-225T, 1961 Les Paul "SG" Standard, 1959 Les Paul Standard, 1959 ES-355TD and 1956 Les Paul Junior. (Image credit: Gibson)

In an industry first, Gibson says their new venture, “offers collectors an incredible opportunity to own extraordinary instruments sourced and authenticated as only Gibson can, with a new lifetime warranty and exclusive extras.”

Collectors will have an absolute level of certainty when buying directly from Gibson Certified Vintage

Cesar Gueikian

As the branding suggests, Certified Vintage guitars will ship with a certificate of authenticity. Customers can also expect a letter of appraisal detailing the provenance of the instrument. Furthermore, all guitars will receive a lifetime limited warranty.

With Gibson’s official seal of approval, Certified Vintage guitars offer supreme confidence for buyers.

“As a collector of vintage guitars, particularly vintage Gibson guitars, I would’ve loved to have this service by Gibson for assurance and the peace of mind to buy with confidence,” said Gibson Brand President, Cesar Gueikian.

“By launching our very own Gibson Certified Vintage program we’ve solved this once and for all and collectors will have an absolute level of certainty when buying directly from Gibson Certified Vintage.”

Gibson Certified Vintage 1959 Les Paul Standard from inaugral batch of rare instruments offered 28th Feb 2023

1959 Les Paul Standard from inaugral batch of Gibson Certified Vintage instruments first offered February 28 2023. (Image credit: Gibson)

To kick things off, the first Gibson Certified Vintage offerings comprise a 1957 ES-225T, 1982 Gibson Moderne, 1961 Gibson Les Paul "SG" Standard, 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior and 1959 ES-355TD.

But top of the list is this stunning 1959 Les Paul Standard – undoubtedly Gibson’s most iconic electric guitar. This ‘Burst – serial 9 0871 – was uncirculated until 2005 when the original owner’s family sold it at Christie’s in New York.

Gibson Certified Vintage will see Gibson continually curate and exclusively release an assortment of coveted vintage instruments

Mark Agnesi

Previously exhibited in the Songbirds Guitar Museum in Chattanooga, TN, this gorgeous Les Paul eventually made its way to the Gibson Vault via vintage guitar veteran David Davidson. Along with his daughter, Paige, Davidson owns Well Strung Guitars in Farmingdale, New York, and is a giant in the world of rare instruments.

Such detailed provenance is crucial when parting with large sums, and the new Gibson Certified Vintage program aims to provide the full story in as much detail as possible.

The next launch for Gibson Certified Vintage will be a world-famous celebrity owned instrument. So if rare guitars are your thing, we recommend keeping an eye on the Gibson website for more news.

“Gibson Certified Vintage will see Gibson continually curate and exclusively release an assortment of coveted vintage instruments, sold directly through the Gibson Garage, and offered with certificate of authenticity, new lifetime warranty and other bespoke case candy,” said Gibson’s Director of Brand Experience, Mark Agnesi, formerly of Norman's Rare Guitars.

Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.