How much is an original 1959 Gibson Les Paul worth?

John Shults

Posted on May 06 2022

How much is an original 1959 Gibson Les Paul worth?


In the Gibson guitar collecting world, there is one model that reigns supreme as the most valuable standard production guitar: The Les Paul Standard made in 1959. The folks at Gibson were likely very surprised when the model that wasn't commercially successful transformed into the dream guitar that everyone wanted, and only about 10 years after it was discontinued. Most of them never make it to the public market, so how do we find out what an original 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard is worth?

As a Gibson guitar player, collector, and buyer, I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitars. I'm an active buyer in the market and keenly aware of what features determine the value of an original Les Paul. If you're curious about how to find the year of your guitar then check out the Les Paul Serial Number Lookup. If you'd like to know how much I would value your 1950s Les Paul then contact me here: Sell a Gibson. I buy Les Paul guitars world wide. I can come to you for an in-person transaction for the right guitar. 

Features Effect How Much A Les Paul Is Worth

Gibson guitar collectors determine how much an original Gibson Les Paul is worth based on mostly the same set of factors: year, color, top figure, condition, and originality. Gibson continually updated the way they manufactured guitars throughout the 1950s so each year will have its own specific features. Guitar players have found that Les Paul guitars made in 1959 have the perfect set of features including a comfortable neck profile, large frets (first year), attractive color, and figured Maple tops. Les Paul Standards made in 1958 have slightly larger neck profile, generally plain tops, and the top color fades quicker. Les Paul Standards made in 1960s usually have slimmer neck profiles and brighter cherry red color. You can check out two examples here: Les Paul Standard 1958 and Les Paul Standard 1960

The top color and figure also heavily influence how much an original Gibson Les Paul is worth. The original color for the Les Paul Standard was gold, but Gibson updated the model to the Cherry Sunburst color for 1958-1960 only. The red dye they used for the cherry often fades to an amber or orange color when exposed to light and oxygen. Original Les Paul guitars with deep color will be worth more than similar guitars with faded color. The Maple used for the carved tops of Les Paul guitars can range from very plain with no figure all the way to highly figured in the shape of tiger stripes, rolling quilt, or even bird's eye dots. Most buyers will choose a highly figured top over a similar guitar with less figure. 

As with most vintage collectible items, Gibson Les Paul guitars in clean original condition with no repairs or changed parts will be worth far more than similar guitars that are worn. Some repairs effect the value more than others, the most significant of which are a neck repair or a refinish. Either of these repairs or modifications can decrease its value by 50% or more.

Gibson Les Paul 1959 Value and worth

Find Out How Much Your Les Paul Is Worth

If you've inherited a Gibson Les Paul from the 1950s or 1960s and are curious about how much it's worth, contact me here: Contact Me. I would be happy to help identify the year it was made and features that could affect its value. If you're interested in selling then I may be the buyer you're looking for. If not, I probably know someone who is looking to buy a late 1950s Les Paul. I travel world wide to buy the Les Paul guitars I've always dreamed of. 

Original Gibson Les Paul 1959

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