The ABCs of Pawn Loans

ABC’s of Pawning Your Items

NOTICE: Port City Coin and Jewelry Only Makes Loans on Gold, Silver and Diamonds

Pawning your items can be a convenient way of obtaining immediate cash for your valuables. When you need a loan you may wish to use some of your valuables to get cash from a pawn shop. A pawn shop can give you a quick estimate of the value of your items as well as an indication of interest in accepting them as collateral for your loan. If your valuables meet the pawn shop’s criteria, they can also usually pay cash on the spot for your valuables upon the presentation of identification.

While pawning your items can be a trusted way of obtaining immediate cash for your valuable, it is important to understand how the pawn process works.

Here are somethings to keep in mind when you bring your valuables to a pawn shop.

How to value of your items

The first step in the pawn process is determining the value of your items.

Jewelry and Watches

To start the valuation process for jewelry or watches, it is helpful to locate the receipt(s) or evidence of any appraisal(s) you may have on the item(s). If you do not have receipts or appraisals, research the values of the items or similar items online. These values, however, are probably not necessarily going to be the approximate value of your pawn loan.

For example, an appraisal on a gold ring is an estimate of the cost of replacing that ring. The actual pawn value of your ring, however, is more likely to be much lower and valued on the basis of its precious metals and gem content.

Jewelry is often sold initially at very high premiums well above the actual value of the precious metals and diamonds, emeralds, rubies or other jewels from which it is crafted. Most fine jewelry can not be resold at the original or assessed price. Most jewelry at pawn shops is assessed on a percentage value of the precious metal content and any jewels in the piece.

In such cases, you will probably be offered a percentage of the precious metal or gem value. You will need to know how much gold or silver are in your items to get an idea of their approximate melt value.

The value of your loan will depend on the pawn dealer’s assessment on (a) the resale value of your items and (b) the ability to sell them in a timely fashion.

Condition of your Jewelry/Watches

You will need to know the condition and value of your jewelry, watch(es) diamonds and other gems. First determine their age, wear and any damage. Gold or silver jewelry, diamond ring or gold watch(es) made by a prestigious designers (eg. a Tiffany ring, Cartier bracelet or Rolex watch) may fetch a premium than similar items that may only be valued at their “scrap value”.


Values of gems like diamonds and rubies are more difficult to assess without the assistance of a jeweler or gemologist. If you have purchase receipts of any gem items, you may be able to get a sense of value but since prices vary over time, a professional assessment will probably be required if the gem item (s) were obtained a few years or more ago. Port City Coin and Jewelry can provide you with an assessment of the value of your diamonds and other gemstones. Port City Coin and Jewelry is a member of the Gemological Institute of America Inc.(GIA).

Gold coins

For gold coins, you will need to determine their weight and percentage of gold content to perform the calculation. Gold coins, like jewelry may have more value than simply their metallic content. In coins, this added value is called numismatic value. You can check approximate values online by searching for the date and type of coin(s) you have. Generally, gold coins will need to be in excellent condition in order for you to receive the numismatic value.

Silver Items


Silverware is generally valued on the scrap value of the silver content of the utensils. Silver plated silverware is generally not pawnable unless it is a complete set.

Silver Coins

Silver coins range in metallic content. The most popular silver bullion coin the American Silver Eagle is 99.9% silver. Pre-1965 US dimes, quarter and half dollars are 90% silver. For other silver coins you can check approximate silver content and values online by searching for the date and type of coin(s) you have. Generally silver coins, like gold coins, will need to be in excellent condition in order for you to receive the numismatic value.

Silverware is generally either “sterling silver” (92.5% silver) or sterling plate (very little silver). Silverware is generally sold for its silver value. Silver plated items will in nearly all cases not be accepted as collateral for pawn loans.

Silver Jewelry

Most silver jewelry, like silverware, is sterling silver and will be valued by its metallic value.


The condition of your items will factor heavily on the current value of your items. Visible wear or defects will impact their value.

Terms and Safekeeping

Once you have agreed on the value of your valuables and amount of the loan, your pawn dealer will provide you with a contract covering the terms of your agreement and will place your valuables in safe keeping and provide you with cash and a repayment plan.


If you meet all of your payments in a timely fashion, your valuables will be returned to you at the end of the loan period. If you default on your loan the pawn dealer will retain your items and attempt to resell them to recoup the value of the cash loaned to you.

Port City Coin and Jewelry has been in business since 2008 and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau

Visit Port City Coin & Jewelry

Bring your valuables to Port City Coin & Jewelry for an estimate of their worth or call 603-373-6185.

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Port City Coin & Jewelry is located at 599 Lafayette Rd (Route 1) | Portsmouth, NH (next to Bowl O Rama)
Call: (603) 373-6185

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