Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Apr 24, 2019 - 8:38:26 PM
2 posts since 4/24/2019

Hi all,

New to this site, so apologies if this is repetitious. I have a Gold Star banjo my brother in law recommended, and I’m just learning to play. Great sounding instrument, but I can’t find any identifying information as to the model, year manufactured, etc. any help would be appreciated.
BTW, I live in New Zealand now and there’s a rich interest in American music, especially country and bluegrass.


Apr 24, 2019 - 9:06:34 PM

14685 posts since 2/7/2003

Without more input a good answer isnt possible, does it have a label on the rim.

Looks like a Goldstar G 100, but after that more input is necessary, pictures of the resonator removed etc


Apr 24, 2019 - 9:22:33 PM


New Zealand

10629 posts since 6/29/2003

Welcome to the BHO. It great to have another 'kiwi' here. Whereabouts are you?

Apr 24, 2019 - 11:55:02 PM

2 posts since 4/24/2019

Greymouth for now. Heading back to Tennessee shortly but will return to the coast end of year.

Apr 25, 2019 - 7:54:21 AM

11837 posts since 10/30/2008

It appears to be a Gold Star G100 H&F (Hearts & Flowers inlay pattern). Two other models had identical pots, but different inlay patterns. The G100 W had "Wreath" inlay. The G100 FE had "Flying Eagle" inlay on the fingerboard but "Leaves & Bows" inlay in the peghead, which combination bluegrassers usually call "Reno" pattern.

A key factor to know about your banjo, which you can learn by taking the resonator off and reading the label inside the rim, is where it was made. The early 1980s Gold Stars were made in Japan. Generally valued the highest. Since 2000 "or so" made in China or maybe Korea for a bit (I may be wrong about that, but they're not made in Japan now). Still well regarded.

There was also a G85 model that came with only Leaves & Bows inlay pattern, so there was no suffix to the model number. It was quite similar to the G100s, but priced slightly lower due to some difference in how the tone ring was manufactured. Otherwise VERY similar. From the front it looks very similar to the current Gold Star JD Crowe model.

Personally I think the Gold Stars are the best value for those looking for a really good "Masterclone".

Edited by - The Old Timer on 04/25/2019 07:55:49

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories