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The Same But Different

The Same But Different

The primary services provide by pawnshops are almost universal in nature. However, when looking at pawnshops throughout the world, you see that they are the same but different. As examples consider the Pawn World stores in Kingman, Arizona the largest firearms outlet in northwest Arizona, and pawnshops in Scotland and Wales.

Historically pawnshops have been a quick and easy way to get some cash. In simple terms, a pawnshop is a place where you can borrow money using your personal property as collateral. And, of course, you can also buy or sell items at a pawnshop, often at a lower price than in other stores.

But that is where the similarities end. As an example, American pawnshops sell fire arms. In Wales and Scotland this type of sale is highly regulated, and is prohibited without special licensing.

Pawnshops in the United States

Pawnshops in the United States are regulated by state and federal laws, which vary from state to state. Some of the common regulations include:
– The maximum interest rate that pawnbrokers can charge.
– The minimum and maximum loan period, usually between 30 and 90 days.
– The grace period for redeeming the pawned item, usually between 10 and 30 days after the loan period expires.
– The requirement for pawnbrokers to keep records of the transactions, including the identity of the customers, the description of the items, and the serial numbers of firearms.
– The requirement for pawnbrokers to report stolen or suspicious items to the police.

Pawnshops in the United States accept a variety of items as collateral, such as jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, tools, firearms, and more. Some pawnshops also offer payday loans, title loans, or check cashing services. Pawnshops in the United States sometimes have a negative reputation for being shady or exploitative. However, the majority of pawnshops, such as Pawn World, are quite reputable and cater to repaeat customers.

Pawnshops in Wales and Scotland

Pawnshops in Wales and Scotland are regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which applies to the whole of the United Kingdom. Some of the common regulations include:
– The maximum interest rate that pawnbrokers can charge. .
– The minimum loan period, which is six months.
– The grace period for redeeming the pawned item, which is 14 days after the loan period expires.
– The requirement for pawnbrokers to provide a written contract to the customers, detailing the terms and conditions of the loan.
– The requirement for pawnbrokers to display a notice of their license and charges in a prominent place.

Pawnshops in Wales and Scotland accept mainly gold and silver jewelry as collateral, although some may also accept other items such as watches, cameras, or musical instruments. Pawnshops in Wales and Scotland are often seen as a traditional and respectable way of borrowing money, especially among older generations. They are also known as “pop shops” or “uncle shops”, because they were historically run by family members or close friends.

So, as you can see, there are some significant differences between pawnshops in the United States and those in Wales and Scotland. Depending on where you live and what you need, you may find one type of pawnshop more suitable than another. However, regardless of where you go, you should always be careful and deal only with pawnshops that have a well established reputation for professionalism.

And as with any credit transaction, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the loan. Ask questions if you do not understand. Keep track of your payments and deadlines, and only borrow what you can afford to repay. Pawnshops can be a useful source of cash in times of need, and they can provide a valuable service in the community.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America



The avid pawn shop browser knows that surprise discoveries are part of the adventure. These surprise discoveries are often even more dramatic for the firearm enthusiast. Just consider some of the rare and historically significant guns from WWII that have turned up in recent years.

One of the most famous examples is the Walther PPK pistol that belonged to Hermann Göring, a decorated WWI ace and head of the Luftwaffe, the German air force, during WWII. This custom pistol was engraved with his initials on the gold grips. It was seized as a souvenir by an American soldier at the end of the war. According to urban legend he later sold it to a pawn shop in Texas for $400!. In 2011, after it was recognized by a WWII historian, it was auctioned off for a whopping $230,000.

Another incredible find was the M1 Garand rifle that was used by John F. Kennedy during his training as a naval officer in 1944. After he became president, he donated his rifle identified by the serial number to the NRA museum. In 1963 it was stolen. Then in 2018 a pawn shop owner in Arizona bought the rifle from a private seller for $500. After determining its historic significance and origins the FBI was contacted. It was then returned to the museum.

