How Does a Pawn Loan Work?

Ever wonder how a pawn loan in Massachusetts works? If you need $26 or $26,000, a pawn loan from Empire Loan may be the answer. Watch Mike, the owner, explain how a pawn loan works. It’s that easy!

Massachusetts Pawn Shops Use the Art of Recycling: Giving Old Jewelry New Life!

Massachusetts pawn shops

No matter how educated an individual may be in their own fields, most are totally uninformed about how Massachusetts pawn shops work.  The Ivy League scientist who invents life changing technology knows nothing about the workings of a pawn shop. The high powered female executive who operates her own business with confidence and skill is unfamiliar with our business. The uninitiated wonder where all or our beautiful unique jewelry comes from. Why is it often one-of-a-kind? The reason for that is that  very often the gold, silver and gems of our jewelry are “recycled” – that is, made from another piece of jewelry to create a new piece.

For centuries, people have mined the earth for gold, diamond, silver and other precious metals and gemstones to use in the manufacture of jewelry. There are places on earth that are known specifically for certain types of gemstones or precious metals and companies that literally dig up these materials to create the original piece of jewelry. But the other process that has been going on for centuries is the recycling of these precious metals and gemstones to be reused over and over again.

Metals such as gold, silver and platinum are melted down into bars that manufacturers use to make new jewelry. At a pawn shop like Empire Loan, we often buy damaged or out-of-date  jewelry.  These pieces are sent to a refinery that will melt it down and sell it to a manufacturer to be reused. As the price of gold and silver rose over the past 10 years, it became more and more popular for people to gather up old scrap jewelry like broken chains and loose earrings and sell them for cash.  It’s funny to think that the broken chain you sold a year ago could still be part of the earrings you just bought.

The same thing applies to diamonds and other gemstones. Diamonds in particular are easy to reuse because you can take a lot of smaller ones and put them together to make a new item like a bracelet or ring. When people bring in their gold to sell, we remove the diamonds and sell them to wholesalers before we melt down the gold.  Wholesalers then sell the stones to a manufacturer to be used over again. Color stones are a little more challenging because the manufacturer usually needs only a certain number of stones in a particular shape or size, making them less valuable to a gold and diamond buyer like Empire Loan.

The lesson here is that while your jewelry may not live forever, your gold and diamonds just may be enjoying an afterlife – “reincarnated” in another form!


Why Pay Retail for Gold & Diamond Jewelry?

Boston JewelerWhen it comes to jewelry buying, paying retail doesn’t always make sense. There are hidden costs built into a retail price and  savvy consumers need to know this up front. Boston Jewelers, for example, have a totally different supply chain than a pawn shop that results in a higher price to the consumer. Let’s look at why that is the case.

Since 1985, Empire Loan has been buying gold and diamond jewelry based on the scrap price of the metal and a percentage of the wholesale price of any diamonds the jewelry may have. While we’ve been doing it based on where gold is trading on the commodities market, the fact is, Empire Loan and other pawn shops are buying jewelry for less than any retailer can. That means we can sell for less than any other retailer out there. Compared to most jewelry and department stores, Empire Loan’s prices are half to a quarter of what you would pay retail anywhere else.

People see Boston Jewelers and national chains advertising low prices for gold and diamond jewelry and assume that these stores will have the best prices. The assumption is that because they’re a big company, they have greater buying power, and the ability to pass on savings to the customer. But this is not the case. While it may be true that they have buying power, the supply chain their merchandise travels through involves more people and more costs along the way, which drives prices up.

Let’s assume the gold and diamonds used in their jewelry was dug up in a mine. The company that ”dug it up” has their markup when they sell it to the manufacturer who is going to make the jewelry, adding more cost and profit. Now it’s sold by a distributor who also tacks on a profit. That’s before the department or jewelry store marks it up and sells it to consumers. That’s 4 different markups before you even see it in their display cases!

Specialty jewelry stores are another avenue. You walk into a high end store and are met by a professional sales person who is an “expert” in gold and diamond jewelry. They will sell you nothing but the best! These fancy stores allow novices like you and I to feel that this is the only place one should go because they have a reputation to uphold. The fact is, their supply chain is just like the one mentioned above with one exception — they add on a bigger markup for that “reputation”.  In the end, gold is a certain karat and weight, and the diamonds are a certain quality, wherever you buy it. The fancier the store, the “fancier” their prices.
In all of these cases, when you buy a ring, necklace or pair of earrings, they simply go in the back room and grab another one to fill the display case. These stores sell hundreds, if not thousands, of the same items over and over.

At Empire Loan, the jewelry we sell is truly one of a kind. It may be unique estate jewelry, or recycled jewelry in which the materials of an old piece are reused to create a new one. Either way, without the supply chain involved in retail  jewelry operations,  we can offer you beautiful pieces at the lowest possible price around.  Stop in and have a look for yourself.

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Empire Loan Answers Your Questions on Gold

Celebrate the Wearing of Green Gems

Aquamarine birthstones which can be found in NH pawn shopsMarch celebrates “The Wearing of the Green”, a tradition observed by many, Irish or not, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Wearing green is a statement of Irish pride, but even those with no connection at all to Ireland get in the spirit. Will you be wearing green this year? Hat, scarf, sweater, maybe green socks? Actually, here’s a better idea. How about emeralds! What better way to celebrate the Emerald Isle than by “wearin’ the green” of the perfect gemstone. Aquamarine, the birthstone for March, is another good choice. In fact, it’s actually from the same mineral family as Emeralds, and is another way to let your green shine through!

Empire Loan’s pawn shops in NH and Massachusetts always have a great selection of emerald and aquamarine jewelry for sale. But what does a consumer need to know about these beautiful stones? Here’s a little background. Emeralds are actually the traditional birthstone for the month of May but the association with the Emerald Isle of Ireland has made the stone very popular with the Irish culture. Emeralds may be appraised using the same standards used for other gemstones like diamonds: cut, color; clarity and carat. Emeralds can be round, brilliant cut, marquis, princess, emerald cut or any other typical style. The carat weight or size of the stone can also have a wide range. The color of an Emerald can range from a yellow-green to a blue-green hue, with the medium to dark stones being the ideal. Emeralds tend to have numerous inclusions and fissures that are considered “imperfections”. Because the imperfections are visible in the stone, unlike diamonds, they tend to be graded by eye. As with diamonds, the fewer the imperfections, the more valuable the stone.

As we mentioned, the traditional birthstone for March, the Aquamarine, is in the same mineral family as Emeralds. Aquamarine takes its name from the Latin word, meaning “Water of the Sea”. The name is a good description of the stone’s ethereal color — blue or turquoise. Like most gemstones, the Aquamarine comes in many shapes (cuts) and sizes (carat weight). Unlike Emeralds, Aquamarines tends to have excellent clarity and few inclusions, with an almost glass-like luster. Also unlike its softer relative, the Emerald,  an Aquamarine is an extremely hard and durable gemstone. Aquamarines range from a very light blue to a darker blue-green color. The more saturated the color and the darker the blue in an aquamarine, the more desirable it is. While they are found all over the world, Brazil is the number one producer of Aquamarines.

With a little background about these beautiful March stones, you’ll know what to look for. Come into any of Empire Loan’s pawn shops in NH and MA and check out our great selection of Emerald and Aquamarine jewelry. Whether you wear these beautiful gems on St. Patrick’s Day, or other special occasions, you’ll wear them with pride.

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