Did you know?
A pawnbroker (or pawnshop) is an individual or business that offers monetary loans in exchange for an item of value that is given to the pawn broker. The word pawn is derived from the Latin pignus, for pledge, and the items having been pawned to the broker are themselves called pledges or pawns, or simply the collateral.
If an item is pawned for a loan, within a certain contractual period of time the pawner may purchase it back for the amount of the loan plus some agreed-upon amount for interest. The amount of time, and rate of interest, is governed by law or by the pawnbroker’s policies. If the loan is not paid (or extended, if applicable) within the time period, the pawned item will be offered for sale by the pawnbroker/secondhand dealer. Unlike other lenders, though, the pawnbroker does not report the defaulted loan on the customer’s credit report, since the pawnbroker has physical possession of the item and may recoup the loan value through outright sale of the item. The pawnbroker/secondhand dealer also sells items that have been sold outright by customers to the Pawnbroker or secondhand dealer.
Symbol of pawnbroking
The universal symbol of pawnbroking is three gold balls and is one of the most recognized in the world. The Medici families in Italy along with the Lombards in England were moneylenders in Europe. Legend has it that one of the Medicis in the employ of Emperor Charles the Great fought a giant and slew him with three sacks of rocks. The three balls or globes later became part of their family crest, and ultimately, the sign of pawnbroking.
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