Couple times a year its necessary to remind people that serial numbers serve a purpose BUT that purpose is NOT for use by the instrument owner and often is NEVER ment to be used to date the instrument by anybody.
While small makers and some others do use the number for this the bigger manufactures use the serial number for inventory control and warranty purpose, both of which have no need to be tied to dating system.
You can see this in Gibsons frequent changes in number systems over the years. Goldstar and Kentucky numbers are useless as are Fenders. With Ibanez one of the MEGA makers Im guessing that their serial numbering will also not be a dating system, especially with multi intruments and at least half a dozen different countrys making their instruments ( they dont make anything). In big manufacturing the factory has boxes of decals with numbers, these are applied, to often totally randomly by the workers and two instruments sitting next to each other in the factory might have numbers dozens hundreds or thousands of numbers different, all being made on the same day.
I worked for eleven years at the factory that made your Ibanez banjo
Thank you Scott .Allways a pleasure to read your insights.I can understand stickers cheap can be peel off,but why stamp permanently an instrument if it does not serve any purpose,it's not decorative,but it appear to be meaningfull,like a tatoo.
I haven't found any negative review about the Ibanez Artist,every one who had one and sold it,regret doing so.
I guess it's a very good instrument,I sure hope it's,well it's very elegant anyway,stunning actually.
for # A 787507 the letter represent the months of the year starting with A for january and on till december,the first two digits represent the year,in this case 1978,and thirdly the last four # is the number of the instrument produced that mont,limited to 9000.
Is that make any sense or what apply to guitars can't be use for banjos.And therefore totally ignore.
By all means try and apply the logic and see if it makes sense but again, I wouldnt expect it to be a given that it would work
As I said stamping the number makes total sense to the manufacturing of the instrument, the serial number was important to the company making the instrument ( Fujigen ) and important to Ibanez both in inventory and warranty, but neither has any need at all to be tied to a calendar date as to when the thing left the factory at all. It may be that banjos had a different system than electric guitars and acoustic guitars again were different as were mandolins. ALL being made by Fujigen at the same time. Try Mikes logic and see what you get and if it falls within the known years the banjo was made you may have something.
The most reliable thing would to research what years your banjo was made, and that will give you a window of a few years. After that, being more specific may or may not be possible