Santa Claus and the spirit behind pawn broking

The man, the myth, the mystery - Sir Edmond Gin

Santa Claus, is recognized by the Pawnbroking industry as the patron saint of Pawnshops. Legend has it that one day, Santa Claus came upon three girls who came from a very poor family that could not afford to pay their dowries so they could be married. Then one night, father Christmas left three gold bags, one for each girl on their doorstep. And since then, the three gold bags became a symbol for Pawnbrokers who came to the aid of people in need. 

There is more to this story though. In the 14th century Franciscan friars established what was known as montes pietatius. This was set up to give low-interest loans for poor people so they can feed themselves. They used whatever valuables they had as collateral. The Pope endorsed these montes pietatius in 1514 and their numbers grew all across Europe. 

The history of Pawnbroking actually goes back further. Historians date it back 3,000 back to ancient China. It has also thrived in ancient Greece and Rome. Pawnbrokers did more than provide low-interest cash loans to peasants but merchants could also access short-term loans to fund their small businesses. In recent years this trend has grown and today you may even come across a high-end Brisbane Pawnshop that deal with high-end stuff. 

In the middle ages, the Catholic Church imposed restrictions that affected the growth of the Pawnbroking industry. These restrictions were relaxed around the 15th century when Pawnbrokers were seen as legitimate short-term credit providers not just for peasants and poor people but anyone who needed quick but temporary financial help. A number of prominent families in Europe like the Medicis in Italy and the Lombards in England went into the money lending business. Kings and queens could use their valuable assets to borrow money against so they could fund wars and expeditions. In 1388, the Lombards loaned King Edward III money to finance the British war against France.  

The Pawnbroking industry put security measures in place much earlier on to prevent stolen items from being pawned . The Pawnbrokers Act in England is the first piece of legislation created in 1872. The same act set the interest rate on pawned goods and set general guidelines and regulations that still exist today. Any Brisbane Pawn shop today have to abide by the rules set out in the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act of 1989.

There are tens of thousands of pawn shops across the globe today. They contribute billions of dollars to local economies. The Pawnbroking industry is highly regulated but it is still the best way of obtaining short- term, non-recourse loan when you need it.  

Pawnshops are the same everywhere. They lend cash for valuable items that range from gold jewelry, televisions, power tools, washing machines, musical instruments and more. The amount a Pawnbroker offers on a lot an is usually based on the value of the collateral provided.  Pawn shop customers usually borrow small amounts of money they can pay back in 30 days.  

When customers take out a pawn loan, they are given an explanation of what they are obliged to do. The details will be printed on a pawn ticket they will later need to produce in order to redeem their valuables when they have paid the loan back.  Most people do pay pawn loans back to get their valuable items back. Pawnbrokers will sell items whose owners default on loan repayments.

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