There are several ways to pawn stuff, and the guys of Pawn Stars have made a good business out of it. The show has shed more light on the industry compared to other shows or movies. Pawn Stars premiered in July 2009 and people across America have been hooked ever since, spawning spinoffs in Australia and the UK.
The show follows the Harrisons – Old Man Harrison (grandfather), Rick Harrison (father), Big Hoss Harrison (son) – and Austin “Chumlee” Russell (Big Hoss’ best friend) as they operate their pawn business in Las Vegas, Nevada. The reality show documents how they interact with clients and the drama that ensues. Even though you see all of the drama on-screen, there are a lot of things that go on behind the camera that we bet you’ve missed!
A Private Lynyrd Skynyrd Show
The theme song of the show is from Lynyrd Skynyrd (starting the fourth season), but not many people know that the stars of the show were given a private concert by the band.
The band traveled to Las Vegas to meet the guys and took out their musical instruments for a surprise concert at the parking lot of the pawnshop. The men were ecstatic and anyone who was around at the moment joined the action.
Olivia Black Was Not Fired
In the show’s fifth season, Olivia Black started working the night shift at the pawn shop. Rumors circulated that she was fired from the show and the pawn shop because she did a revealing photoshoot for a certain website. Even though it may sound possible, the fact is that neither the network nor the family had a problem with her modeling.
The issue was that Olivia herself chose to go someplace else after doing the show for a little bit, but the final cut that viewers saw was somehow different.
Pawn Stars Was Sued
In one episode, the pawn shop was sued for having some gold coins melted down because the men did not diligently research the coins they bought. They melted the coin down with no questions asked, which is usually in itself not a big deal. However, the woman who sold the coin collection way back in 2014 apparently stole the coins from her uncle.
In the end, the uncle claimed the coin collection was his and is worth over $50K. The uncle then proceeded to file a lawsuit against the owners of the shop for the specified amount. They should do more research on future trade-ins next time.
Interest In Pawn Plaza Waned
Since the show became popular, a lot of people came to the shop. Rick thought that it was wise to grow their business and open Pawn Plaza, a place with more restaurants and stores to take care of the growing number of tourists.
Even though Pawn Plaza was doing well at the beginning, the people’s interest eventually waned. The structure, which is mostly made of shipping containers, had four businesses that closed in 2016. The forecast for Pawn Plaza is not looking good unless something or someone changes it and invests in the property.
Rick Harrison Is A Huge Bookworm
Rick is amongst the leading figures on the show and he is all about his business duties and his car collection. It might come as a surprise to most people that Rick is a big bookworm. He loves to read, not just car magazines, but also literature. A lot of people see this as an interesting fact considering it seems to go against his character on the show.
Rick has also faced people who tried to pawn an inappropriate Japanese painting and some human skulls. This is literature that is totally different and not what he had anticipated.
The Biggest Selling Point
It might interest you to know that in recent times, the shop earns more in selling their own stuff, and Chumlee’s designs in particular are the best-sellers. To make the shop look more legit, the camera is usually angled away from the merchandise. Normally, you won’t be able to see what kind of merchandise is for sale.
However, no one can argue the fact that the biggest selling points are definitely the shop’s merchandise line since fans show up daily.
Not That Real
Similar to other reality TV shows, the term reality is being used loosely here since there are occasions when it is entirely staged. One example is when somebody enters the shop with an interesting item to pawn and the person is requested to come back in.
This gives the production team time to work, thereby making the episode staged and a little less real.
Stolen Items Were Brought In
We mentioned some gold coins, but there were other times when items which were stolen had been brought to the shop to be pawned or traded in. In 2009, a person brought diamond earrings to the shop and sold them for $40K. Not a day later, the earrings were discovered to be stolen and the person who brought it in got caught and arrested.
The shop is not held responsible for stolen items. However, they do not get their money back after giving them.
Everything that happens on the show is not by accident. Usually, placing a product is a subtle art, but it is very obvious in this one. The guys on the show eat a lot of Subway sandwiches. The fact is that the sandwich giant is a sponsor.
The guys on the show can often be seen eating sandwiches and the Subway wrapper is in full view. Needless to say, they need viewers to see this.
Deanna Had A Bad Marriage
Rick and Deanna Burditt got married in 2013. It is Deanna’s second marriage. Richard is the name of Deanna’s ex-husband who was convicted of a gruesome crime.
Rick finds it aggravating that Richard did not go to jail and to this day, this remains a sensitive subject for Rick. Honestly, all that matters is that Deanna found true happiness with Rick.
Big Hoss Harrison’s Road Accidents
It was not mentioned on the show that Rick’s son, Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, was involved in a number of motorbike accidents. In 2014, he got into one of the scarier ones. Corey was tossed from his motorbike.
Even though things could have ended far worse, Corey somehow only suffered a couple of scratches and minimal injuries like a fractured wrist.
