People pawn items for many different reasons. Sometimes, it’s simply to declutter and clean out the attic or garage of unused items that are still valuable and shouldn’t just be thrown away. Sometimes it’s because they could use some extra cash. Regardless of the reason, people visit pawn shops to sell all kinds of things, from sporting goods to fine jewelry.

While many pawn shops will take nearly anything of value, there are certain items that are pawned more frequently than others. Pawn shops know certain items are in high demand, have good resale value and often sell quickly. Let’s look at some of the most common pawned items.

Jewelry, watches and precious metals

Jewelry, especially quality pieces with gold, silver, platinum or precious stones, is probably the most common item pawned or sold at pawn shops. Why? Whether it’s a beautiful watch, a delicate diamond ring, or a stunning pair of earrings, jewelry is often one of the most-sought items in the world. Jewelry not only serves as a luxurious accessory, it is also often considered a great long-term investment. The price of gold, silver, and precious stones often stays steady, despite any unexpected stock market or economic slumps.

Most high-end jewelry pieces practically sell themselves. Jewelry is priced consistently and fairly, offering decent profits for anyone interested in pawning their items, and there are always people looking for great deals on a gorgeous necklace, watch, or pair of earrings.

Because pawn shops tend to deal in a lot of jewelry, they often have at least one or two experienced staff members who specialize in examining and appraising it. They can help determine crucial details like cut, clarity, carat weight, and melt value, and many pawn shops offer free, no-obligation appraisals on the spot, so you can be sure you’re getting the most value before you even leave the store.

Collectibles are common pawned items

Dealing in collectibles – from vintage toys, games, stamps, and trading cards to comic books, vinyl records, and sports or entertainment memorabilia – can be tricky, but it’s also big business. Depending on the item and factors like rarity, condition, popularity and demand, some collectibles can fetch big bucks in a pawn shop. However, as with jewelry, it pays to do your homework and know a little bit about your item’s expected worth before you visit the pawn shop. And be wary – just because your old Beanie Babies were once valuable, it doesn’t mean they’ve kept their value over time.


Collecting rare coins has been a big deal for centuries. Coins are a tangible piece of history, representing different cultures, beliefs, and values, and they offer a glimpse into the various forces that shaped the world as we know it today. While domestic coins are probably the most common at the pawn shop, rare and foreign coins, especially those that feature unique designs, historical significance, or key production errors, can fetch much higher prices.

Registered firearms

High-end firearms that are clean, legally registered, and in good working condition often sell quickly at most pawn shops. Pawn shops face certain legal requirements related to guns, including sharing information with local law enforcement, so it pays to be prepared before you take your gun to the local pawn shop. Make sure the firearm is legally registered in your name, and don’t forget to bring that paperwork and any gun licenses with you. Keep the firearm secured in a locked case and follow safe handling practices when you arrive. Also, verify your local shop is licensed to deal and sell guns before you visit.


Cell phones, stereos, televisions, computers/laptops, cameras, video game systems, and electronics of all kinds are always popular for buyers and sellers alike. As people outgrow and upgrade their electronic devices, they often bring the old items to the pawn shop and sell them for a nice profit. Older electronics are also popular at pawn shops for a variety of buyers, including small business owners who may be just starting out, or even parents or grandparents who are looking for special gifts but don’t want to pay retail prices.

Sports equipment and memorabilia

Starting a new exercise habit or taking up a new hobby? Buying new sports gear, clothing, and equipment can be pricey, especially if you’re just starting out or not sure you’re going to stick with it. However, your local pawn shop can be a treasure trove of gently used sports equipment in good condition that’s reasonably priced. From golf clubs to tennis rackets, accessories and other sports gear, you can learn a new skill without shelling out a ton of money.

Power tools

Power tools are one of the best items to pawn or sell for quick cash. To get the most value out of your item, take some time to clean it thoroughly, making sure it’s free of oil, dirt, dust, or other debris. Items that are clean and in good working condition often sell quickly, especially to buyers eager to get started on a few DIY projects.

Musical instruments

If you’ve ever stepped foot inside a pawn shop, it’s likely you’ve seen at least a few guitars for sale. You’ve probably also spotted a drum set or two, or a gently used band instrument like a flute or trumpet. Selling such instruments to a pawn broker is much easier than trying to sell them online, and you’re more likely to deal with someone who has a solid working knowledge of the value of your instrument. Budding musicians can learn a new skill, save money, and still buy quality music equipment, all thanks to their local pawn shop.

At Gene’s Jewelry & Pawn, we have worked with thousands of customers looking to pawn everything from gold, precious metals, and jewelry to power tools, collectibles, and sports mementos. To learn more about what your item might be worth, visit us today at any one of our three locations in the greater Charleston area.