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To help make sense of the guitar market, we’ve put together 5 indices alongside guitar experts and financial experience. These indices are similar to stock market indices like the S&P500 or FTSE100, for example.
To collate the indexes we use values for the top collectable guitars from each manufacturer (using mint condition values). Each index has a yearly average of the guitars that make up the index, indexed back to 2012 = 100. Our VGP50 index is a collection of the top 50 guitars that make up the Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, and Martin indices.
The past 12 months has been tough at the top of the market with all our indices losing value. Here’s a closer look at each of them…
The third consecutive year of losses for the top 13 Fender guitars, falling from highs of 105 points in 2016 to its lowest recorded value ever at 94 for 2019.
Last year Gibson filed for bankruptcy. We expected this to increase the value of the Gibson index as collectors flocked to early models from the manufacturer. How wrong we were! The Gibson index lost over 10% in value over the last 12 months dropping from highs last year of 124 to 115 points this year.
The Martin index has been steady over the past 8 years. We saw highs of 105 points last year, with the index dropping 2 points to 103 in 2019. In the upcoming 12 months we expect little change for the finest Martin guitars, as financial conditions look to worsen across all asset classes.
Our Gretsch index has always been a bit of an outsider, simply because there is not as much demand in the market as there is for the highly desire brands; Gibson, Fender, and Martin. Like the Fender index, the Gretsch 12 has suffered steady losses over the last few years and losing 3% in value since the inception of the index in 2012.
With losses across the board, the VGP50 lost 4 points from highs of 110 in 2018 to 106 points this year. The scale of losses can largely be attributed to the large fall in the Gibson index of over 10%. Since 2012, the top end of the guitar market represented by the VGP50 is up 6%.
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