Fender Jazzmaster 1959 Gold Guard

John Shults

Posted on August 16 2022

1959 Fender Jazzmaster with gold pickguard

This 1959 Fender Jazzmaster with original Sunburst finish and gold anodized pickguard was made during the second year of production for the model. 1959 was the transitional year from the very cool gold anodized pickguard to the more common red tortoiseshell pickguard. This was and is a spectacular example of the late 1950s Jazzmaster and a great player as well. I am actively looking for another nice example like this one.

If you're looking for more information on vintage late 1950s Jazzmaster guitars then I hope this page can help. If you're interested in selling a Jazzmaster to a qualified buyer for a fair price then you can contact me here: sell a Fender.  

I purchased this 1959 Fender Jazzmaster from its second owner who acquired it from his roommate in 1964. Although he did not receive the original case when he bought it, he did keep the guitar in nice condition throughout the decades. It has the perfect combination of wear and patina. Its previous owner cherished it for over 50 years before deciding to sell. 

1959 Jazzmaster with gold pickguard on original case

1959 Fender Jazzmaster

Fender debuted its third solid body electric guitar for professional use as the Jazzmaster in the last quarter of 1958 and little had changed when this Jazzmaster was made in the early part of 1959. Late 1950 Jazzmasters have the perfect Sunburst finish which leans more purple than black in the dark outer edges of the burst that fade to red then yellow hues in the center. 1959 was the year that the Stratocaster and Telecaster gained the slab Rosewood fretboard that the Jazzmaster came out with in 1958. The Sunburst finish and gold pickguard would be gone by 1960

Let's take a look at this late 1950s Jazzmaster through the lens of the features mentioned in How to date a Jazzmaster. The neck dates on late 1950s Jazzmaster were hand written in pencil, but many of them from mid 1959 until 1960 do not have any neck date. The pencil signature on this Jazzmaster reads "2/59" indicating it was made in February of 1959. The body dates on Jazzmasters are found under the gold shielding in the bridge pickup cavity. The body date on this one reads "11/58" which indicates that this body was routed and likely finished in November of 1958. The potentiometer codes read 137 850" which indicates they were made by CTS during the 50th week of 1958. Remember that Fender serial numbers aren't necessarily consecutive, but should align with the rest of within a certain range. This one is 5 digits beginning with "15xxx", which is strange for this guitar. I've heard rumors of other early 1959 Jazzmasters with serial numbers from 1956. It's a bit of a mystery for this guitar. 

1959 Jazzmaster neck heel date

1959 Jazzmaster bridge pickup cavity date 11/58

1959 Jazzmaster potentiometer codes

 

1959 Jazzmaster Features

 

Year: 1959. Gold anodized pickguard, 2/59 neck heel date, 11/58 body date, and potentiometer code reading 137 850 (137 = CTS, 8 = 1958, and 50 = 50th week). Oddly enough, it has a serial number plate within a range used in 1956. I have seen this one one other Jazzmaster made during the same month. 

Measurements: 8 lbs / 3.65kg total weight. The neck profile measure 0.80" deep at the first fret and 1" deep at the 12th fret. The nut width measures exactly a full 1 11/16".

Originality: All parts appear to be original to the guitar except the strings and case! The case is a correct 1959 era tweed knucklebuster case but someone spray painted the tweed gold at some point.

Playability: Very good! This is a nice player but there is typical fret wear for a guitar of this age. I didn't find it to be so significant that I'd like to have it refretted but many players may disagree. 

Notes: I'm thrilled to offer this 1959 Fender Jazzmaster to the market for the first time since 1959. The '59 era Jazzmaster Sunburst is gorgeous to look at with purple undertones in the darker areas. The slab Rosewood fretboard is dark and has all the cool patina. The clay dots have shrunk into the board in the areas of heavy player traffic. It's a joy to hold and play and I know I'll miss it dearly.  

1959 Jazzmaster neck, headstock with spaghetti logo

Sell a Fender Jazzmaster

If you're interested in find a Fender collector who buys Jazzmasters from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s then you've come to the right place. I travel worldwide to buy the guitars I've always dreamed of. If you have a gold guard era 1958 or 1959 Fender Jazzmaster then I'm probably interested in it. You can contact me here to sell a Fender guitar. 

 

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