5225-B Indian Head Hwy.
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
(301) 839-4433


3360 Crain Hwy
Waldorf, MD 20603
(301) 645-1600


M-F 9:00AM - 8:00PM
SAT 9:00AM - 7:00PM

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A History of Fast Cash: Pawning Throughout the Ages

A History of Fast Cash: Pawning Throughout the Ages

From early civilizations to modern day, people have always found themselves in need of one thing: fast cash. The solution to get fast cash has been around just as long: pawning. Since the idea of pawning came about, millions of people have turned to it. To “pawn” an item means that an individual will exchange a personal item for a loan. Once an individual has overcome their need for money, they have the option to pay back the pawnbroker, plus an amount of service charge, to get their item back. However, if an individual is unable to pay back the loan, the pawnbroker has the right to sell the item. For thousands of years, pawnbrokers have provided individuals with monetary loans in exchange for items of value. Let’s take a look at how pawning has changed from its roots until now.

Beginnings of Pawn Shops

Pawn shops first emerged in ancient China as a way to extend short-term credit to struggling peasants. The creation of these shops enabled poor peasants and workers to be able to save money and provide for their families. The practice of pawning clothes at the beginning of the week (usually Monday) and then retrieving them on their payday (usually Friday), was an extremely common way for workers to live throughout the week. In ancient Rome and Greece, pawn shops were an easy way for merchants to get their small shops off of the ground. Wealthy and prominent families, such as the Medicis of Italy and the Lombards of England, became known as successful money-lending families.

Where Does the Word Come From?

The actual word “pawn”, comes from the Latin work of “platinum”, which means clothing or cloth. For thousands of years, clothes were regarded as the most important item that the working class owned. Though most pawn shops operated privately, in the 18th century, some pawn shops were operated publicly and offered loans to the poor.

Pawn Shops of Today

The practice of pawning has been in place long before pawn shops even existed. Today, there are more than 12,000 pawn shops that operate in the United States alone!

For many, pawn shops are storehouses of history. Why do you think that Pawn Stars has become such a hit? Collectors and enthusiasts are able to find rare and unique items that cannot be found anywhere else. Plus, it’s a thrill to find out if items are actually authentic or a fake.

As one of the best local pawn shops in Maryland, Top Dollar Pawn & Jewelry offers four different types of services:

• Lending solutions- small and large collateral based loans
• Customers can sell used or unwanted items for cash
• Customers can buy unique and valuable items
• Purchasing scrap gold – Cash For Gold

Top Dollar Pawn & Jewelry can answer any questions you have about the pawning process, buying goods, selling gold jewelry for cash, or selling your goods. With two locations to serve you in the state of Maryland, we can serve you easily! For our Waldorf location, contact us at (301) 645-1600. For our Oxon Hill location, contact us at (301) 839-4433.