Rick’s Sweet Gesture To A Fan
Thanks to the show’s popularity, the stars and the show have a big fan base. Some fans are pretty young but they love the show’s concept. One of the fans is an autistic young boy named Little J, who sent his Gameboy to Rick in order to pawn it for $30.
Rick sent back the Gameboy along with $30, and added a personal letter thanking the boy and encouraged him to continue playing his games.
No More Working Behind The Counters For The Stars
When the show was first starting out, you could expect to find the men working behind the counter. However, as the show’s popularity increased and the ratings climbed, they are no longer behind the counter of the shop, and can easily be found around the show’s merchandise area instead.
Even though this is a bit disappointing, it is to be expected that you will more likely find the men taking photos with the fans and signing autographs.
Not The First Time On Television
The shop and the people who run it became famous because of the show Pawn Stars, but they had actually been on TV even before the show. In the 2001 PBS documentary on the pawn business, the shop had been the focus. On a separate occasion, years later, Dave Attell’s show Insomniac also featured the shop.
It was only in 2009 when the men and their shop got some TV exposure of their own.
Even though there are a lot of valuable things at the shop, the rarest and oldest is an ancient Greek coin called a didrachm that dates back to 325 B.C. There is no quantifying the amount of history it has, so the shop holds on to the coin dearly.
If we are not considering inflation, the value of the coin would be $2, but we are, so its value would be extremely high. This coin was brought in to be traded several years ago.
Thousands Of Visitors
Having people come into your business is a wonderful thing, but if the number of people ranges from 3,000-5,000 a day, it becomes hectic. When people pawn things, these men used to be the primary point of contact and manage the shop themselves.
However, since the fan base is so big, some things had to be changed. The guys now have to sit at the back for the fans. Some fans even try to smuggle themselves in.
Garage Sales Are Out Of The Picture
Rick’s fame is now at a level that whenever he goes places, people recognize him. This means he can no longer go and check out a garage sale without being noticed unlike back in the days. Since people now recognize him, it’s either the garage sale owners jack up the price or hide the valuable items altogether.
It is possible that Rick sends spies to check things out. However, the spies gets to have all the fun!
The Bell From A Ship
Even though are several things happening off-screen, let’s talk about all the incredible things that were brought into the shop. A lady once thought of taking an old bell first to the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn before selling it at a garage sale.
It was a blessing that she did because the piece of metal was actually a bell from an old ship that dates back to 1602. It is worth $15,000.
Special Gold Coin
If you go to a garage sale in the future and you come across some coins, do not disregard them. When Jody came to the shop and brought the gold coin she inherited, she was aware that the coin was old and valuable.
Nevertheless, she did not expect this outcome after the appraisal. The lucky woman found out that the coin was minted in Peru and dates back to 1715. Its value is $18,000!
Vick Flick’s Guitar
When people think of music, Vick Flick might not strike a chord right away. Nevertheless, once you find out about his most popular contribution, you will know understand why this guitar has a hefty price tag. Flick played this guitar on the James Bond them.
The pawn shop bought Flick’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster Guitar for $55,000!
A President’s Humidor
On Pawn Stars, more often than not, the individual selling an item does not really know if it is worth anything. One man who came to the shop bringing a humidor did not know for sure if it was worth a lot. Actually, it was one of the humidors of President John F. Kennedy.
The man originally wanted to sell it for $95,000 but ultimately it was negotiated down to $60K. However, Rick had other plans. He was aware that a similar JFK cigar box had fetched a whopping $575K at Sotheby’s back in 1996. Let’s just hope the seller has not come across this.
Photogravures By Edward Curtis
To be honest, we do not really know Edward Curtis’ work, but we are not alone. When a lady brought in a bunch of old photogravures, which are photos created by engraving an image in a copper plate and utilizing gelatin to make an intaglio print, she just wanted to sell them for $50.
After doing some research, Rick found out the photos were from a famous American photographer. He sold the photos for a whopping $20k!
Limited Edition Mustang
Hertz rental cars worked with businessman Roger Penske to produce a limited edition Ford GT Mustang back in 2013. In fact, only 150 units were manufactured. When a guy brought one to Pawn Stars, they knew they could not say no to such a rare car.
The value of the car is $60K. This makes us want to begin rummaging where we can.
Back in the 90s, former Olympian Jumpin’ Joe Greene struggled financially and decided to pawn his bronze medals to get some cash. Rick did buy the medals but he promised never to put them on the market.
The medals are displayed on the shop and he has kept his word on not selling them. Currently, it is estimated to be worth $30,000.
A $30,000 Medallion
During a garage sale, a lucky guy purchased a colorful medal for only 75 cents. When the guy brought the item to Pawn Stars, Rick had a gut feeling and purchased the medal for $6,000. After an expert examined it, they found out that the medallion is from the time of Poland’s Tsarist occupation.
Even though Rick bought it at a hefty price, his profit multiplied by five after selling the Order of the White Eagle Medallion for $30K. If you have a hunch, always go with it and buy medals at yard sales!
