A pawnbroker is an individual or business that offers secured loans to people, with items of personal property used as collateral. The word pawn is derived form the Latin pignus, for pledge, and the items having been pawned to the broker are themselves called pledges or pawns, or simply the collateral.
Common items pawned by customers include jewelry, electronics, collectibles, musical instruments, and tools. We often take broken jewelry for its metal value.
If an item is pawned for a loan, within a certain contractual period of time the pawner may redeem it for the amount of the loan plus some agreed-upon amount for interest and fees. The amount of time and rate of interest, is governed by state law. If the loan is not paid (or extended, if applicable) within the time period, the pawned item will be offered for sale by the pawnbroker. Unlike other lenders, the pawnbroker does not report the defaulted loan on the customer's credit report, since the pawnbroker has physical possession of the item and may recoup the loan value through outright sale of the item.
With a pawn loan, there is never an obligation on the part of the borrower to repay the loan, thus keeping the borrower out of a debt cycle, as opposed to other forms of non-banking lenders.
Authenticating Gold and Diamonds
When using jewelry for collateral in a pawn loan, our experienced and highly trained staff authenticates all precious metals and the precious stones adorning them. Our customers will always be consulted and asked for permission to test your item before the appraisal process starts. This process includes visual inspection using a jeweler’s loupe, weighing your items, calculating total diamond weight, taking note of the cut/ color/ clarity of the gems. We will also use industry standard karat gold testing acid for gold and silver. This process will not damage your jewelry in any way.
Testing General Merchandise
General merchandise like TVs, stereos, DVD players, cameras, power tools, ect will be tested to ensure the item is in good working condition. This includes, but isn’t limited to, a visual inspection, plugging the item into an outlet and turning it on, and noting if any accessories are included and their functionality . Obviously the better the condition of the item, the more money we will likely loan on it. It is strongly recommend that prior to offering an item as collateral, the client should test the item at home first and note any damage or missing parts.
The value of pre-owned items will be based on pre-owned retail prices, not what the item cost when it was purchased new. Any collateral that is forfeited and is made available for sale, is still pre-owned and will be priced accordingly on the sales floor. Our pawn staff reviews hundreds of items every week to ensure that our loan values are on par with the general marketplace for pre-owned merchandise.
Overall Condition of the Item
We assess an item for its condition (flaws, scratches, or other damage) and marketability (supply and demand). To assess value of different items, we use guidebooks, ("Blue Books"), catalogs, internet search engines, and our own experience.
The pawnbroker assumes the risk that an item might have been stolen. However, laws in many jurisdictions protect both the community and broker from unknowingly handling stolen goods (also known as fencing). As well as a holding period placed on an item purchased by a pawnbroker (to allow time for local law enforcement to track stolen items) we must give a list of all newly pawned items and any associated serial numbers to City of Wenatchee Police Department at the end of each day. As a pawnbroker we are required to establish positive identification of the seller through photo identification (such as a driver's license or government-issued identity document).
Less than one-tenth of one percent of pawned items have been reported as stolen over the last few years.
Where should you look for your stolen item?
*ebay *Collectible Stores *Used Sporting Goods
*Craigslist.org *Gold/Silver Buyers *Gun Dealers
*Flea Markets *Repair Centers *Consignment Auction Houses
*Second Hand Stores *Used Appliance/TV Stores *Antique Shops.
History of Pawn
The universal symbol for pawn shops is three balls suspended from a curved bar. The 'three balls" were originally attributed to the Medici family, who established the Medici trading and banking empire in Florence, Italy. The three spheres were originally three flat yellow effigies of gold coins hung in front of the houses of merchants who were moneylenders, and later converted into spheres to better attract attention.
Pawn lending has a rich history. It can even be traced back to at least 3,000 to ancient China, Greek, and Roman civilizations. Pawning has long been a way to finance business ventures as well as a source of capital for people. According to the National Pawn Brokers Association, even the Queen of Spain, Isabella, pawned her precious royal jewels in order to finance Christopher Columbus’ voyage into the New World.