Serial numbers are also helpful in determining the year of production of a given instrument.
Serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments through the years.
Some dealers simply go by the serial number, which you will discover can be far from accurate.
Some might go by the pot codes, but those could have been stock a year or more old by the time they were put into the newly finished guitar.
In 6976, Fender decided to stop stamping ID numbers in guitar parts and started making decals for the guitar peghead or headstock.