Fender Stratocaster 1959 Dating and Value

John Shults

Posted on March 14 2022

Fender Stratocaster 1959 guitar in white blond color


I received pictures of this beautiful Fender Stratocaster made in 1959 in original Blond finish from a private owner recently. It looks like a really nice example of a late 1959 Stratocaster with slab Rosewood fretboard. It's important to date the guitar to the exact year of manufacture before attempting to establish a fair value for it. This Stratocaster bears all the typical features for a late 1959 build.

As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always buying Fender Stratocaster guitars made in the 1950s and 1960s. I'm looking for clean condition Stratocaster guitars in all colors. If you've inherited a Fender Stratocaster and would like help finding the year it was made then you can get help here: Fender Serial Numbers. Or if you're interested in finding out how much I would value your Stratocaster then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender

Fender Stratocaster dating by serial number and features 1959

Fender Stratocaster 1959 Year

This Fender Stratocaster bears a serial number that falls within the range for late 1959. Since Fender serial numbers during the late 1959 are applied to the neck plate which is easily swapped using only a screwdriver. It's for this reason that Fender guitar collectors use both the serial number and the visible features to find the year it was made. Common features that can help date a Stratocaster are the fretboard style, logo style, pickguard material, number or screw holes in a pickguard, tuner style, finish style, etc. 

The fretboard material and style are the first features that help me identify 1959 as the year this Stratocaster was made. I can see a dark Rosewood fretboard applied in the slab style. 1959 was a transitional year for Stratocaster neck and fretboards. Early 1959 Stratocaster necks are made using one piece of Maple to form the neck and fretboard, but Fender introduced the Rosewood fretboard later that year. You can check out the prior style all Maple neck typical of the 1950s here: Fender Stratocaster 1958. The slab Rosewood fretboard lasted from mid 1959 until mid 1962. 

We can also use the pickguard material and style to date this Stratocaster to late 1959. The typical 1950s Stratocaster is a thin one piece white guard with 8, 9, or 10 holes. Fender introduced the mint green three layer pickguard in late 1959 which typically had 11 screws. This Stratocaster has a thin white guard with 10 holes, which likely indicates it was made in 1959. 

Fender Stratocaster 1959 with Blond cream white color

Fender Stratocaster 1959 Value

The value of a Fender Stratocaster depends heavily on a few important factors including the year of manufacture, color, bridge style, condition, and originality. I am a guitar buyer for all 1950s Stratocaster guitars (link here: Sell a Fender). We were able to establish by serial number and features that this Stratocaster was made in 1959. It's important to compare values for Stratocasters made during the same year or similar range of years. 

The next most important factor effecting the value of a 1959 Stratocaster is the color. The standard Stratocaster color during 1959 is a three tone Sunburst finish which fades from yellow to red to black on the edges. This Stratocaster is finished in Blond which was available by order in 1959. Fender's Blond finish is defined by a semi-translucent white color with an often yellowing clear coat. This makes it look more cream than white, but you should always be able to see the Ash wood grain body through the finish. Check out Fender Blond or White? It's important to compare the values for Fender Stratocaster guitars made with the same color and year. 

As a Fender guitar collector, I am looking for all colors of Fender Stratocaster guitars made in the 1950s and 1960s. If you've inherited a Stratocaster and are curious about how much I would value it then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender

Fender Stratocaster 1959 headstock and logo for collector

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