Fender Jazzmaster 1959 Gold Guard
Posted on April 11 2023
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 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 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.
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.
Update 4/10/2023: 1959 Fender Jazzmaster factory Black
I'm thrilled to share another 1959 Fender Jazzmaster that I've just purchased. This one was factory updated in either 1961 or 1962 to a very rare Black finish! A factory Black finished Jazzmaster with gold pickguard is a very rare combination of features. I am always looking to buy custom color Jazzmasters from the late 1950s and 1960s. Do you have one? You can contact me here to sell a Fender.
I flew into Boise, Idaho to meet with the son of the original owner of this 1959 Fender Jazzmaster with Black finish. I was very confident that the Black finish was a factory finish by the look of the checking, but I needed to be 100% confident. I removed the strings and pickguard screws to take a look under the pickguard. I found the classic tiny nail holes in the body that Fender used to support the body while the finish was curing. It's important that these holes do not have paint inside them, since the nails were pulled out after the finish was applied. The nail holes in the Black '59 Jazzmaster were just as they are supposed to be with finish chip out around them.
I also found a few extra screw holes in the body of the '59 Black Jazzmaster. The extra holes indicated that this body was intended for a later style pickguard, not the gold anodized pickguard that's typical for 1959. The extra screw holes had paint in them! This worried me until I was able to inspect inside the neck pocket of the body. There I found the classic numbers impressed into the wood that Fender used to track the parts as they came back to the factory for repair. I also found the masking tape under the pickguard which also bore the serial number for tracking purposes.
So with the mystery solved, I gladly paid the money to buy this Black 1959 Jazzmaster! When I reassembled the guitar and set it up to play, I found that it is a fantastic playing example of the Jazzmaster in a very rare color combination of gold pickguard and factory Black finish. It was also a nice light weight example weighing in at only 7.9 lbs. I often find that vintage Jazzmasters are just over the 8 lbs range. I don't care too much about exactly how much they weight, but I do enjoy the resonance from a lighter weight guitar.
I am always looking to buy the nicest examples of Fender guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. You can contact me here to sell a Fender.