I was going through my small collection of guitars here at the Music Gallery & realized that this year is the 25th Anniversary of the Fender Custom Shop Diamond Dealer! A little back story on my favorite Custom Shop Collection of all time...
The Diamond collection marked the beginning of the Fender Custom Shop showing off true pieces of Art in guitar building. It was the early 1990’s. Fender wanted to show the guitar community that they could build more than just a working man's guitar. They wanted to show off a collection of builders that not only could build the perfect Fender guitar, like the pre-CBS era guitars, but also take things to the next level and deliver true pieces of art.
Fender went to a select number of dealers around the country & offered them to become a “Diamond Dealer”. Each dealer would receive 2 of the Diamond edition guitars per year. A total of 6 models were created. The first 2 were released in 1994.
The Fender Diamond Collection consists of 6 guitars and they arrived in the following order...
Harley Davidson Strat
Playboy Anniversary Strat. "Marilyn Monroe”
Aloha Strat in honor of Freddie Tavares
40th Anniversary Strat. In honor of the 40 years of the Strat
50th Anniversary Strat in honor of the 50th anniversary of Fender
Jimi Hendrix Monterey Pop Festival Stratocaster
The Music Gallery was one of the very first Diamond Dealers. It marked the beginning of Fender Custom Shop as we know it today. As the owner of the Music Gallery since 1974 I am very proud to say that The Music Gallery has remained a Fender Custom shop dealer since becoming one of the first Diamond dealers. All 6 of the collection has been kept here at the Music Gallery in their cases routinely maintained by George MacPhail.
Because many of these guitars were co-branded with other industries ( Harley Davidson, Playboy Enterprises, and the Hendrix Foundation ) many were given to those companies. Only the guitars built for Diamond dealers had a special addition on the headstock of the guitar. It was the signature Custom Shop Logo V with an actual diamond inlaid. All the guitars were built with the same diamond inlay. Only the Diamond Dealer guitars had the extra special logo to show it was shipped to one of the special dealers.
Most, if not all of the Diamond Dealers at that time, sold these guitars as they’re made. I decided to keep them as a set. I considered these guitars to be quite special. After all, these were and are the truly collectible, unique Fender Custom Shop guitars. True pieces of art.
Please take a look at the full picture set of each one as there are countless details to appreciate on each of these amazing pieces. If you have any questions please feel free to call or write me.
The Diamond Collection you see here is being offered for sale. These guitars have rarely been out of their cases & played, except to be oogled over ever so often at special Fender Events that we've held at the shop over the years. Every little item that these guitars were shipped with is included, including the scent of Patchouli Oil on the Hendrix Monterey Strat. Too cool!