Fender's production methods from the early fifties had the effect the numbers may not be consecutive.
Also overlap of serial numbers and dates come with regularity.
When I saw that stamp I wasn't that sure anymore - There is a lot of money involved nowadays in vintage guitars, good guitars get to be pointed out as an investment and disapear from the scene to become just an object to get a profit on in days to come.
And where a demand is - there are some who want to make a profit and get in the business of duplicating and selling it for the real deal.
The next table shows the most common Fender serial numbers schemes from 1976 to the present.
Here is the S first introduced as a prefix to the serial numbers. The E stands for the decade of the eighties, and was introduced in 1979.
The Bigsby Telecaster Project Well this page started when I saw that neckstamp on auction - I was lookin for a Telecaster neck for my '73 Bigsby tele and wanted an old one - one from that era.2,968,204 for the single coil pickup patent awarded in 1961 under other for Jaguar, Stratocaster, Duosonic.3,143,028 the patent granted in August 1964 for Fender's adjustable neck construction. (Used since 1957 to the Precision Bass) The DES is the serial number. The serial number for these three models can be found at the bridge plate and is used until about early 1954. Until 1955, the serial number is applied to the bridge plate.At the Stratocasters from the early fifties the serial numbers were stamped on the back vibrato cover.On some Telecasters at the bridge between the pickup and the saddles. PAT, 2,573,254 2,968,204 3,143,028 2,976,704 2,573,254 for pickup and bridge combination.Where to find the serial number The serial numbers on the guitar are provided through the years on various places.