While no one ever thought pawning artifacts and valuables was a honest business, you have to expect both sides to get a fair deal. Pawn Stars, a reality show based on the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas has been making deals on air for years.
Like any pawn brokers, Rick, the Old Man, Corey, and Chumlee have the task of haggling with sellers, trying to turn a profit on the items they buy.
The value of the items that are pawned depends on many factors including rarity, condition and how desperate the seller is for quick cash.
There have been times though that the Pawn Stars have made questionable deals that ended up being big potential losses for the sellers.
Book from Isaac Newton's Library
When Bob, a seller with a 450 year old book on alchemy walked into Gold & Silver Pawn, he knew he had something special.
"I don't know what the book is worth, but if it did belong to Isaac Newton, it should be worth thousands," Bob guesses, with no evidence to back his claims.
After a call to his rare book expert, Old Man finds out the book is worth $20,000. That's when Bob amazingly accepts the low offer of $7,000 after Old Man says "You know if I give you seven for it, I won't have money for dinner tonight." Yeah, sure.
As it turns out the rest of Newton's collection was either destroyed or archived, which makes this piece a rare addition to anyone's collection.
15th century Samurai sword
Corey was looking to slash through negotiations on a 15th century Samurai sword that could potentially have brought the shop over $10,000.
The seller, David, claimed to be a lawyer that took the old piece of weaponry as collatorial for a client. The client never returned, so he was looking to sell the item to recoup his costs.
Before the haggling began, Corey admitted in the backroom that he's "seen a few of these sell for thousands of dollars." He then opened his offer at a meager $800.
The seller was unprepared for such offers, "When he offered me $800 I wanted to jump and do a dance, but I had to keep my cool, because the price was still going up."
They ended up agreeing on $1,500 which was a modest price. An expert later determined that it was actually worth $5,000 to $6,000 in its current condition, but if it was restored for $3,000, it could sell for as much as $15,000.
"That's a score, Big Hoss!" Chumlee says as he and Corey high five.
I bet David didn't feel the same way after he watched the episode.