This is a great article on one of my favorite topics... selling collectibles. My collectibles are mostly different from the items shown in this story. That is because I deal primarily with Mother Nature's Treasures, as I find them in the field. Much more to come on this subject... Stan
If you love perusing garage sales or antique stores hoping to find that gem of an item, then chances are you’re a fan of the wildly popular Pawn Stars on History Channel. The show centers on the staff of World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn. Everyday folks bring in items they found at yard sales, antique stores, and sometimes after cleaning out part of their house.
The pawn shop staff investigate the item and appraise it, sometimes leading to a historic find valued at tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can imagine a person’s surprise when they realize they have stumbled across one of the most valuable Pawn Stars items in the show’s history.
Take a look at the biggest, most valuable Pawn Stars items. Seeing the value of these items, you’ll never look at a garage sale the same way again.
When a woman was thinking about putting an old bell out on a yard sale, she thought first she’d take it into World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn. Good thing she did. The hunk of metal was in fact a bell from a ship and an expert dated it to 1602. The value? $15,000!
Next time you’re out at a yard sale and see some coins sitting on the table, don’t just overlook them. When Jody brought in her inherited gold coin, she knew it was old and had some value. But when the appraiser came in, she was floored. The lucky lady learned the coin dated to 1715 and was minted in Peru. The value? $18,000!
Vic Flick might not immediately strike a chord for many when they think of music, but when you learn his most famous contribution, you’ll know why this guitar has such a huge price tag. Flick played the guitar riff on the original soundtrack for the James Bond theme. Flick brought his 1961 Fender Stratocaster Guitar into the pawn shop and sold it for $55,000!
Most of the time on Pawn Stars, the person selling their item has no idea if it’s worth anything. But when one man walked into the shop with a humidor, he knew it carried a hefty price tag. The man had come into possession of one of the personal cigar boxes of President John F. Kennedy. He asked for $95,000, but eventually was haggled down to $60,000. But Rick at Gold & Silver had other things in mind. He knew that a similar JFK humidor had sold in 1996 for a whopping $575,000 at Sotheby’s. Hopefully that seller isn’t reading this now…
Honestly, we’re not familiar with Edward Curtis’ work, and we weren’t the only ones. When a woman brought in a collection of old photogravures (a photo produced from etching an image into a copper plate and using a gelatin to produce an intaglio print), she only wanted $50 for them. After some research, Rick learned they were from the famed American photog and sold them for…take a breath…$20,000!
In 2013, Hertz rental cars partnered with entrepreneur Roger Penske to create just 150 limited edition Ford GT Mustangs. When one man brought Pawn Stars a car, he knew he couldn’t pass up such a rare car. Total value: $60,000.
When former Olympian Jumpin’ Joe Greene fell on hard times in the 90s, he decided he’d turn to the pawn shop to get some quick cash for his bronze medals. Rick bought the medals and vowed never to sell them. He has stuck to his word and the medals are on display and not for sale. Their value? An estimated $30,000.
Here’s your classic story of a “garage sale find.” One lucky man bought a colorful medal for $.75 at a yard sale. When the man brought the medallion into the shop, Rick had a hunch and actually bought the item for $6,000. When an expert appraised the medal, they discovered it dated back to the Tsarist occupation of Poland. While Rick paid a big price for it, he multiplied his profit by five, selling the Order of the White Eagle Medallion for $30,000.
This valuable find wasn’t quite the same as the others. A man had come to Pawn Stars seeking a 1915 Panama Pacific Octagonal $50 gold piece and would pay $70,000 for it. Rick jetted off to one of the largest coin auctions in the country. He found two and sold one to the man for $67,500.
More than a decade ago, a man began investing in silver. Yes, pure silver. He had amassed over 200 pounds of it. Lucky for him, it was a wise investment and the metal’s value had grown to $111,000, one of the largest purchases ever on Pawn Stars. Apparently the Harrisons are melting the silver down to create their own custom-minted coins with the elder Harrison’s face on it, selling them for $70 a pop.
It’s not common to find such an old vehicle in such amazing shape. That’s why Rick had to have it. The impeccable 1932, 500-horsepower Custom Ford Roadster has just 450 miles. There was reportedly a fierce negotiation for the Roadster, but the Pawn Stars eventually settled on $68,250.