1915 Panama Pacific Octagonal $50 Gold Piece
This precious find was not quite like the others. A guy came to Pawn Stars looking for a Panama Pacific Octagonal $50 gold piece from the year 1915 and was willing to pay $70K for it.
Rick went to one of the biggest coin auctions in the US. He was able to find two pieces and sold one to the guy for $67,500.
$111,000 Worth Of Silver
More than ten years ago, a guy started to invest in silver and managed to acquire more than 200 pounds of it. It was definitely a wise investment since silver’s value went up to $111,000. This became one of the biggest purchases ever on the show.
Apparently, the Harrison family are melting the silver to make their own custom coins with the face of the elder Harrison on it. They are planning to sell the coins at $70 each.
A Custom Ford Roadster
It’s rare to find an old car in such good condition, so Rick felt he had to get it. The 1932 Custom Ford Roadster comes with a 500-horsepower engine and just 450 miles on the clock.
It was reported that there was a lengthy negotiation to acquire the Roadster, but eventually, the Pawn Stars agreed to pay $68,250 for it.
5th Edition Book Of Mormon
This is not about the hit Broadway play, but rather the Book of Mormon’s 5th edition. Printed in 1842, the book was the last one that was printed while the founder Joseph Smith was still alive. When an expert evaluated the book, it was estimated to be worth $40,000.
It was eventually sold to the Pawn Stars for $24,000. After watching the show, we want that book.
1554 Spanish Gold Bar
Attics are truly gold mines as one man discovered a gold bar in his. Though he was not completely sure if it were solid gold, they found out it was from a Spanish shipwreck in 1554 off the coast of Texas after an expert saw the markings on the gold bar.
The gold bar is valued at $50,000. The Pawn Stars paid $35,000 for it.
A 1922 Coin
When a guy won this during a poker game, he did some research and thought that this 1922 Proof Peace High Relief Dollar was worth about $20,000. After the appraisal of an expert, they found out that there are only 10 of this coin in existence.
The coin is now valued at around $50,000 to $100,000. The Pawn Stars paid $80,000 for the coin. It was definitely a lucky hand.
A 2001 Patriots Super Bowl Ring
The Pawn Stars managed to buy a 2001 Patriots Super Bowl ring for only $2,600.
They are not selling the ring yet, but rings like this one are on sale on auction sites for about $30,000.
Stephen Stills’ Guitar
A guitar can only mean one thing – it was owned by a famous person. The 1941 Gibson SJ-200 guitar that was brought to the shop was owned by Stephen Stills of the band Crosby, Stills, and Nash. After looking at the original bill of sale that Stills signed, the Pawn Stars paid $85,000 for the acoustic guitar.
Definitely a collector’s item!
A 1932 Roadster
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will definitely eat its heart out since this 1932 Roadster came to the shop looking mint. What made this classic even more captivating is its 150-horsepower V-12 engine.
The Pawn Stars ended up paying $95,000for this beauty, and we can clearly see why.
A 1961 Gibson Guitar
At the top of our list is this guitar. Les Paul’s wife, Mary Ford, was the original owner of this 1961 Gibson, which played a role in several of Ford and Paul’s top 10 hits.
The owner wanted to sell it for $250,000, though the Pawn Stars were able to get it for $90,000 after some negotiation.
A hopeful seller once came in to pawn diamond earrings. Of course, Rick asked all the necessary questions like where the seller got them from and where the receipt is, and since the guy had all the information, Rick went ahead and bought them for $40,000. Nevertheless, Rick discovered the following day that they were stolen.
The criminal faced prosecution. However, the money that Rick gave him was gone. This is sometimes the cost of doing business.
An 1859 No. 3 Gold Piece
For technology, the older it gets, the cheaper it is. However, for old coins, that is definitely not the case. Their value increases as time goes by.
The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop’s most valuable old coin is a No. 3 gold piece from the year 1859. It is in tip-top shape and is worth a whopping $2,650.
325 B.C. Greek Didrachm
The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop has quite a few extremely old items. One of the oldest is a Greek didrachm, which is equivalent to two drachmas. This item is from the year 325 B.C.
This is unbelievably spectacular.
A $20,000 Mistake
There was one time when Chumlee left the stand-up bass of a customer balanced against a shelf clumsily. What do you think happened?
It broke into pieces. Apparently, the item could have fetched a whopping $20,000 intact. To say that it was an expensive mistake is an understatement.
Ever since the show’s premier in 2009, it has been very popular. You can credit its success to one of the cast members – Austin Lee Russell aka Chumlee. However, you can say that recently, Lady Luck has not been on his side.
If you are wondering what happened, he was in some kind of trouble, and people were concerned about the future of Pawn Stars.
What Is Next For Pawn Stars
What does the future hold for Pawn Stars?
After plenty of speculation, its 14th season is reportedly in the works, with Russell, aka Chumlee, still part of the show.