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August 2016 Addicted to pawn: Why designer handbags are the new gold

By | In the News
[via BBC]: “It’s a Chanel day bag – a timeless classic. If you had 50 in the shop, you’d sell all 50,” says Nathan Finch, managing director of Pickwick pawnbrokers.

We are in the strongroom of his shop in north London, where he is showing off some of the hundreds of bags that customers pledge each year, in return for borrowing money.

Once it was mostly watches, gold or jewellery that people took to pawnbrokers. Now, designer handbags are the big growth area.

They are increasingly high in value – often worth thousands of pounds each, they are easily portable, and there is a seemingly limitless supply.

“For some women, it’s a bit of an addiction. They get their fix from buying a bag. But like most cravings, it comes again,” says Mr Finch.

“One customer brought 18 bags into our Dartford store.”
Private jets

With celebrity endorsements from the likes of Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian, bags offer plenty of glamour.

But on a more practical level, you can use them to borrow cold, hard cash.
Yet some of those who pledge their bags are already extremely well off.
Debbie Wynter, who runs the pawnbrokers Suttons and Robertsons in central London, calls them “the ladies who lunch”.

“One customer wanted to raise a loan so they could go on holiday on a private jet, in style,” she says.

They may live in flashy houses in South Kensington, but sometimes they don’t have access to ready cash.
However, often they are ordinary working women.

Borrowing from myself

Kim Baker, an office administrator from Kent, has three or four designer bags, which she regularly pawns at her local shop.

Her favourites are a Mulberry Bayswater, a Louis Vuitton Postman, and a Chanel clutch bag.

“I flip between the Mulberry and the Louis Vuitton because I don’t like to part with the Chanel.

They probably go in every couple of months, but they’re never in there for long.”

On occasion, she’s been tempted to pledge one bag so that she can afford to buy a different one.

“Yes, I would pawn one to buy another one. It’ll just come home until I put it in again.”

She typically borrows a couple of hundred pounds at a time, to pay for holidays or school uniforms. And she prefers to take a loan from a pawnbroker rather than a payday lender or friends.

“Because it’s my item, it feels like I am borrowing from myself, if that makes sense.”

Click HERE to read the full article at

India: Discovery brings new reality-drama series ‘Hardcore Pawn’

By | Entertainment

From the NPA Weekly Newsbrief:

Discovery’s new reality series Hardcore Pawn takes viewers into the crazy and dynamic world of American Jewelry and Loan, Detroit, USA’s largest pawn store, where a wide assortment of customers bring in everything from gold to old cars, from alligators to prosthetic limbs to exchange for cash.

Premiering August 29, Hardcore Pawn will air from Monday to Friday at 8 pm on Discovery.

Read the full story at Best Media Info.

Community Partnership: Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

By | Detroit Love, Latest posts

Les and Seth Gold, on behalf of the entire team at American Jewelry and Loan, are proud to celebrate their partnership with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) is an open enrollment, public charter high school on the northwest side of Detroit, a stone’s throw from their iconic Detroit store. We’ve enjoyed hosting TWO interns, Greg and Jalen, who have worked with us summer of 2016.

The Academy began its first academic year in September 2011 and currently serves over 400 ninth through twelfth grade scholars from metro-Detroit. JRLA provides a leadership-focused education that engages and inspires youth to achieve at the rigorous level necessary to ultimately graduate with a college degree.  Scholars are provided with an authentic academic experience which builds both the skill and will necessary to be successful in high school and beyond.  Immersed in the culture of college, scholars will not only receive extensive college exposure via university tours, but also be required to pass at least one Advanced Placement course to assist in a seamless transition into college.  JRLA is a 9-16 model where scholars are supported not only through high school graduation, but through college graduation via our College Success team that works to coordinate success for current scholars and alumni.

UPDATE: See Les Gold competing on behalf of JRLA on Food Network’s Chopped!



Welcome Dream Cruisers!

By | Detroit Love, from Staff

from Seth’s blog: Every year, Detroit rolls out the red carpet for muscle car enthusiasts from all over the world to attend the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Most people know that my dad and I love cars (I talked about my taste in cars with Motor Trend and one of Les’ restorations was featured in Car and Driver). But one of our favorite parts of the Woodward Dream Cruise is the opportunity to meet new customers from all over the world.

In town for the Woodward Dream Cruise? Stop by, we’d love to see you — Welcome to Detroit! [Read more at]