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Pawnbroking, a short history.

Posted: 22-08-2019


 Pawnbroking is the oldest form of consumer credit.

Pawnbroking can be traced back as far as 3,000 years to ancient China as a method of granting short-term credit to farmers. In the early centuries, people pawned their clothing since clothes were often the most valuable items they owned. Pawnbroking thrived in ancient Greece and Rome and this can be traced in historic Greek and Roman financial records.

In 1388, England's King Edward III famously pawned his jewels to help finance his war against France and Queen Isabella of Spain, is said to have used her royal jewels as collateral to fund Christopher Columbus' expeditions to the New World.

 In Georgian England, bills were passed through Parliament regulating pawnbrokers and about this time the three balls, either golden or blue, became the sign of the pawnbroker.

 By mid Victorian period there were about 4,500 pawnbroking establishments in the UK, these were mainly based in industrial working class areas. Pawnbroking remained a busy area of commerce during the 1920’s, 30’s and 1940’s.

Today’s pawnbroker has adapted to meet the needs of the consumer with controlled legislation in place to follow. Pawnbroking offers the consumer a quick, convenient and confidential way to borrow money, with no credit check or legal consequences if the loan is not repaid.

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