The Weirdest Things People Have Pawned

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June 10, 2024

Ever wondered what ends up in pawnshops? Prepare to be amazed as we take a look at some of the weirdest things people have pawned. From fine wines and human skulls to stuffed cats and dentures. These aren't  your normal pawn shop finds. Come and enjoy learning about the crazy things that people somehow managed to pawn. You might just have some crazy weird thing a pawn shop will take.

Fine Wines 

We know it sounds a little crazy, but you can actually pawn full, unopened bottles of fine wine. It is very rare to find a pawn shop that takes consumable items, but we all get a little lucky sometimes. So, before you try to take all your collectible wines to your local pawn shop, where the likelihood of them taking it is slim to none, just remember that it has to be unopened and a fine wine. As a suggestion you might find more success in taking it to an actual wine collector who will buy it. 

Wine bottle on a counter

Stained Silver Quarters

If you want to pawn a silver quarter, don't worry if it has a black stain on one side. Black stains on silver quarters often result from exposure to sulfur and other elements in the air. However, you can't simply paint a quarter black to pass it off as silver. Pawn shops have various methods to verify authenticity beyond checking for black stains. While a black mark can indicate silver, it doesn't confirm it, as the stain could be from something else entirely.

Picture of someone holding a quarter but its only their fingers in the picture

Used Dentures

There is a saying, “Just because you can doesn't mean you should.” That quote is very applicable when it comes to pawning used dentures. Pawning new and unused dentures still makes the list of "just because you can doesn't mean you should", but it is a little more acceptable than used. But this is still an example of weird things people have pawned.

Human Skulls

Human skulls can be pawned, but usually only those from the 18th to 19th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries, skulls were often used for medical science research, which explains why some people even had skulls to pawn, as some of those skulls got passed down throughout the generations. Anyway, as long as you can guarantee that your skull is an artifact from the medical science research of the 19th century and not a murder victim's skull you should be able to pawn it, unless you live in Louisiana or Georgia which are states that do not allow the selling or the buying of human bones. 

Man in suit and latex gloves holding a human skull

Taxidermy 

If you are a regular pawnshopper you might not be surprised to learn that they accept taxidermy as most pawn shops have stuffed deer on their walls. But did you know that pawn shops will also accept taxidermied cats? Most pawn shops will take any taxidermied animal as long as it is not an endangered species which would be illegal. So, if you would like to sell or buy any products of taxidermy look no further than your local pawn shop. 

Taxidermy deer hanging on a plain wall

Prosthetics 

Yes, surprisingly you can pawn prosthetics and it is not uncommon either. It is a nice way to quickly get rid of unwanted prosthetics and nice for those who need them as they can get them for a cheaper price than what they would get anywhere else. 

A Quick History of Pawnbroking 

Pawn Broking started around 3000 years ago in China, to help peasants with debt. As it evolved throughout the years it spread to other countries, for instance in Ancient Rome they would pawn their clothes in order to meet their daily needs. Pawning clothing continued to be a popular form of pawning in the 17th and 18th centuries where the poor would pawn their clothes until Friday when they would get paid. They did this so that throughout the week they could afford food and lodging. Even today you can pawn clothes although it is not nearly as popular as it was in the 1800s. But, like today clothes were not the only item being pawned in the Middle Ages; the kings and queens would pawn out their jewels for money and other materials in order to win wars. From the 18th to 1900s, people used to pawn their violins, music boxes, pocket watches, and more. It is fascinating to see and learn how much pawnbroking has changed throughout the years. 

What is Pawning Like Today?

Today, pawn shops often offer a wide range of services beyond simple pawning, including loans, sales of merchandise, and even online platforms. The types of the items that are pawned have changed greatly as well, reflecting the ever-changing consumer needs and preferences. But even after all the changes, pawnbroking is still the same short-term financial assistance it started out as 3000 years ago. 

Conclusion

Now you know what some of the weirdest things you can pawn are, like taxidermied cats and stained silver quarters, and how those items vary greatly from the items that used to be pawned back in the 1900s. Maybe you would like to pawn some items yourself, and in case you do not have a skull on hand try pawning some more common items, items you might not have realized you can pawn. Before your next pawn shop adventure try to remember, that although it may be legal it is not always ethical, (remember the used dentures section). 

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