We’re really excited to have incorporated a nationwide Directory of Pawn Shops on our website, and we continue to welcome new Pawn Shops to list their shops and services everyday. This is a tremendous addition to our overall theme of our services, “second-hand social marketplace,” because Pawn Shops offer a unique buying and selling experience. In today’s society, many people depend on pawnbrokers to help them meet daily financial needs not offered by other institutions. Pawn customers represent the working families of America who periodically experience an unexpected need for short-term funds.
Pawnbroking is not a new practice nor does it appeal to just one social class. As humankind’s oldest financial institution, pawn loans can be traced back at least 3,000 years to ancient China as well as early Greek and Roman civilizations. During the 14th Century, King Edward III of England is said to have frequented pawn stores in Europe. Queen Isabella is reported to have pawned her royal jewels to finance Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World.
Traditionally, the pawnbroker’s symbol is three gold spheres hanging from a bar. This stems from St. Nicholas, often referred to as the patron saint of pawnbroking. He is reported to have left three bags of gold so the daughters of a poor man could afford to marry, thus saving them from a life of slavery or prostitution. Later the tradition transformed the bags into three gold balls, which became the symbol of pawnbrokers.
More fun facts:
- Dec. 6, 1996, marked the first annual National Pawnbrokers Appreciation Day. The chosen date of Dec. 6 was no accident – it’s also St. Nicholas’ day, the patron saint of pawn broking.
- Fashion designer Diane Von Furstenburg raised capital to launch her “wrap dress” business by pawning her diamond ring.
- Between 70 and 80 percent of all items pawned are also redeemed. Many shops that cater to a more “repeating” customer base, have redemption of over 90 percent.