Imagine a gold plated toilet seat or a sailor’s peg leg for sale? These kinds of weird items and some even more unlikely ones are the relkinds of things that a pawnbroker hand money over for on a daily basis.

pawnbroker - Personal Loans Now

Learning Highlights
  • What pawnbrokers do
  • The kind of people who use their services
  • The kind of things that people pawn
  • Strange items that pawnbrokers have seen
  • Whether pawnbrokers are similar to payday loan companies
  • The potential loss of pledged possessions

7 Most Unlikely Things Pledged to a Pawnbroker

What is a Pawnbroker?

Modern day pawnbroking began during the Middle Ages in Italy. This way of borrowing money has been used for around 3000 years, before the introduction of banks. Today people use pawnbrokers as a way of getting cash for belongings. The way that they operate is by a customer pledging an item that they own for a set loan duration, usually around six months. The pawnbroker will assess the value of the item. They then will offer 50 – 60 percent of the item’s value in the form of a cash personal loan.

The pawnbroker charges the customer a rate of interest on the loan at around 7% – 8% per calendar month that they hold their item. A customer that can pay off the loan before the set period ends up paying the original loan value plus the interest rate. For a customer that is unable to pay back the loan, for example, they are unemployed, the pawnbroker sells their item to cover the loan and interest. The pawnbroker returns any leftover funds to the customer. If you are considering this option and are unemployed, Personal Loans Now finds loans for unemployed without losing any sentimental items.

pawnbroker - Personal Loans Now

Who Uses Pawnbrokers?

Pawnbrokers serve all kinds of people, from every kind of background, that have a cash flow problem. The National Pawnbrokers Association report that around 4% of the UK population regularly use pawnbrokers. Their studies show that 60 % of their customers were women. The average age group of the people is between the ages of 25 to 40 and employed. The people who use these services are not necessarily poverty stricken. They are likely, however, to have a cash flow problem at the particular time when they need best personal loans.

Likely Pawned Items?

The most common item that people take into pawn shops to pledge are items of jewellery. Pawnbrokers report that people can come into the shop with anything from a small ring to something much more unusual. Works of art, designer handbags and expensive pens are just a few of the items that pass through pawnbroker’s doors. People pawn these items on a daily basis and exchanged for a cash loan.

So what have we learned so far?
  • The use of pawnbrokers dates back three millennia
  • Today they offer cash loans for pledged items
  • If a customer does not pay off the loan with the interest, then their item is sold
  • They can redeem items earlier than the set loan time by paying the interest to date
  • People from all walks of life use pawnbrokers
  • Most of their customers are women who have a job
  • People with cash flow problems, not necessarily the poor, use pawn shops
  • The most commonly pledged item in pawn shops are items of jewellery

7 Unlikely Things Pledged to a Pawnbroker

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Someone pledged a set of gold false teeth at a London pawnbrokers. The owner remarked that it was not one of their most pleasant transactions, but they accepted the pledge.
  2. A Bonny Prince Charlie’s Ivory flute into a pawn shop in Glasgow. The company authenticated the item and gave the loan.
  3. The same pawn shop was once offered a 9-carat gold toilet seat as a pledge. Unfortunately, the shop does not accept gold plated items, so the pawnbroker refused the customer the money.
  4. The most expensive item for sale in the pawnshop of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars is a cigar box belonging to J F Kennedy. It is up for sale at $125,000.
  5. Another unusual item that featured on the show was a flag from the moon. You could buy it for $4,000.
  6. A meteorite was one of the items brought into a pawn shop. The owner had no means of authenticating, so they had to refuse the item as a pledge.
  7. Surrey based, Prestige Pawnbrokers, have loaned a customer money by holding his pledge of a 1 million pound helicopter.

Hand bags, cars and vintage wine collections are among some of the high priced items that customers pawn in this shop.

The Pawnbroker – Are They Similar to Payday Loan Lenders?

A pawnbroker and payday loan lenders are two very similar industries. Both offer short term loans with high personal loan interest rates to people who have short term financial issues. They can both be a great help to people to provide them with some instant cash to see them through a difficult period. The loan can be repaid as soon as the person has some ready funds again.

Apply for pre-approved loan now

Whatever your circumstances, we'll accept your application and do our best to find you a loan.


The main difference between the two is that pawnbrokers are offering loans on secured items. It means that pawnbrokers always have something to cover their lending costs. Payday loans, on the other hand, are unsecured debt. They are designed to be used as a one-off payment to be paid back from the next paycheck that a borrower receives.

What Happens When You Pawn?

There is a main disadvantage using the pawn industry when comparing its use to the payday loan industry. The fact that people can lose sentimental and valuable items. The amount of money that a pawnbroker will offer a customer is usually a little more than 50% of their valuation. The value offered is very low. Although customers will get a lower rate of interest than a payday loan will cost them, they will always face the threat of losing their valuables. Most people manage to repay their loans and redeem their possessions. However, there are still people who can lose a lot of money. Pawnshops in the UK are FCA regulated.

Pawnbroker Vs. Payday loans

For people who do not have valuables to pledge to a pawnbroker, a payday loan company can lend a short term loan. The typical interest rate by many payday loan companies is 0.8% per day, a figure that is capped by the FCA.

pawnbroker - Personal Loans Now

Many agree that payday loans are worth the high -interest for the speed and convenience of the money. However, this is only when people are responsible and can afford to pay back the personal loans, that a payday loan is worthwhile. The reason for their high-interest rates is to balance the risk factor of the loans. Lenders are prepared to offer loans to people with bad credit histories. Furthermore, there is no security on their loans.

Conclusion: Is a Pawnbroker Worth It?

Of the 850 pawnbrokers operating in the UK, 150 are FCA regulated. These brokers offer their customers a way of lending money by securing valuable possessions. People attempt to pawn very strange items that are not always accepted by these lenders. If a borrower cannot pay back the high-interest rates and the loan amount, then they risk losing possessions that could have sentimental value. Payday loans are a little bit more expensive but lend to people with bad credit scores without security. This is the reason that they cost more for borrowers than pawnbrokers loans. The borrower is not trading their possessions for the cash. If you are struggling with your finances, there are many money advice services you should get in touch with before taking any steps that you may later regret.

pawnbroker - Personal Loans Now