Here are the rough serial number ranges for the early Esquires and Telecasters: By mid-1954, Fender began using a universal serial number sequence for all its instruments.
At this time, the location of the serial number also shifted from the bridge to the neckplate (the metal plate located on back of where the neck meets the body).
I will also mention briefly pot-codes as a resource (numbers on the internal potentiometers of the guitar).
Instead, the best approach to dating a Fender is to combine indicators from the design of the instrument, the dates found on the neck and body, along with the serial number.
Once you have the information you need, if you're interested in selling your Fender, you can use Reverb to get it in front of the largest audience of musicians in the world by clicking on this link.
Perhaps the best place to start when dating your Fender is to get an approximate idea of the era based on the instrument's design and components.
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