The rise of the London Pawnbroker

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In the 18th and 19th century, the most common loan written was of low value. An asset-backed loan was what most people could access, not a bank loan, thus when you need to get a few Christmas presents, needed to pay the rent, it might be time to visit the local pawnbroker. Times have changed, now the internet is filled with stories of entrepreneurs, collectors and traders who like the ability to access high-value loans fast before they lose the deal, the swell of new customers is changing the image of the industry and increasing the loan value significantly. So what is behind the rise of the London Pawnbroker?

Change in Image:

London has always been the home of Jewellery, silver and antiques. People come from around the world to view the crown jewels and gaze at the other fantastic thing from sale in the shops of Burlington Arcade and Hatton Garden. Pawnshops and this trade are now solidly linked, and a shop like Hopkins and Jones is a pawnbroker and a retail jewellery shop as well. They sell their non-redeemed items, items people have chosen to sell and second-hand item bought out-right.

People from any class can be found shopping here and from a businessman to say he ‘pawned’ his watch no longer brings up ideas of debt but that maybe he needed fast cash for a deal or ease.

The internet:

I talk extensively about the value of being an expert and how an item in the right hands can be worth a lot more. The internet has done a lot for the consumer, and it has made the ability to access a level of information that was not previously available. If you were to pawn your old jewellery collection, I would hope at the very least you would have a look online, to know at least what the scrap value of it was. This way you will know the minimum loan value you can accept.

The global market has opened up London to the world, and foreign consumers have a great hunger for Victorian jewellery, antiques and luxury watches. Pawnbrokers know they can put images of their items on Instagram and sell to the global market.

Appreciating assets:

The great things about a pawnbrokers stock and why the businesses themselves have gone from strength to strength. Is the asset pool they have is just increasing and increasing in value. Gold has risen in value, as have diamonds, luxury watches and even silver. Everything they hold has gone up in price and people are now looking to the luxury market for their investments. Gold has performed almost as good as property in that it has doubled in price in 10 years.

In 01/07/2010 you could obtain a gram of 24k gold for £21 pounds, now as of 01/07/2019, you’d pay £42.20. People are starting to see that investing in Gold, diamonds, antiques and luxury watches is not only enjoyable but profitable too.

In the coming years, we will see more and more trade online and the future rise of the London pawnbroker.

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On October 11, 2019

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Hopkins & Jones Ltd is a trade member of The NPA (The National Pawnbrokers Association). Hopkins and Jones Limited, Company registration Number 433606. Registered Office, 7 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DW. Hopkins and Jones Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority licence No 6520002 for the provision of pawnbroking loans.
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