Friday, October 04, 2013

There’s a pawn shop, on a corner, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, errr, I mean Manhattan

Not that I’ve ever used one, but I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of pawn shops.

No, not intrigued enough to watch Pawn Stars, but still…

When I think Pawn Shop I think:

  • Scag-addict musician pawning his trombone
  • Gambler paying off his bookie with his pinky ring
  • Single mom unloading her wedding ring (not worth as much as she hoped)

My mental image is never star or rich person.

But if you are a star or rich person, and have a Rolex or a Marc Chagall or a David Hockney or an MTV award statue or a Michael Jackson glove, and you’re a bit short on the pawnshopbenjamins, you don’t need to furtively slink into some scummy storefront with or without the three pawn-shop balls. No, you can get thee to New York Loan, “Pawn Shop to the Stars.”

New York Loan Company is an upscale collateral lender (pawn shop), specializing in large pawn loans against gold, jewelry, diamonds, watches, fine art and entertainment memorabilia.

New York Loan also sells jewelry and watches at “dealer prices” to the public from the discreet International Gem Tower. We have been coined by the media as the “Pawn Shop to the Stars,” as a result of our high-end clientele and our emphasis on safety and customer confidentiality.  Although we have been asked by many reporters, from People Magazine to CNN to the Today Show, to reveal names, we have never done so and we never will – your security and privacy is our number one concern.

Since 1938, New York Loan Company has been, and remains, the premier pawn shop in the United States. (Source: NY Loan)

Well, if I were going to pick a year to get into the high-end pawn broking business, 1938 would be right up there, that’s for sure.

The poor folk slammed by the depression would already have gone to the corner pawn shop and pawned the only pot they had to piss in so that they could buy a flivver and drive through the dustbowl to California, where – if they could hang on for a couple of years – they could get high paying jobs in the WWII defense industry.

By 1938, it would be the more affluent who were looking to pawn pater’s watch, mater’s silver, and the gold medal they’d won for hurling Indian clubs at the 1924 Olympics. Or an Oscar for the first talkie.

New York Loan Company specializes in awards (Emmys, Golden Globes and MTV Moonmen), costumes, musical instruments and signed articles from both living and deceased artists ranging from Greta Garbo to Madonna and from Elvis Presley to Michael Jackson.  If your collectible belonged to an icon in the world of music (the Beatles), film (Marilyn Monroe) or television (Lucille Ball) we are here to help.

In addition, we will make pawn loans against sports memorabilia, including championship rings or belts, and autographed jerseys, gloves or balls.  

We even make pawn loans against political memorabilia, ranging from letters written by Kennedy to dresses belonging to Princess Diana.

Kind of weird that Lucille Ball memorabilia is up there with the Beatles, Elvis, Marilyn, and MJ, but I suppose there’s someone out there who’d pay big bucks for the peasant dresses that Lucy and Ethel wore when they stomped the grapes, or for one of Ricky Ricardo’s conga drums.

As for sports memorabilia, if only my father had hung on to that Mickey Mantle (or was it Roger Maris) bat the he caught at a game when the Yankees were playing the Tigers in 1961, the year that Mantle and Maris contested the Babe Ruth home run record. It’s not as if the bat slipped out of his hands. Al was an athlete: he caught it. But he thought it would be a pain in the butt to try to bring the bat home in his Samsonite suit case, so he gave it to the businessman he’d gone to the game with. (My sister and I were told the story about this treasure, but were sworn to secrecy in terms of revealing it to my brothers. We all, however, enjoyed a real in-person baseball experience that year. We were at Fenway for a Red Sox-Yankees game, and Maris and Mantle homered back-to back. Mantle-Maris bat during that signal year: impressive. Seeing The Mick and Maris go back-to-back: priceless.)

Anyway, New York Loan is a spin out of Beverly Hills Loan, which is actually the entity that’s been around since 1938, serving the stars discreetly since the Depression.

Whether they’re in New York or Beverly Hills, apparently the rich folks need to be able to tap a pawnbroker when they’re tapped out.

Somebody hocked this one:angeldevil

Is it just me, or would you not have been nuts to have this in your possession to begin with?

Anyway, it’s an interesting business. And I guess this just goes to show that the rich aren’t really different than you and me. Sometimes they’re living from paycheck to paycheck, and just have to unload an award statue, a bit of bling, or an angel-devil portrait of Michael Jackson.

I knew that Dick Fuld (late of Lehman) had to unload his art collection. But pawn brokers for rich folks? Who knew?

Unfortunately – for us gawkers – New York Loan has zipped its ip in terms of revealing their clientele. But it might be fun to hang out at their digs on West 47th to see who shows up carrying a bundle, and leaving with a bundle that’s, in truth, worth a lot less.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.

Lucky me!

I may not have anything worth pawning, but, then again, I don’t need to visit a pawn shop, either.

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