An 8 digit number example - C03114373 - translates, 03 = 2003, 11 = 11th month [November], 4373 = 4373rd guitar built in November 2003.
Prior to 11/2011 there are 5 digits followed by a letter.
The letter stands for the month, A for January etc., the first 2 digits will be the year, 76 is 1976, 96 is 1996, the last 4 digits will be the consecutive production number for that months production, 1356 would be the 1356th guitar produced that month.
This form of serial numbering is still used today on guitars where the number is impressed into the back of the headstock.
The letter denotes year, starting in 2010 with A, with a 5 digit production number. Alphabet Production Month (A = January to L = December), Next two numbers are Production Year (09-2009. 5 is UV77REMC [2 is FRM1, etc], Next Two numbers is monthly series number.