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This information is provided by Gretch drums when you email them about badges.


Thanks for your interest in dating your Gretsch drums. Here is some basic information on the manufacturing dates of Gretsch Drums.

With two major fires at the Gretsch factories in the past, most of the historical records were destroyed including any documents referencing serial number details for drum production. Since these records are no longer available, we are unable to provide detailed production years of individual drums based on serial numbers.

To help date you Gretsch Drums take a close look at your logo badges on your kit. You can use the following information to give you an idea when your Gretsch drums were manufactured:

BADGE #1 1883 to 1971

The original Gretsch Round Badge design.

This was the first badge used on Gretsch drums going all the way back to 1883. The badge was round with GRETSCH written across the top and DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1883 along the bottom. The older version of the Round Badge used a carpenter’s tack to attach the badge to the shells while later version used the standard brass grommet to affix the badge. Final production of Gretsch drums with the Round badge was in 1971

BADGE #2 1972 to 1979

The next badge design for Gretsch was an octagon shaped badge. This brass badge had the GRETSCH logo written in block type with an elongated letter “T “in the middle of the Gretsch name. One the right side of the brass grommet the word DRUMS appears in block letters. To the left the initials U.S.A. appear in block letters. The bottom section of the badge reads “THAT GREAT GRETSCH SOUND”. Final production of Gretsch Drums with this badge was in mid 1979. This is the only badge to carry the infamous “Great Gretsch Sound” tag line.

BADGE # 3 1979 to 1980

The second version of the octagon badge went into production in late 1979. This badge is very similar to the previous badge but the tag line on the bottom was changed back to “DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1883” in block letters.

BADGE # 4 1980

A brief glimpse into the modern day drum badge.

In 1980, due to the popularity of multiple –tom outfits, the badge was changed to a square shape with the corners cropped. This would allow the badge to look the same no matter which way the tom was mounted. The brass badge had the GRETSCH logo in block letters above the grommet. The GRETSCH logo below the grommet was placed upside down to allow for the varied positioning of the toms. U.S.A. was on the left and right side of the grommet with the left U.S.A. letters upside down. This badge would be used in 1980 and the shelved for a brief period of time before it was brought back into production.

BADGE # 5 Early 1981

A short return to the octagon badge.

This time the brass badge was redesigned with the GRETSCH logo in the drop “G” font above the grommet. U.S.A. appeared to the right of the grommet and DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1883 was at the bottom of this badge in block letters.

BADGE # 6 Late 1981 to Modern Day.

Back to the square badge design. By late 1981 the brass square badge had returned and is still being used on Gretsch Custom Drums today.



The BROADKASTER series and the USA MAPLE series use the modern day square badge design but in antiqued pewter finish instead of the traditional brass material that has been used on all previous series of Gretsch drums. The modern BROADKASTER series was reintroduced in 1998 and features gunmetal plated die cast hoops and lugs and satin lacquer wood-grain finishes. The USA MAPLE series was introduced in the mid 2001 and features chrome plated hardware and satin
wood-grain finishes.


This special badge was used in 1983 on a limited production of exotic wood grain kits with all gold hardware. Only 100 sets in these special finishes were produced.

The badge was a large upright rectangle with the corners cropped. The Gretsch logo features the drop “G” logo style and the badge reads “THE CENTENNIAL 1883-1983” along the top in block letters.


In 2003 Gretsch celebrates its 120th anniversary with a limited production of CUSTOM SERIES drums that feature the original Round Badge design. A total of 120 bebop drum sets in Champagne Sparkle or Dark Walnut lacquer will be produced. There will also be four individual snare drums that will only be produced in 2003 and will also feature the Round Badge design. For additional information concerning the 120th Anniversary products please go to the home page of GRESTCHDRUMS.COM.

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