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Neck dating can be useful in finding the approximate age of your guitar.
Since the neck is only a component of the guitar, it could have been produced a number of years before the actual instrument was assembled, hence the date on the neck is not necessarily the production date of the whole guitar.
Vintage reissue instruments have the date on the butt end of the neck like the originals.1972: A new eight-digit neck stamp was introduced colored either green or red. From 1972 to around March 1973, this new system was used simultaneously with the previous “XX MMM-YY W”.Again, either stamp can occur on instruments from this era.Finally, the first one or two digits of the code tells you which model you are holding; 22 being a Stratocaster.
There are some exceptions as you can see in this information provided by Mike Gagliano.
1954-1959: Same as above, only the format is M-YY, leaving out the day. March 1962 to 1965: Dark blue or red ink stamps below the truss rod adjustment at the neck butt. The “XX” does not refer to the day; it is a code for the neck type (e.g. The “W” stands for neck width: “A” is the narrower, “B” is normal width, and “C” wider and “D”, though rarely seen, is the widest.