I've never heard of certain years being considered better than others. The Simpson Suhl, made after the fall of the wall, is rare and demands the most value (by far), but they are labeled Simpson Suhl in script and you won't mistake them for a military Mak. The military East German Makarovs are all pretty similar in quality and value.
The East German armorers commonly scratched the last 2 digits of the pistols serial number onto various internal parts - the sear, slide stop, some other parts. You may find one that was re-arsenaled before export, with etched numbers that don't match. That may lessen the value. Pull the slide off, cock the pistol and look at the hand-etched number on the sear.
I think there was one shipment of EG Maks that were a lot 'blacker' than the norm. Almost as if they were rearsenaled and refinished in black rather than standard bluing. There was no specific year, so I don't think any particular year will be better than any other. More of a case of whether or not it was abused during it's service life.
CW, some of the ones I got from GSP were on the black side and some of them actualy had a motted gray/black finish. Several of us looked at them and the general consenus was they had been refinished at some time. I still have one of the black ones and oldest son wound up with one of the gray ones that the finish hasn't stood up too well, the finish is starting to get thin. At the same time some of the nicer EG's I've got came from them so it was kinda hit and miss as to which ones you got. I remember calling the owner ( I can't remember his name but I do remember the heavy german accent) and complaining about the gray looking ones and after that I got the real nice ones that I've still got.
TN, I have one of those gray re-arsenaled EGs. The internal parts don't match. What the heck did they do to them - dissamble, throw the parts in a bag, stip off the finish and throw parts on them grabbed from the bag? It shoots great, and because it's such a unique item I'm thinking of letting it go for $700 - $800.
Maybe Wanagun can broker it on Auction Arms for me?
I'd add - the black vs blue EGs - I've seen both of those too. I think that's just a natural difference in the bluing process; not related to re-arsenaling. I've seen the same colors in Bulgarian Makarovs.
NB, I agree on the gray finished ones, iirc the one my son has is a juble of parts, the slide and frame matched but I don't thing the trigger guard matched the frame number. I have seen the darker/almost black EG's and Bulgies and I have a few of the EG's in the collection. The black ones I got from GSP didn't have a glossy black finish it was a dull almost flat finish. when I get time I'll dig thru the safe and see if I can find it and make a couple of pics.
Most of them that I've seen were SSME imports with the real small lettering but I also go one from SOG when they had some on sale for @130's. It was the gray color, mismatched and had a red or green 9 painted of the front grip strap. I returned it to them and now regret sending it back, it was one of the X'ed out LSA guns. Never did know the signifiance of the 9 and it was a Century import.