If you consider yourself something of a bargain and treasure hunter, but have never been to a Los Angeles pawn shop, then what have you been doing for all this time? Sure, yard sales and online auction sites are handy for picking up items every now and then, but the stuff that can be found in pawn shops is way more varied and interesting, and sometimes surprising! Any true treasure hunter will know that there are things you can find in pawn shops that you probably can’t find anywhere else, and this list showcases just that! Here are some of the most amazing historical objects that have been found in pawn shops.
The First Ever Latin American Nobel Peace Prize
In 1936, Argentina’s Carlos Saavedra Lamas was the first Latin American person to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. His medal had long been considered lost before it was unearthed in a South American pawn shop! It had a gold value of around $9000 at the time, but we all know that the historical worth of the item was far more than that, so thankfully the medal was not melted down!
John F. Kennedy’s Oval Office Humidor
Any item relating to JFK is considered to be a treasure of modern America, and the humidor that used to sit in his Oval Office somehow found its way to a Las Vegas pawn shop where it was sold for $60,000. We don’t think the seller got the best deal, however, as in 1996 the same item was sold at Sotheby’s auction house for a whopping $575,000!
A Stolen Museum WWI Gas Mark
Originally homed in the Wyoming State Museum, a particular First World War German gas mask went missing for almost a century. They presumed it was lost in storage, but the truth was revealed when it was finally tracked down to a pawn shop in Rapid City, South Dakota. Apparently somebody sold it to the shop for $300 some years before!
Private Letters Written By Aaron Burr
Any fans of the musical Hamilton will be very familiar with the life and career of Aaron Burr. Remembered for being the man who fatally shot Alexander Hamilton in their famous duel, a set of framed letters were passed down his family line and, for one reason or another, found their way to a pawn shop in Vero Beach, Florida. They were pawned for $300, but given the popularity of the groundbreaking musical, we think that the seller could have garnered much more for them in today’s pawn shop market!
If you want to try your hand at a spot of historical object hunting at a Los Angeles pawn shop, then a good place to start is the LA Loan Company website for all of the industry information that you might need. The site will have answers to any questions that you might have, meaning that you can embark on your first pawn shop trip with confidence and knowledge!