Pawnbroking, as an ancient financial institution, has a rich history that dates back at least 3,000 years to ancient China. It has also been documented in the earliest written histories of Greek and Roman civilizations. During the Middle Ages, the Church imposed usury laws that prohibited charging interest on loans, which limited pawnbroking to people with non-Church religious beliefs. However, due to economic necessity and issues within the banking system, pawnshops made a resurgence in later years. The House of The Lombards operated pawnshops throughout Europe and even served royalty, including King Edward III of England during the 14th century. The symbol of The Lombards’ operations was the three gold balls that still remains the trademark of pawnshops today.
With the arrival of the first settlers, the pawn industry came to America and became the main source of consumer credit in the early part of the century. However, with the rise of large consumer credit institutions, such as finance corporations, savings and loan associations, and credit unions, pawn shops are no longer the major source of consumer credit. Nevertheless, they still play a vital role in providing consumer credit. The pawn industry fills in the gap and helps people obtain quick money when they are denied by banks.
Pawning has long been a source of capital for people in times of need and a means of financing business ventures. In fact, when Christopher Columbus approached Queen Isabella of Spain about securing funds for his voyage, she was willing to pawn her crown jewels to provide him with the necessary finances. Fortunately, the Spanish government backed Columbus, saving the Queen from parting with her beloved crown.
Today, many people from all walks of life, including politicians, movie stars, sports figures, and business owners, are customers of modern-day pawn shops.
A Gibson guitar perhaps?
Or how about a Louis Vuitton handbag? Anything else?
We might be able to help you find it!