Guns With A Pedigree

Some of the firearms found at pawn shops have prestigious pedigrees. Others are linked to historic events.

In 2014 a man walked into a pawn shop in Las Vegas, Nevada with a Colt .45 revolver that he claimed had once belonged to a famous frontier era personality. Historians and firearm experts, and a letter, authenticated the story. The gun was once owned by none other than Wyatt Earp, the legendary lawman and gunfighter made famous by the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Purportedly the pawn shop owner paid $25,000 for the revolver.

Another remarkable find was made in 2012, when a woman brought in a rifle that she had inherited from her grandfather. The rifle turned out to be a rare Winchester Model 1873, one of the most iconic weapons of the American frontier. The rifle was in excellent condition and had a serial number that matched the records of the Winchester factory. The pawn shop owner offered $15,000 for the rifle, but the woman decided to keep it as a family heirloom.

A Real Surprise

But, perhaps, one of the most amazing stories dates to 2010. A man that had purchased a pair of old pistols at a yard sale for $50 hoped to turn a quick profit by selling them to a pawn shop. The pistols were original Colt Single Action Army revolvers, also known as Peacemakers, one of the most popular handguns of the late 19th century.

That alone would have ensured a tidy return on the man’s investment. But what made them truly valuable was that they were engraved with the initials “J.H.”. It was later determined that these pistols had been a gift from Wyat Earp to his good friend John Henry Holliday, known to history as Doc Holliday!

You probably won’t find a firearm as valuable or as historically significant as these examples at either Pawnworld Store in Kingman, Arizona. But you will find a knowledgable staff and one of the largest selections of new and used guns in northwest Arizona.

The Same But Different

Pawn Shop Trivia

Did you know that visiting either Pawn World store in Kingman, Arizona in search of a gun, tools, or a deal on electronics is a unique shopping experience that can be traced to ancient Rome and China? We may be the largest gun store in northwestern Arizona, but we are also a tangible link to centuries of history.

The history of pawn shops can be traced back to ancient times when people borrowed money from lenders who accepted personal items as collateral. Indicative of just how old pawn shops are is the word “pawn.”  According to linguists the Latin root word is “pignus”, which means pledge or security. It was a part of the Roman vocabulary.

Pawn shops were common in cities, farming villages, and even remote frontier outposts in ancient China, Greece, and Rome. They served as a source of credit for the poor and the middle class that did not have access to traditional financial institutions.

In The Beginning

Early pawn shops in China were regulated by the government. But they were operated by Buddhist monasteries. The monks would lend money to farmers and artisans who needed funds for their crops or tools, and they would accept various items such as jewelry, clothing, or household goods as collateral. The interest rates were low, or even nonexistent. The repayment terms were flexible. For the monks this was an opportunity to help people and so profit was not a primary concern.

Since pawn shops were an integral part of Roman society, it is surprisng that in Europe after the collapse of the empire they weren’t readily available until the Middle Ages. It was establishment of sanctioned churches that gave rise to the modern pawn shop.

As the Catholic Church prohibited usury, or charging excessive interest on loans there was a demand for institutioons that could provide an alternative source of credit. Of the early European pawn shops one of the most famous was the Lombard Bank. Established by Italian merchants in London in the 14th century, the bank’s symbol was three golden balls. In time this became the universal sign for pawn shops.

During the years of European, and American, emipre building and colonization pawn shops played an important role in the development of commerce and culture. They provided loans to merchants, explorers, artists, and inventors who needed capital for their ventures. Counted among the famous people who used pawn shops are Christopher Columbus who pawned jewels to finance a portion of his voyage to America. Legend has it that Isaac Newton pawned his books to pay for his studies. And there is evidence that Ludwig van Beethoven pawned his musical instruments to support his family.

Pawn World in Kingman, Arizona provides traditional services. But we also provide our customers with a unique, and even historic, shopping experience.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America