I used to watch “Antiques Roadshow” and feel bad. How come I don’t have a rare 1700s doodad in my attic?
Now I watch “Pawn Stars” and feel great. At least I’m not standing in a Vegas pawn shop unloading an heirloom for fast cash.
The History Channel hit draws 5 million viewers a week. It’s easy to get hooked on the curios brought to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop: a pirate peg leg, a WWII infant gas mask, a Picasso. Equally engaging is pawnbroker philosophy. Rick Harrison, above, whose family runs the shop, has many wise mottos, among them: “Never fall in love with anything” and “A pawnbroker with a heart is a pawnbroker who’s out of business.”
Harrison seems heartless when offering less than an object’s appraisal. He thinks he’s fair. By contrast, he says, “Roadshow” experts cite top-dollar prices — and fail to note that auction houses charge a 30 to 40 percent commission.
Season 3 wraps up July 19; new episodes return this fall. One footnote: The emphasis on historic objects isn’t totally realistic. Jewelry is the shop’s mainstay. Says Harrison: “I could have a show about wedding bands.”
Written by Express contributor Marc Silver
Photo courtesy History Channel