1963 Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar

Value (2013) | $5,000 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
Well, it was my grandfather's. He played in a local band. My father played with him as well. And it eventually got handed down to me about 20 years ago. Well, it's a Gibson SG Special. And the serial number on the back of the headstock puts it at 1963.

APPRAISER:
What makes this one so exceptional is that it has survived without any breakage. They have a fatal flaw, which has meant that an awful lot of them haven't survived. If you look at this part of the joint here, there's a big cavity for the pickup.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And the heel is extremely small. Usually if you tell someone that you have a Gibson SG from the early '60s, the first question is, "Does it have a heel crack?" Yes, they made a tremendous number of them, and it's the SG Special, so it wasn't as expensive as the SG standard, but because so few of them have survived without being broken, it's made them quite valuable. In this condition, the guitar probably has a retail value of $5,000.

GUEST:
Very good. Granddad was good to me.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Gryphon Stringed Instruments
Palo Alto, California
Value Update (2013)
$5,000 Retail
Appraised value (2012)
$5,000 Retail
Event
Pittsburgh, PA (August 13, 2011)
Period
20th Century
Material
Wood
November 18, 2013: We contacted appraiser Richard Johnston for an updated appraisal in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $5,000 (Unchanged)

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

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."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

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.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.