History of the Pawn Industry


Pawnbrokers  have assisted customers with their finances since the early ages of humanity,  it’s certainly one of the oldest professions.  Pawnbroking has contributed to the monetary stability of many families by giving them a great option for getting the money they are looking for.  It has even helped businesses and entrepreneurs by providing them the initial investment to start their projects.  Pawnshops have been around for centuries,  providing people peace of mind.

It’s said that the earliest solid evidences of pawnbroking go back 3,000 years in ancient China.  Those first forms of Pawnbroking were created to support peasants get what the money they needed in order to succeed in the farms.  Roots of the industry have also been found in the earliest written stories of the Greek and Roman civilizations.  Even before money was coined, trade was done on advances on commodities.

During the middle ages, The House of Lombard operated pawnshops throughout Europe.  Their name came from the the Italian province of Lombardy, where pawn shop banking originated under the name of Lombard banking.  Three gold balls hung outside of Lombard merchants’ shops, later were assimilated as the pawnbroker symbol, which is still in use today.  Pawnbroking became an important source of financing business ventures during the 14th and 15th centuries.  Well known rich families used their loan services, even royal families.

Pawnbroking in America has been practiced since early stages of the country. Pawnshops in the United States are not only important because of their contemporary role as a key credit source for Americans, but also for their historical role in the discovery of America itself..  It’s said that Isabella of Castile pawned her jewels to finance Columbus’ first voyage to America. In our country, Pawnbrokers have helped families cover their needs during the nation’s toughest times.  Take for example the Great Depression era, when pawnshops were among the only institutions offering cash to the citizens.

We can conclude that Pawnbroking is one of the first professions human beings started practicing.  First forms of Pawnbroking were recorded 3,000 years ago. Pawnshops have been crucial by giving financial support to the development of some major events in our history. In America, the Pawn Industry is for sure a key source of support for the growth of our economy.

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