Meet the Golds

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Les Gold: Running American Jewelry and Loan since 1978, Les Gold was 7 when he started learning to wheel and deal at Sam’s Loan, his grandfather’s Detroit pawn shop. Although he studied pre-med at Wayne State University, Les is considered “the man” at the 50,000-square-foot shop at 8 Mile and Greenfield. Gold says he can sell ice to an Eskimo and even helped rewrite the state’s pawn shop regulations in 1997, 80 years after the original laws were laid out. His expertise ranges from furs to jewels to sniffing out customers telling shady stories.