Nope, we’re not talking about the hit Broadway play. This is the 5th edition of the Book of Mormon. It was printed in 1842 and is the last one printed in founder Joseph Smith’s lifetime. When an expert appraised the book, they found it carried a $40,000 value. The Pawn Stars ended up paying $24,000 for it.
If you’re ever cleaning out an old attic – or your attic – don’t overlook anything, ever. One man found a golden bar that he figured was solid gold, but couldn’t be sure. Once an expert looked at the markings on the bar, they discovered it was from a 1554 Spanish shipwreck off the Texas coast. The Pawn Stars bought the gold bar for $35,000. It’s valued at $50,000.
Although he came off as a bit of a dud, albeit a funny one, Chumlee really proved his worth in the second season of Pawn Stars, establishing himself as a breakout character and fan favorite across the globe.
How? Well, in season two’s “Pinball Wizards” episode, Chumlee breaks out some impressive pinball knowledge when the team has to decide whether or not it’s worth it to buy Bally “Odds and Ends” pinball machine, circa 1973. It’s in disrepair and multiple pieces, but only 2,570 were ever made.
That pinball machine might’ve been a great find, but it didn’t exactly yield a fortune after all was said and done. Lucky for Chumlee, he received a reported $25,000 per episode. We’re not sure which find from the show helped cement his fortune, but he does have one: His net worth is estimated around $5 million.
In 2017, he opened Chumlee’s Candy on the Boulevard, a candy shop, across the street from the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop.
Now that was one lucky hand! A man won this coin on a poker bet and actually had done some research. The 1922 Proof Peace High Relief Dollar, the man thought, was worth around $20,000. After an expert’s appraisal, they soon discovered this coin was one of maybe 10-12 left in existence. The new value? $50,000-100,ooo! The Pawn Stars bought the coin for $80,000.
When the Pawn Stars came into possession of a 2001 Patriots Super Bowl ring, they managed to snag it for a modest $2,600. The Pawn Stars haven’t unloaded the ring, but similar rings sell on auction sites for approximately $30,000.
Another guitar on the list and that can only mean one thing: It has a famous owner. Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash owned this 1941 Gibson SJ-200 guitar. After viewing the initial bill of sale signed by Stills, the Pawn Stars nabbed the acoustic guitar for $85,000.
It wouldn’t take a genius to know that with one glance at this car, it’d be worth a pretty penny. And sure enough, this 1932 Roadster rolled up looking mint. The 150-horsepower, V-12 engine made this classic even more appealing. The Pawn Stars negotiated $95,000 for this beauty.
The Pawn Stars do love their guitars and this one tops the cake. Originally owned by Mary Ford, the wife of Les Paul, this 1961 Gibson played a hand in many of Paul and Ford’s top 10 hits. The owner initially asked for $250,000, but the Pawn Stars negotiated a selling price of $90,000.
When a hopeful seller came in trying to pawn diamonds, Rick asked all the right questions: Where did you get it? Where is the receipt? A man wishing to sell diamond earrings had all the required information, so Rick agreed on $40,000. However, he found out the very next day that the earrings were stolen. The criminal was prosecuted but Rick’s money was gone. That’s just the occasional cost of doing business.
In the case of technology, the older it is, the cheaper it is and the less you will want to own it. That is not the case for old coins: They increase in worth as time passes. The most valuable old coin available at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is an 1859 No. 3 gold piece in mint condition, valued at $2,650.
People bring items of antiquity into the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop all the time. For the boys, it’s an honor to get to touch something from oceans away that’s centuries old. One of the oldest items in the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is a Greek didrachm (equal to two drachmas) that dates back to 325 B.C.
This rare pistol was made by Paul Giffard in 1872 and isn’t your typical firearm. It uses compressed carbonic acid to form a gas that pushes the bullet down the shaft.
It is estimated that only 500 of these pistols were manufactured, and only 100 exist today. Taking into account the rarity of this item, it was surprising that the guys thought it would only be worth $3,000.
A Grammy Award was brought into the shop, but the issue was that its winner had not been world-famous. Ronald Dunbar had been a songwriter and won the award in 1970 for the song “Patches.” The man trying to sell the award wasn’t taking no for an answer, and eventually settled for the princely sum of $2,350.
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