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eBay has a "Vintage Granada" Gibson reissue today

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May 28, 2022 - 7:32:37 AM
14764 posts since 10/30/2008

I know there are some folks who keep an eye out for this model, from near the end of Gibson banjo production. The plating just looks "odd" to me on this one.

Standard disclaimer, I have nothing at all to do with this offering.

Edited by - The Old Timer on 05/28/2022 07:33:47

May 28, 2022 - 8:08:48 AM



4227 posts since 2/20/2016

This is being listed as a limited edition run of 20. The finish on the metal parts might be the feature of the limited run.

But since Gibson has been notoriously lax in providing accessable details on their limited edition models, any information that would confirm or dismiss the specs from being those of an authentic Gibson product would have to come from somewhere else; perhaps from someone who was a Gibson banjo dealer at the time the model was available.

FWIW, at first glance the certificate of authenticity and the warranty card appear to be genuine. If they are not, whoever made them did an unusually good job of making them appear real.

May 28, 2022 - 8:53:42 AM

14764 posts since 10/30/2008

Well, I'm confident it's real.

One of the advertised features of this model was "copper flash" in the gold plating process. Frankly this banjo looks like pure copper plate with no gold at all. I haven't seen any of these in person, and photos of only one or two.

It looks much more copper-y than the Blackjack, which also featured "copper flash" in the gold plating.

I often wondered if Gibson put the copper flash ON TOP OF the gold plate in the latter days?

The pre-war plating had copper flash UNDER the gold plate, and it only became visible where the gold plate would rub away. Notably on the armrest and tailpiece and top of the tension hoop. And yet another variation beginning at the end of the 1920s was copper flash on the base metal, then NICKEL plate on top of that, then gold plate on top of that. You can spot these banjos in an instant (all the way up to the 2000s) because when the gold plate rubs off in the usual places you see the silver-colored nickel plate showing through.

It's quite rare to rub through nickel plate to see the copper flash beneath. Nickel is pretty tough, at least compared to gold.

Any other owners of these "Vintage Granada" special issues who can comment if the plating in this eBay ad looks typical?

May 29, 2022 - 8:20:37 AM
likes this

13205 posts since 1/15/2005

This was said by Scott Zimmerman (Desert Rose) some years ago and I think it is accurate. Certainly the banjo shown on Ebay looks more copper than gold, so I agree with those that think is strange looking.
The term "triple gold plating" is nothing more than advertising fluff

Quote; "just like " A little dab will do ya" or "milk makes a body good"

In the plating world in todays world virtually ALL plating is the same, unless you special order it and agree to hold the plater not responsible when the plating goes bad

First you copper plate the bare metal , remember the catchy Tennessee Twenty "copper flashed", meaningless ad fluff. Copper is used for one primary reason, adheasion. The copper gives the final plating something that is easy for it to stick to.

Next comes the nickel. If you want niclel plated parts the job is done here. THATS why you never hear of triple nickel.

If you are going for gold, the gold goes OVER the nickel. WHY, because the nickel is used to try and give some uniform consistancy to the final gold color. Plating gold directly over copper looks not like what the world today wants gold to look like.

The gold is for sure microns thick, making all the undercoating so important

THIS is the triple in triple gold plating, nothing to do with extra gold at all"

May 30, 2022 - 4:05:29 AM

151 posts since 9/27/2014

The description in the eBay listing has copper flashed hardware (no mention of gold plating) and an RB-75 tone ring. I think the Cumberland River flood was late April 2010 so this special Granada run was close to the last of the Gibson banjo production.

May 30, 2022 - 4:07:59 AM

1197 posts since 7/25/2006

As a old time plater has told me. It aint dipped in a solution 3 times, Its the amount of time its left in the solution. The longer it stays the more gold adheres to whats being plated,,

Jun 3, 2022 - 12:32:01 PM

14764 posts since 10/30/2008

This banjo did not draw a bid -- opening bid required was $6500.

Jun 3, 2022 - 5:44:42 PM



4227 posts since 2/20/2016

A survey of major dealers, reverb, and gbase yields two modern era Granadas that are listed at $6k.
The ebay banjo is a limited edition, appears to be in very fine condition, and I find the copper finished hardware to be quite attractive.

But even so, I think the owner will either have to soften his starting bid; or set a firm price that's competitive to move the banjo.

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