Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My visit to Gold and Silver Pawn, Home of Pawn Stars.

I love garage sales, antique shops, and flea markets. As such I enjoy watching shows like Antique Road Show, American Pickers, and my newest favorite Pawn Stars. Pawn Stars is a reality show (is there anything but reality shows on TV these days?) set in a pawn shop in Las Vegas Nevada. Pawn Stars is on the history channel and tells the story of a real family business which is owned and run by the patriarch Richard Harrison (“The Old Man”), his son Rick Harrison (“The Appraiser”) and Rick’s son Corey (“Big Hoss”). The dynamics of the show are great and every show includes either a history lesson or a lesson in antiques.

You never know what people are going to bring into the pawn shop to try and sell or pawn. On the one hand the shop never pays much over fifty percent of what an item is worth and the people who need the money often take the offer. On the other hand many of the people have no idea what they have or what it is really worth. Often experts are brought in to appraise the items and the owners of the items usually learn the items are worth much more than they thought however as I said earlier they walk out with about half of what the item is worth. The amazing thing is how much money this pawn shop has. It is not uncommon for the shop to buy items for tens of thousands of dollars in a blink of an eye and its always "cash money" which in itself entices those who need it to take less.

The characters in the show are interesting and fun to watch which is really what makes this show a hip antiques road show. My favorites are Rick and his dad Richard who is just known as "the old man". When I had to be in Las Vegas last week Antoinette and I made a point of visiting the pawn shop and got to meet "the old man" and one of the employees who is often on the TV show who is known as "Chumlee".

Richard "the Old Man" and I

Chumlee and I

Chumlee is the comedic side kick of the stars and plays the Jerry Lewis to the Dean Martin cast. The shop is quite unimpressive in real life and camera shots and angles definitely make it look nicer on TV. On the other hand it is a pawn shop! The shop has the usual pawn items for sale, tools, dvd's, musical instruments, and jewelry. But it also has Wrestling belts, a Denver Bronco Superbowl Ring sitting next to a Patriots Superbowl ring which is for sale for a mere $100,000 dollars. Antique rifles worth thousands and paintings and sculptures also priced in the thousands.

Included with all that pawn stuff is the obligatory t shirts, coffee mugs, shot glasses, and even a paw n star pet food bowl for the dog who likes to watch pawn stars on TV.

There are often lines outside the store as in order to manage the crowds since the TV show became popular there is an armed man at the door keeping the crowd inside at a manageable level and only allowing people in as those inside leave. If you watch the show I can tell you that "the old man" is as grumpy in person as he is on the show. Chumlee seems uncomfortable with his new found stardom but is polite and gracious with fans who want a picture or just to meet him. Rick and Big Hoss were not out of the back room while I was there and I was unable to meet them. The retail portion of the shop has just been expanded and if the shows popularity continues I can see the shop growing even more. It was a fun trip and if you have not yet seen the show I highly recommend it.



Anonymous said...

I was heading to Vegas next week and was wondering what day of the week you went and at what time. From the pictures it doesn't look too crowded when you were there, and I would like to avoid the crowds if possible! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I was just there (Sept 30,2010) on a Thursday at 4:30pm. They just finished shooting an episode and there were lots of people in the store that were waiting to hopefully be extras for the filming. No problem getting in and seeing items though.

Bluefrogshoes.com said...

Thanks for the post! That was fun. I had heard that you can't meet them from someone else. I am still hoping to go check it out myself. I write a blog, the eBay Life. This week it features Pawn Stars and a Gretsch Guitar case my friend purchased at a pawn shop for $10 and sold for an insane amount of money. Here's the link: www.theebaylifeblog.com or google the ebay life blog. You CAN actually find things to sell on eBay at pawn shops! - Miriam @ the eBAy Life Blog!