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Learn About the Golden Pawn Industry, How It Started, What Happened, and What It’s Like Now

Learn About the Golden Pawn Industry, How It Started, What Happened, and What It's Like Now You truly never know what you will find at a pawn shop. Pawnbroking is one of the oldest forms of money lending. Its roots can be traced back over 3,000 years to the Chinese as a method of granting credit to less well-off members of the community and being a safe source to acquire unique and valuable goods.

Being one of the world’s oldest forms of commerce, we see hundreds of items come through our doors daily, but it’s usually the smallest items that catch our eye. While it is possible to pawn almost anything of high value, gold rings are one of the most popular items to pawn.

There is a good reason for this. Gold is extremely valuable, more so in this century than any other. For example, in 1850, an ounce of gold cost around $20.00. If you adjust that for inflation, that would be around $727.00 in 2022. The cost of an ounce of gold as of March 29th, 2022, is $1,912.52. That is a huge increase, and the value is only set to rise.

You can review how the cost of gold has increased and remember to contact USA Pawn at 601-501-7296 if you have questions about the pawning process.

Estate jewelry and the pawn industry

With the high price of jewelry and cost of gold, if someone needs cash or wants to trade an old ring for something new, the best place to go is your local pawn shop. Here at USA Pawn, we buy and sell a wide variety of both modern and estate jewelry.

Estate jewelry is one of our favorite types of jewelry. The unique designs of the past and the history of these beautiful pieces are a joy to be a part of. As pawnbrokers, it is our job to take care of your items when they are with us while in loan (collateral), and it is also our job to make sure that when we buy estate pieces, they go to people who will cherish them for the pieces of history that they are.

Every piece of jewelry we have has a story to tell. One of the pieces we recently purchased has a fascinating history.

Black Hills Gold Jewelry

Black Hills gold jewelry is a form of jewelry made in South Dakota’s Black Hills. During the Black Hills Gold Rush in the 1870s, a French goldsmith called Henri LeBeau is claimed to have conjured up the design after falling out from thirst and hunger.

Leaves, grape clusters, and vines are shown in Black Hills gold jewelry, comprised of gold alloys including normal yellow gold, green gold, and pink gold. In 1980, the 8th Circuit upheld an injunction that said that if a company calls its jewelry Black Hills Gold, it must be manufactured in the Black Hills. In 1988, the state of South Dakota made Black Hills gold the official state jewelry.

Fun fact about the jewelry-making process used by Black Hills Gold Jewelry: to achieve the rich 14KT pink/red rose gold hue of the leaves, they mix copper into 24kt yellow gold alloy. To get the silver/white gold color, they mix silver.

To be Black Hills Gold, the piece must be produced in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It’s incredible how a piece produced so far away can make its way to a pawn shop in Mississippi. And this is just one piece of the thousands of estate pieces we have across all six of our stores. You truly never know what you will see in our stores.

By buying and selling precious pieces, we become part of their history

We are now a part of the history of this ring, from the person who made it to the people who owned it, to us, and to the people who will own it in the future. We are so honored to be a part of the history of the pieces we sell and to be part of a moment in the lives of the people who purchase them. We value our community and our customers, and we are honored to be a part of the lives of so many Mississippians and the history of the people who make our state so extraordinary.

Please visit one of our six locations today and purchase your own piece of history.

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