How to Pawn Jewelry 2023 [An Easy Guide]

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Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Rebecca Lake

Pawning valuable items can be a great way to get fast cash when you need it. Depending on the value of the item, you might be able to borrow several hundred or several thousand dollars with a pawn loan. 

If you have unwanted jewelry, you could take it to your local pawn store to exchange it for instant cash. If you’re not sure how to pawn jewelry, it helps to know what to expect before walking into a local pawn shop. 

How Pawning Items Works

person getting cash at a pawn shop
Pawn shop loans

Pawning things can put quick cash in your hands in one of two ways. You can either sell your items to a pawn shop or get a pawn shop loan.

When you sell something to a pawn shop, you’re handing over your items for cash. Once you sell them, the pawn shop can then resell those items to someone else. 

If you’re pawning items to get a loan, you’re only letting the pawnshop keep your items temporarily. 

Here’s how pawn shop loans work.

  • You take an item of value to a pawn shop near you.
  • The pawn shop assesses the value of your items. 
  • Based on the assessed value, the pawn shop makes a loan offer.
  • If you accept the loan, the pawn shop holds onto your items. 
  • Once you pay the loan in full with interest, you get your items back.

Pawn shop loans are collateral loans since they’re secured by one or more items of value. They’re also short-term loans as you typically have 30 days or less to repay them. 

Some pawn shops, like Texas Pawn & Jewelry, may extend the loan term if you need more time to pay. You usually have to make an interest-only payment or pay a fee to get an extension. 

Pawn shop loans usually don’t require a credit check, which is great if you have a poor credit score or no credit history at all. You can get a quick loan for immediate cash as long as you have something of value. 

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​What do pawn shops buy?

Pawn shops can offer cash or pawn loans for a wide range of items. If you’ve ever been in a pawn store you’ll see that there’s usually an eclectic selection of products for sale. 

Some of the best things to sell to a pawn shop include:

  • Diamond jewelry
  • Luxury watches, including Rolex watches
  • Gold jewelry
  • Semiprecious stones
  • Designer handbags
  • Musical instruments
  • Power tools
  • ​Electronics
  • Video game consoles and video games
  • Lawn equipment
  • Sports equipment
  • Dirt bikes and ATVs

Some pawn shops also offer title pawn loans, where you use your car title as collateral.

What you can and can’t sell to a pawn shop or use as collateral for cash loans can depend on state law. For example, some pawnshops will offer loans for virtually any type of firearm as long as it’s not an illegal weapon, while others will only buy antique guns. 

How to Pawn Jewelry Step by Step

how to pawn jewelry
How to pawn jewelry

When you’re desperate for money to meet your financial needs, pawning your jewelry collection might be a good idea if you’re unable to get cash any other way. Here’s how to pawn jewelry in six simple steps. 

Step 1: Decide which jewelry to pawn

The first thing you’ll need to do is go through your jewelry collection and decide which items you want to pawn. If your goal is to get the most money possible, then you’ll want to choose items that have the highest market value.

For example, you might be able to get the best prices for?

  • Your engagement ring or wedding ring
  • Another diamond ring 
  • Diamond earrings, bracelets or pendants
  • Sterling silver necklaces, bracelets or earrings
  • Any type of stones, like loose rubies or emeralds
  • Any type of gold jewelry, like bracelets or necklaces
  • Luxury watches with diamond inlays

Basically, anything you might see in jewelry shops selling at higher prices is something you might be able to get a great deal on at a pawn shop. 

​Now, is there any jewelry you shouldn’t try to pawn?

​If you have anything that holds deep sentimental value or commemorates a special occasion, then pawning it probably isn’t a good option and here’s why. If you don’t pay back your pawn loan, the pawn shop gets to keep your collateral.

Likewise, if your personal treasure trove mainly includes costume jewelry, you might need to look for something else to pawn. Pawn shop owners usually prefer to lend money against things that they can sell at a higher price later if the borrower defaults on the loan. 

Step 2: Determine the value of your jewelry

The next step in how to pawn jewelry is to know what it’s worth. Having your items appraised can give you an idea of their market value so you can get the best deal possible. 

A local jewelry shop might be willing to look over any jewelry item you plan to pawn and give you a rough idea of its value. You can then use that as a guide for deciding whether the pawn shop is offering a reasonable price. 

In terms of how much money do pawn shops offer for jewelry, it depends on the shop’s policies.

It’s possible to get up to 75% of your jewelry’s value, but there’s a hitch. That 75% is usually based on what the pawn shop could resell the item for later. 

So, say that you paid $10,000 for a diamond ring. The pawn shop estimates that it could resell the ring for $3,500. ​Assuming the pawn shop follows the 75% rule, your maximum loan offer would be $2,625. 

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll get a higher offer when your items are in good condition or they’re considered to be rare, collectible pieces. The price of gold at any given time can also affect how much you’re able to get for gold jewelry items. 

Step 3: Decide if you want to sell your items or get a loan

things to sell to make money
Pawn jewelry for cash

As mentioned, there are options for how to pawn jewelry: selling or cash loans.

If you have unwanted jewelry that you’re not attached to in any way, it could make sense just to sell it if you need fast cash.

On the other hand, a loan could make more sense if you need some money quickly but don’t want to give up your jewelry permanently. 

