Hi-Ho-Silver Away: Part I

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"Silver Dream"
1988 4003 Silver
Photo courtesy of Peter McCormack

Rickenbacker's Silver Finish

One of the more unique finishes used by Rickenbacker International Corporation was that of "Silver." This finish is on the record books as having been offered from 1980-1984, however, a keen eye and some sleuthing will reveal that the instruments finished in Silver continued to roll off the assembly line for at least another five years. Thus far only one-quarter of one percent of the instruments in the Rickenbacker Registration Page Registry have a silver finish so, while unique, it would be difficult to argue that this colour was a big seller for RIC.

The finish can perhaps be best described as a dark silver as opposed to a the bright shiny colour that one frequently draws from memory when thinking of silver coin. It is difficult to photograph and consequently depending on the amount of flash and other lighting, the colour can appear to range from a dull and more subdued gray finish to the iridescent and shinny appearance of polished sterling. The clear coat lacquer breaks down over time and the resultant senescent yellowing produces a green cast as captured by the photo above. The following series of pages have been posted to portray the characteristics of the Rickenbacker Silver finish in a cross-section of instruments over the Rickenbacker age-span from 1981 to 1989. Should you have a "Rickenbacker in Silver" please send along a photo and the details of your instrument so that it may be added to this article.

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