Monday, May 16, 2005

Pawn Shops

I like a good pawn shop. I'll wander through a pawn shop any chance I get. In this day and age of a worldwide economy and a sameness of goods everywhere, pawn shops offer the unique, the one-of-a-kind, the antique. Sure, depending on the type of shop you have in your neighborhood, there might be a lot of flea-market type goods there, but a really good pawn shop has two critical departments: a jewelry counter and a used gun rack. I've found great bargains on both aisles. Last year I picked up a nearly pristine Winchester .30-30 that was made in 1976. The exterior of the rifle was a little ragged, but the interior was cherry. I bet that two boxes of ammo hadn't been fired through that rifle since in was built. And the price was right. Really right.

I like opals. My lady likes opals. Every time I go into a pawnshop I look at the jewelry counter for opals and over the years I have picked up a few really nice estate pieces. My favorite pawn shop allows customers to put merchandise on layaway, and right now I have a ring on layaway for my anniversary next month. The anniversary piece is a cluster of pale blue topaz, probably 10 stones, with diamond chips interspersed in the mix. When I saw it, I thought it was aquamarine, but the price of the ring told me the stones were topaz. No matter, it is a good looking piece and if I know my lady, she'll enjoy wearing it. This is the shop I trade with regularly, and I normally get a 15% discount just because I am a dependable customer.

A reputable pawn shop will treat you right.

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