1957 Gretsch Duo-Jet Electric Guitar
It's my husband's guitar. It's a family heirloom. It's been passed down from his grandfather, who bought it back, I'm guessing, in the late '50s, we're not sure when. It's played on stage and it's been played on the radio by his grandfather and his father.
Well, it's a Gretsch Duo Jet. Gretsch serial numbers and features are pretty confusing, but the serial number puts it at 1957. And the Duo Jet was Gretsch's competitor to the Gibson Les Paul. It has been changed somewhat. This Bigsby tailpiece was added later. It originally had a much simpler tailpiece that just had the Gretsch "G" on it.
We have that, actually.
Oh good! It's in pretty good shape. It has what we like to call "honest wear," and it has an abundance of it.
Of course, the case has kind of become a personality in itself, with all this time.
So because of the changes, the guitar probably has a retail value of around $3,500, just under $4,000.
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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
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Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
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