Serial number: 804102 – die-stamped on peghead rear. Upon examination, we note the following modifications and condition issues: the original friction fifth-string tuner has been replaced with a geared fifth-string tuner (making use of the original metal button), a sliding fifth-string capo has been installed on the bass-side of the neck, and the inscription “81054 RB-500” has been written inside the resonator back (this inscription is not Gibson factory work). The finish appears to be original, but exhibits typical deterioration with small dings, superficial surface scratches, compression marks and edge-chipping (peghead). In other respects, this instrument conforms to the typical specifications of the model for the period in which it was made with 11” diameter three-ply maple rim with dark brown stain finish, 20-hole flathead-type tone ring, one-piece die-cast Zamac, die-cast Zamac tension hoop, 24 sets of round J-hooks and “acorn style” nuts, two-piece brass armrest, Waverly tailpiece, two-piece figured maple neck with dark wood center strip and adjustable truss-rod, classic “open-book” shape peghead, mother-of-pearl Gibson logo and crown peghead inlays, Kluson 12-to-1 tuners with metal keystone-shape buttons, multi-ply beveled-edge bell-shaped black plastic truss-rod cover with “Custom” logo engraving, 22-fret ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl “bowtie” inlay pattern, single-ply white edge binding on peghead and fingerboard, laminate construction convex back resonator with figured maple exterior veneer and two multi-ply white & black concentric rings, multi-ply white & black edge binding on resonator top and bottom edges, three sets of metal resonator attachment hardware, cherry sunburst finish on neck and resonator (other finish options were available), gold-plated metal hardware, and other typical RB-500 model appointments. The instrument is currently housed in the original hard-shell case with textured black exterior covering and yellow plush interior lining.
Appraisal by George Gruhn