Purchasing a diamond is a big decision — by limiting your shopping experience to the internet, there is no chance to “try before you buy”. In order to see that diamond you purchase online, you have to buy it…which increases the risk of fraud or ending up with an expensive item that you are unhappy with.
Find a stone that you want to buy online?
American Jewelry and Loan will set an appointment for one of our GIA Certified gemologists to show you comparable diamonds and/or jewelry pieces that are similar to what you find at online retailers. We will match the published price on a like-for-like stone. In the rare circumstance that we are unable to find exactly what you’re looking for and you end up purchasing the stone online after a consultation with one of our jewelers, we will pay you $100 (just show us the proof of purchase of that original online stone with specifications including cut and clarity).
Dear Fellow Pawnbrokers–
The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) is pleased to name American Jewelry and Loan as the 2018 recipient of the NPA Outstanding Community Relations Award. Seth and Les Gold, of TruTV’s Hardcore Pawn, accepted the award at the Annual Awards Luncheon on July 10, 2018. The event was held at The Mirage in Las Vegas during Pawn Expo 2018, the only national convention and trade show for the pawn industry.
Celebrating 40 years of business in metro Detroit, American Jewelry and Loan has a long history of community involvement, which employs a three-tier strategy of business leadership, financial literacy, and charitable giving. Their Entrepreneurship Master Class provides low-cost training and mentoring to approximately 50 aspiring entrepreneurs. As volunteer mentors for Junior Achievement, the Golds give freely of their time to attend high school “Shark-Tank Style” pitches, offering business wisdom and insights as well as seed funds from “The Gold Bank.” As part of their commitment to workforce diversity, American Jewelry and Loan provides meaningful employment to adults on the autism spectrum.
The Golds recognize that financial literacy is an important priority for the Detroit region and have worked to help educate their customers and others about pawnbroking. Their “Financial Literacy for Alternative Lending Customers” course, now in its second year, represents a partnership with three national non-profit organizations and is the only one of its kind.
The Gold family is committed to supporting their community. Les frequently serves as a celebrity auctioneer and has raised $125,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters and almost $300,000 for Winning Futures, a youth mentoring program. Seth served as Honorary Chair of the Wigs 4 Kids Gala. In addition to welcoming summer interns from The Jalen Rose Academy, American Jewelry and Loan contributed $10,000 towards the scholarship fund of this charter high school, which serves the children who live in the same neighborhood as their Detroit store. To celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, they gave a $10,000 gift to Junior Achievement of Southeastern to establish ‘The Gold Bank’ which will fund the entrepreneurial endeavors of Detroit’s youth for generations to come.
Their story points out two of the ways that American Jewelry and Loan, like any pawnshop, helps the customers that they serve.
First, pawnshops offer short-term loans using a customer’s valuables (like jewelry or a guitar) as collateral. In return, pawnbrokers lend them money. When customers pay back the loan, their merchandise is returned to them. If the customer elects not to redeem his or her collateral, there is no credit consequence to the borrower and the items are sold at a value price to retail consumers.
Pawnbrokers are governed by all of the major federal laws that apply to other entities designated as financial institutions. We offer the consumer a quick, convenient and confidential way to borrow money. A short-term cash need can be met with no credit check or legal consequences if the loan is not repaid. Pawnbroking imposes a discipline on the borrower that other lenders do not. Pawn loans are a non-recourse option and do not cause people to overextend credit or go into bankruptcy.
Secondly, the news story spoke with customers who were shopping in our showroom. As these customers shared, pawnshops are a great source for buying a wide variety of merchandise at deep discounts. Our customers know to rely on us for so many things on their shopping list — from the tools they need for DIY projects to the fine jewelry that marks their milestones. American Jewelry and Loan was even named the Best Place to buy Electronics by HOUR Detroit Magazine — we have a huge selection of laptops, tablets, game systems, televisions, and stereo equipment at prices that are a fraction of what you’d expect to pay at a big box retailer.
In 1978, American Jewelry and Loan opened as Metro Detroit’s first suburban pawnshop. The 1,500 square foot location in Oak Park, Michigan was an offshoot of Sam’s Loan, a pawnshop at the corner of Wabash and Michigan Avenue where Les Gold grew up working for his grandfather. The move would change the trajectory of his life in ways he couldn’t have imagined while working alongside his “Popsie” as a youngster.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, American Jewelry and Loan, now with three stores including its iconic 50,000 sq.ft. Detroit location, Gold is partnering with Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan (JA), and its JA Company program to ensure young entrepreneurs in Southeastern Michigan are able to fund their own dream businesses.
The Gold Bank, gifted by American Jewelry and Loan, but controlled and administered by JA, will be the source for low-interest small business loans for students involved in the JA Company program, which teaches entrepreneurship to high school students.
“The hardest part of getting a business off the ground is finding start-up capital,” said Les Gold, Owner, American Jewelry and Loan. “With the Gold Bank, I am pleased that these young entrepreneurs will have one more option to find resources to build their companies and their futures,” Gold added.
Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan is the youth arm of economic development in the region. The volunteer-driven non-profit, founded in Detroit in 1949, will teach 60,000 students in 10 counties the “business of life”—financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work-readiness including career exposure and soft skills.
High school students involved in the JA Company program throughout Southeastern Michigan will be eligible for a loan from the Gold Bank. They must demonstrate the value and viability of their start-up during a “Shark Tank” style presentation to a panel of business leaders, including Les and his son Seth Gold. Students will be responsible for paying back the loans they obtain from the Gold Bank, with low interest, in the same semester in which they borrow it, thus ensuring the success of the program for years to come.
“The Gold Bank solves the problem every start-up business has—where to get money to launch a business,” said Margaret Trimer-Hartley, President of JA of Southeastern Michigan. “Our JA Company students will learn just how small business loans work in the real world,” added Trimer-Hartley.
“For environmentally-conscious consumers, the pawnshop offers a unique opportunity. Donating or selling unused items is one of the best types of recycling because there are no resources required to process or replace the item. Instead, it finds a new home rather than depreciating in a drawer, on a shelf or worse, taking up landfill space.”
Despite widespread gloom and doom reports leading up to the holiday season, the news from retailers for Christmas 2017 sales is good–USA Today reports that U.S. year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9% compared to the same period last year, a welcome gift to U.S. retailers amid new signs of consumer confidence.
Online retail shopping similarly increased 18.1%, while overall consumer buying during the holiday period set a record for dollars spent, according to the sales report issued by Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Some of the biggest jumps, both online and in-store, were seen in electronics and appliances (7.5%), jewelry (5.9%), and home furnishings and home improvement (5.1%).
These results are consistent with what American Jewelry and Loan reports for their 2017 holiday season. In addition to engagement rings, which are always a staple of the season, owner Les Gold shared that “we’ve seen many customers this year who are looking for an upgrade to their existing bridal sets.”
In addition to fine jewelry, other luxury items are commonly upgraded during the holidays. Beth Anundi of Capital Pawn in Salem, Oregon, has seen so many customers bring their luxury handbags to her store that she recently launched a dedicated Instagram channel to highlight the couture.
Upgrades were even more popular in electronics and technology. “By now, most households have at least one personal computer, so today’s customer is often looking to upgrade with newer models of laptops, tablets, or other personal technology” added Seth Gold, who works alongside Les at their family’s fourth-generation pawnshop.
Martin Strasser of Premier Jewellery and Loans in Kelowna, British Columbia adds “Re-cycled retail is here to stay. Not all gifts are the perfect fit, so we encourage our customers to ‘recash’ instead of ‘regift’.”
Taylor Packwood of Top Cash Pawn in Plano, Texas notes that timing is key when considering the value of electronics “for previous years electronics and tech, values will be dropping drastically, so cashing in quick is key”.
This leads to the question–what becomes of the items that these gifts replaced? For environmentally-conscious consumers, the pawnshop offers a unique opportunity. Donating or selling unused items is one of the best types of recycling because there are no resources required to process or replace the item. Instead, it finds a new home rather than depreciating in a drawer, on a shelf or worse, taking up landfill space.
For customers who mark a milestone by upgrading a sentimental piece of jewelry, for instance, the pawnshop offers a unique way to recoup a portion of the investment of the upgrade when they sell the original.
Similarly, while hardcore geeks may want the latest technology and the fastest processors, their existing gear may work sufficiently for a student or someone whose needs are less sophisticated. Increasing an item’s lifespan by selling it to a pawnshop is great for the environment because it generates less waste and uses fewer resources. According to the EPA, more than 4.6 million tons of e-waste ended up in US landfills in 2000.
“We’re accustomed to seeing lots of people come to the shop on the first few days after Christmas with items that they either don’t want or no longer need because they’ve been given a replacement as a gift,” Seth said. “It makes a lot of sense because the customer gets cash in their hand fast whereas selling online can be a hassle, consignment can take weeks, and returns can be a nightmare.”
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Individuals who are interested in converting their gold, jewelry, watches, luxury items, game systems, or other technology into cash are invited to stop by one of American Jewelry and Loan’s three Metro Detroit locations and find out why they’re known as being ‘Where Detroit Cashes In‘ for 40 years. For questions about the pawning process or available inventory, email [email protected].
American Jewelry and Loan is proud to participate in the Michigan Works Fall Job Fair–join us on Wednesday, October 25th at 713 E Nine Mile Road in Ferndale from 9am until 1pm!
On September 19, 2017, business leaders from across the region gathered at American Jewelry and Loan’s Detroit store for a sold-out event Inside the CEO Mind hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber. Les and Seth Gold shared stories from their unique journey and how facing their fears has led to hardcore success. Learn more about upcoming Chamber events at www.detroitchamber.com.