An Ibanez serial number can tell you two things, year of manufacture and factory [or country] of manufacture.
Ibanez did not put serial numbers on their guitars. The only way to date these guitars is to find out what years they were available and then comparing all the minute details like scripts, contours, and inlay variances that only the hardcore vintage gurus know.
, This old style serial number will either be on the neck plate or impressed into the back of the headstock.
It consists of a letter, A - L, followed by a 6 digit number.
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.
On typical Ibanez serial numbers the first 2 digits will indicate year, or the first digit will indicate the last digit of the year, but there are also some that indicate no year at all.
Because allot of it can be confusing I'll spell out as many model/serial types as I can remember tonight in a fully inconcise and dribble filled rant.
;) This page is for dating Ibanez guitars built in Japan only.
See the Factories heading a few paragraphs down for little info on guitars produced elsewhere.
This form of serial numbering is still used today on guitars where the number is impressed into the back of the headstock.