"A" style serial numbers as used from 1947 to 1961.
The first and fifth numbers are the year, for example 8997653 = 8997653 or 1986 ES (Electric Spanish - hollow body with fixed pickup(s) T - Thinline D Double - 2 Pickups C Cutaway or Cherry Finish 3/4 - 3/4 side and short scale SV - Stereo and Veritone wiring option Please keep in mind that Serial numbers show approximate date of manufacture.
I checked Gibson site, but there's just details of what all the numbers mean - couldn't see a form for submitting or anything. I mailed Gibson with pics and serial, they say it's ok, so I'm good to go.
Another forum seemed to have a guy replying to peoples queeries, but it was a few years old that thread. Will be interesting to compare it to the faded special that I already have... There's also Guitar dater project which has a section on Gibsons.
All of the serial number de-coders I have read about state that CS production serial numbers will always be CS followed by 5 digits, where the first digit is the year. I take this to mean made in 2011, but I can't beleive the CS knocked out 50000 guitars in 2011 so what do the other 5 digits mean?
I've seen this on a lot of CS guitars now (ones I looked at when buying), Also I know someone with a cs-356 which is CS103xxx.