Many people like visiting pawn shops just for the unusual items they will find. If you’re looking for a great conversational piece for your home, stroll through your local pawn shop. You’re bound to find interesting items that are sure to add character, whimsy, and charm. Check out some of the weirdest things people have pawned, as well as some ideas for unusual things to pawn that you may not have considered.

Gold Fillings

Teeth with gold fillings are more commonly brought into pawn shops than you’d think. While pawn shops can’t really do anything with the natural tooth, you may be able to sell the gold itself. Just be aware that unless gold prices are really high at the time you visit, you will likely not get as much as you were expecting.

Used Dentures

When people desperately need money, they often grab unusual items, including their own, or someone else’s, chompers. Did you know you can’t pawn dentures in Las Vegas? Because dentures are considered to be prescribed medical devices, state law actually bans them from being sold or auctioned in any capacity.

Stainless Steel

Pawn shops see a lot of customers who bring in stainless steel items and try to pass them off as sterling silver. Silverware is pretty common, but customers have also brought in stainless steel jewelry, bracelets, belt buckles, even full tea sets, and insisted they were real silver.

Historic Military and War Memorabilia

History buffs young and old love to collect original military and war memorabilia. Items brought in to pawn range from old uniforms or military patches, to weaponry and goods that were taken from foreign countries, museums, even enemy combatants. Customers also love to bring in propaganda posters or leaflets, old letters, watches, medals, helmets, and military gear that may have been worn or used on the front lines.

Military Surplus

Along with wartime memorabilia, there are plenty of military surplus supplies that customers regularly bring in to pawn. This is usually especially true around military bases. Common items typically include ammo pouches, crates and ammo cans, foot lockers, surplus guns and ammunition, even field supplies like meals ready to eat (MREs).

Funeral Urns

While this may sound kind of morbid, it’s actually not that unusual for someone to try to sell or pawn an unused urn. People often buy them as a “just-in-case” item, then end up wanting to pawn or sell them to cover some sort of unexpected expense. While pawn shops may be willing to help you pawn or sell an unused urn, please don’t try to do this with your grandmother’s ashes that have been sitting on your fireplace mantel.

Glass Eyes

This is another one that’s kind of gross, and may be more of a tall tale. Several different pawn shop owners and employees have shared stories about people trying to pawn their glass eyes. The really gross part is that – for some reason – the customers seem to wait until they are in the store, standing at the counter, before they remove them. Yuck.


Yes, prosthetics. There are plenty of stories of pawn shop owners having customers come in and try to pawn their own prosthetics, or ones from deceased relatives. Some pawn shops may be reluctant to buy used prosthetics, and they likely won’t make you rich, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Vintage Cans and Bottles

A lot of people seem to think old limited-edition soda or beer cans or bottles are valuable. While there are some rare exceptions, most are actually pretty worthless, especially if they are pull tab or pop tab cans made after the 1970s. If you’ve been saving these up thinking you’re sitting on a nice little stash, you may want to reconsider. While there is big business in truly rare bottles and cans, chances are you’re not going to find one in the trash bin or laying in your backyard.

Vintage Typewriters, Phones or Cameras

In the modern age of everything digital, old-fashioned manual typewriters, landline phones and old cameras may seem archaic. You’d be surprised at the number of people who will buy these, not for functionality’s sake, but for the cool vintage vibe. They are definitely collectible items that are great conversation starters, especially if they sport a unique design or look.

Wine Bottles and Corks

While most people automatically throw their used wine bottles and corks into the trash or recycling bin, these are actually great collectible items, especially for crafters and artists. Just Google “wine bottle art” and you can find tons of creative ideas for repainting and reusing wine bottles as unique art pieces or home or yard décor. And don’t just toss the corks, either. There are plenty of people who will pay good money for real wine corks to make corkboards and recycled art.

Old Books, Magazines and Comic Books

Got a bunch of old books, children’s books, magazines, comic books, even college textbooks taking up space at home? Lug them into your local pawn shop. You may be surprised at their worth. Comic book collectors will happily snap up older comics, especially if they have been stored well and are in great condition. Artists, crafters and hobbyists alike are always looking for back copies of magazines to use for various projects or inspiration.

Autographed Items or Celebrity Memorabilia

There are stories all over the internet and reality TV about people supposedly bringing in weird celebrity items as collateral on pawn loans. While the most unusual (and outrageous) items are likely to get the most notice – and the most money – don’t discount any items you may have that have been autographed or were used or worn by a celebrity. More common items brought in to pawn include autographed pictures, posters or books, or if it’s a sports celebrity, think of autographed jerseys, gloves, or balls.

Get Creative

The next time you visit your local pawn shop, ask the pawn broker if he or she has had any strange items offered for pawn. Chances are you’ll hear a few interesting stories! No matter what items you have around your home, strange or average, stop by Gene’s Jewelry & Pawn Shop in Charleston. We can find just the right buyer for your item.