Step 4: Find a reputable pawn shop near you

Finding a pawn shop locally is as simple as typing “pawn shop near me” into a search engine. However, not all pawn shops are the same and it pays to shop around when deciding how to pawn jewelry.

Here are some of the different factors to consider when finding the best pawn shop to sell your jewelry.

  • Does the pawn store offer pawn loans for jewelry?
  • If pawn loans are available, does the pawn shop offer competitive prices for jewelry?
  • Will you pay high interest rates for a pawn loan?
  • Is a loan term extension possible and if so, will you need to make a one-time interest payment?
  • Based on customer reviews, how likely are you to have a positive experience pawning your jewelry?
  • Does the pawn shop have knowledgeable staff who know how to accurately assess the value of jewelry?

You might want to visit a few pawn shops in person to get a feel for how they operate. 

A store that’s clean, well-organized and staffed by friendly people who are willing to answer your questions is usually a sign that you’re dealing with a reputable pawn shop owner. On the other hand, you might want to skip a store that’s cluttered, rundown-looking or is staffed by rude or unhelpful employees. 

Step 5: Ask the pawn shop to make an offer

Once you decide on a pawn shop, you can take your jewelry n to sell it or ask for a loan. Keep in mind that this isn’t a step you want to rush since you may need to do some negotiating to get a good deal.  

It’s not uncommon for pawn shop owners to make an initial lowball offer. If you ever watch any episodes of “Pawn Stars”, you’ll see that’s pretty much Rick’s standard business model. 



​Once the first offer is out there, you can make a counteroffer. You should be prepared for some back and forth here, as the pawn shop’s goal is usually to give you the least amount of money possible. 

That’s nothing personal, it’s just the way that they do business. Once the pawn shop offer makes a final offer, you’ll have a chance to decide whether you want to accept the loan or cash offer, or walk away. 

Step 6: Get your cash

If you accept the pawn shop’s offer, the final step is getting your cash. 

With pawn shop loans, you’ll need to review the loan terms and sign off on the required paperwork. Your loan agreement should tell you:

  • How long you have to repay a pawn loan
  • The amount of money the pawn shop is lending you
  • The loan’s interest rate and any additional fees you’ll pay
  • How to extend the loan, if the pawn broker allows it
  • What happens if you don’t pay the loan back

It’s important to read over this carefully so you know the financial and legal consequences of not paying back your loan. 

Once you sign off, the pawn dealer should give you a pawn ticket or receipt. You’ll want to make sure you keep it since you’ll need it to reclaim your items once you pay off your pawn loan.

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How to Pawn Jewelry: Pros and Cons

Jewelry can be a perfect item to pawn since pawn shops can offer great prices if your items have a higher value. There are, however, a few downsides to keep in mind.

Pros

  • Pawning jewelry can give you quick access to immediate cash.
  • As long as you pay back the loan, you won’t lose your collateral.
  • Jewelry pawn loans usually don’t require a credit check or good credit score to qualify. 
  • Pawn loans can put money in your hands faster than personal loans.
  • It’s typically pretty easy to find a pawn shop near you.

Cons

  • Pawn shop loans can have high interest rates.
  • If you don’t pay back the loan, you lose your jewelry or other collateral. 
  • You might get more cash for your items if you sell them to a jewelry store. 
  • Personal loans or credit cards could be a less expensive way to borrow.
  • There’s no guarantee that a pawn shop will buy your items. 

If you’re on the fence about pawning jewelry, you could always consider selling other items for cash. Or you might try a simple side hustle, like taking surveys for money.

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How to Pawn Jewelry FAQs

Is pawning jewelry worth it?

Pawning jewelry could be worth it if you need immediate cash. However, it’s important to consider the interest rates you might pay for a pawn loan and whether you’ll be able to pay the loan back on time. If not, you could lose your jewelry to the pawn shop.

What is the best jewelry to pawn?

The best jewelry to pawn to get the most money is diamond jewelry, like diamond rings, bracelets or earrings. Pawn shops can also offer a decent amount of money for sterling silver jewelry, semiprecious stones and luxury watches. 

What’s the most a pawn shop will loan?

How much money you can get for pawning jewelry or other items will depend on the pawn shop, but it’s typically no more than 75% of the resale value. There are different factors that influence how much you can get to pawn jewelry, including the age, condition and rarity of your items.

Does pawning hurt your credit?

​Pawn shop loans typically have no impact on your credit score since there’s no credit check required to get one. That means defaulting on a pawn shop loan won’t hurt your credit either, but it could prevent you from getting future loans from the same pawn shop. You’ll also lose your collateral, which is important to know if you’re getting something like a title loan, which uses your vehicle as security.

Final thoughts on how to pawn jewelry

Pawn shops are known for having a large variety of merchandise, items of all kinds and money to lend. If you need cash now, then pawning your jewelry could be an obvious choice. Just remember to consider all of the options for borrowing, including personal loans, credit cards or cash loans from friends and family before paying a visit to your local pawn shop. You might be able to pay less in interest and borrow more, without putting your jewelry at risk, using a different type of loan.

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What’s your best tip for how to pawn jewelry?

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About Rebecca Lake

Rebecca Lake is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, freelance writer and homeschooling single mom of two. Since 2014, she's paid off nearly $100,000 in debt and grown her net worth to seven figures. Her work has appeared online at top personal finance websites, including Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Investopedia, The Balance, CreditCards.com and U.S. News & World Report. Find out more.