Pawn Stars – In Las Vegas, there’s a family-owned business called the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, run by three generations of the Harrison family: Rick, his son Big Hoss, and Rick’s dad, The Old Man. Now, License to Pawn takes readers on behind the scenes of the hit History Channel show Pawn Stars and shares the fascinating life story of its star, Rick Harrison, and the equally intriguing story behind the shop, the customers, and the items for sale.
Rick hasn’t had it easy. He was a math whiz at an early age, but developed a similarly uncanny ability to find ever-deepening trouble that nearly ruined his life. With the birth of his son, he sobered up, reconnected with his dad, and they started their booming business together.
- The first pawn shops emerged in ancient China more than 3,000 years ago.
- Today, there are more than 12,000 pawn shops operating in the United States alone.
- It is estimated that approximately 25 million Americans do not have a bank checking account. Pawn shops serve this population by offering a source of short- term loans.
- Pawn shops are often referred to as the “Lombard” in Europe, in reference to the House of Lombard, a prominent lending family in medieval London.
- More than 70 percent of all items pawned today are reclaimed.
- The average loan granted for a pawned item is $75.
- Most states have laws limiting the amount of interest charged on pawn loans.
- State laws mandate that customers pawning items provide detailed information including name, address, and date of birth, and show government issued ID.
- The symbol of the pawnbroker is three spheres suspended from a bar. Some connect this symbol to the Medici Family–legend has it that one of the Medicis working for Emperor Charles the Great killed a giant with three sacks of rocks. The three balls or globes later became part of their family crest, and ultimately, the sign of pawnbroking.
- Saint Nicolas is the patron saint of pawnbrokers; the symbolism of the three balls or spheres associated with pawnbrokers has also been connected with his gift of three bags of coins to the three daughters of a poor man so that they could marry.
Sources: http://www.gspawn.com/ and http://www.history.com/shows/pawn-stars/videos