I picked up this very clean 1968 Fender Telecaster Custom with factory installed Bigsby tailpiece as a part of a guitar collection I bought from its long time owner in Colorado. The original Telecaster Custom, or Custom Telecaster as the headstock logo often read, was made from 1959 until 1971 with a Sunburst finish and white binding on the front and back of the body. Custom colors from Fender's custom color chart were available which included the contrasting black plastic binding for Blond or Olympic White Telecaster Customs. It's my favorite version of the Telecaster!

As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of Telecaster and Telecaster Custom guitars. If you've inherited a vintage Fender guitar and are curious about finding the year it was made then check out Fender Serial Numbers. Or if you're considering selling then I may be the collector you're looking for. You can send pictures and information about your Fender guitar here: Sell a Fender

Fender Telecaster Custom 1968

By 1968, the Telecaster Custom model lost its "Custom" designation on the headstock, but they are easily identified by the double bound body and Sunburst finish. This is a very nice example that weighs 8.5 lbs; a comfortable weight for a guitar but especially for one with a Bigsby and made during this time period. The neck profile measures 0.88" deep at the first fret and 0.94" deep at the 12th fret. The neck width is the typical 1 5/8" B width which is standard for the Telecaster. 

We can find the year of manufacture of this Fender Telecaster Custom by using the serial number, neck heel date stamp, and the basic features. The serial number reads 219xxx on a plate with a large F. We can use the Fender Serial Number Lookup to find this serial number within the range used in 1968. The neck heel ink stamp reads 3 JAN 68 B where 3 = Telecaster model, JAN = January, 68 = 1968, and B = standard nut width of 1 5/8".

Fender Telecaster year and dating with neck heel ink stamp

Fender Telecaster Value

The value of a Fender Telecaster depends on its exact model version, year by serial number, color, bridge style, condition, and originality. The exact version of this Telecaster is the Telecaster Custom which features the Sunburst finish and white plastic binding on the body. The Telecaster Custom is an upgraded version of the Telecaster with far fewer examples made. We can expect its value to be much higher than that of the standard Telecaster. The Telecaster Custom was offered in custom color finishes like this one: Fender Telecaster Custom white and black 1968. Custom color examples of the Telecaster Custom are far more valuable than Sunburst. Please contact me if you are interested in selling a custom color Telecaster: Sell a Fender

The year of manufacture also heavily effects the value of a Fender Telecaster Custom. On average, the earlier the build, the higher its value. Other factors may be more significant to the value such as color or condition. The Telecaster has always been a popular model, so most of them have been played heavily over the years. A clean condition Telecaster Custom is often more valuable than a heavily worn example.  

1968 Fender Telecaster Custom dating and value
Fender Telecaster Custom 1968 Sunburst with white binding
John Shults

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