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Fender and Squier serial numbers, for guitar made overseas, has in the last 20 years or longer consisted of two letters followed by eight (sometimes nine) numerals.
The two letters leading denotes what plant the instrument was made in.
This is a relatively common practice when non-conforming guitars are sold in bulk to a dealer/middle-man who refurbish them and sell them to the open market.
I have been looking at many Mini Strat listings by now, and I can not remember ever seeing a black Mini that did not have an "IC" serial number.
These stamps can be found in differentlocations on your guitar, so now I'll tell you where you need to look to find these markings... acronym for "Japan Vintage" On these guitars you will find the letters "JV" stamped/engraved into the neck plate of the Stratocasters and bass guitars and on the bridges of the Telecasters and other guitar models.The space between the "C" and the "0" is cramped, in lack of a better word. I will examine this guitar closer on a separate page in the near future.The Squier Mini is manufactured in at least two different plants, both in Indonesia.On early Fender JV models, you will also find "MADE IN JAPAN" written very small under the Fender spaghetti logo on the headstock of the guitar.On later Fender JV models, the "MADE IN JAPAN" can be found on the heel of the guitar neck, just above the metal neck plate.