The pawn industry enjoys a unique relationship with United PMR. As the largest US-owned primary refiner in the country, United exclusively services the jewelry industry. A major source of jewelry for recycling and refining is the pawn industry. Dating back to ancient history, the practice of loaning money on portable security has outlasted the test of time. Pawn shops, because of their niche services and customer-friendly business model, have provided much needed funding to customers when other options such as bank loans weren't available to people.
The first time I heard this, I was shocked! Then it was endless stories of pawn owner’s explaining how refiners didn’t find their platinum. So let’s talk about this elusive metal.
To start, sneaking metal into your refining lot is never a good idea, especially platinum group metals. The first, and most important reason is if the refiner is expecting gold and silver, a fire assay is done on your material to assess value.
You: "So you would like to sell this Tiffany™ Silver necklace & bean. I can give you $25."
Customer: "....but this silver bean was $250 and I just bought it six months ago in Vegas with my now exboyfriend at Tiffany's in Caesars Forum Shops...."
Have you had a conversation like the one above? Is it the reason you don't buy silver? Or maybe it's one of the reasons below...
- You don't want to "offend" your customers knowing silver quotes are low
- Not sure what to pay for silver? How do I buy it right ?
- Is it sterling and if so will it run actual 92.5 or will it run less – more like 90% or 89%
- What about knife handles and blades and candle stick holders, how do I account for extra weight ?
- How do I ship it ? It’s going to be heavy as heck and probably be expensive ?