Top 20 Shocking Pawn Stars Discoveries



Top 20 Shocking Pawn Stars Discoveries

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These shocking "Pawn Stars" discoveries are the definition of priceless. For this list, we'll be looking at some of the most shocking and amazing items to ever make their way onto “Pawn Stars.” Our countdown includes the Book of Mormon, George Washington's suit, JFK's humidor, and more

Top 20 Shocking PAwn Stars Discoveries

Now that is quite the collector’s item! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 20 Shocking Pawn Stars Discoveries.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the most shocking and amazing items to ever make their way onto “Pawn Stars.”

#20: Jimi Hendrix’s Guitar

The “Pawn Stars” love them some guitars, and in this episode, they hit upon a big one. A man came in claiming that he had Jimi Hendrix’s 1963 Fender Stratocaster, a guitar that Hendrix played in the studio. They quickly discovered its legitimacy through the serial number, and the appraiser valued the guitar at a whopping $1,000,000. Now that is one expensive guitar! Rick offered the owner $450,000 before working up to an offer of $600,000. However, the owner wasn’t willing to part with anything less than a cool mil, and Rick lost out on a piece of rock history.

#19: 1715 Spanish Fleet Coin

During the second season of “Pawn Stars,” a man walked into the shop with an old gold coin that had been inherited from his grandfather. The coin was dated from 1715 and was just one small part of a large haul containing over fourteen million pesos of silver and gold. The ship was making its way from Havana to Spain when it was struck by a hurricane and sunk off the coast of Florida. The owner’s particular gold coin was in “exceptional” condition, and he asked for $2,000, but the gold expert pegged it around $18,000! An agreement was quickly struck for a solid $11,000 - which was $9,000 more than what the owner expected.

#18: De Natura Fossilium

“De Natura Fossilium” is a scientific text on rocks and minerals, written by Georg Bauer and also called Georgius Agricola, which was published in 1546. It was the first sediment-based scientific text since Pliny the Elder published his “Natural History” in AD 77. It’s certainly a special find by itself, but what made this particular copy even more special is that it was owned by none other than Sir Isaac Newton. A special book plate certified that it was indeed owned by Newton and stored in his personal library. The appraiser gave the book a rough value of $20,000, but the owner ended up letting it go for a measly $7,000 in what may be one of the worst deals in “Pawn Stars” history...

#17: 17th Century Ship Bell

Rick is a sucker for shipwreck items, so when a woman brought in an antique ship bell belonging to the Dutch East India Company, he was in pawn shop heaven. Despite Rick’s enthusiasm, The Old Man had doubts regarding its validity, as he thought the bell was in too good shape. He believed that a genuine bell that had been in salt water for an extended period of time would be far more degraded. However, an expert stated that the ship likely crashed in shallow water and that the bell was never actually submerged. He ended up valuing the antique bell at $15,000.

#16: 1961 Les Paul SG guitar

Les Paul was a pioneer of the electric guitar, and his eponymous guitars are both wickedly popular and stylish. Paul was married to Mary Ford, and the two had sixteen top ten hits as husband-and-wife musical duo Les Paul and Mary Ford. Ford’s nephew brought in a custom 1961 Gibson SG, and because it had personal history with Paul and Ford, its value was significantly inflated. The guitar expert, Jesse Amoroso, was blown away by the find and honored to hold a piece of musical history, eventually valuing the guitar at a whopping $150,000. After some back and forth, the owner walked away with a cheque for $90,000.

#15: 1922 High Relief Peace Dollar

You never know what you’ll win in a poker game! A man came into the shop asking $20,000 for a fancy coin he had won in a poker game. A coin expert identified the coin as a legitimate 1922 High Relief Peace Dollar, which according to him is “one of the rarest coins in American history.” He then valued the coin between $50,000 and $100,000, which, if you’re good at math, you’ll realize is a little more than $20,000. The man eventually sold the Peace Dollar to Rick for $80,000, which is a little on the low side – apparently – but hey, we wouldn’t complain about earning $80,000.

#14: Gibson SJ-200 Master Museum Guitar

A man walked into the shop claiming to have “the most beautiful acoustic guitar.” And it certainly is beautiful. The guitar is a custom Gibson SJ-200, built by a man named Ren Ferguson. This particular guitar is the very first Master Museum - serial number one. The owner was asking for a surprisingly low $50,000, and in came guitar expert Jesse Amoroso to take a look. He called the guitar “the Rolex Presidential of Gibson guitars” and valued it between $50,000 and $60,000 owing to its historical importance. The owner, who proudly stood firm in his valuation of $50,000, reluctantly let it go for $48,000.

#13: The Book of Mormon

Here, a fella walks into the shop with a piece of American history – The Book of Mormon. The book was first published by a Joseph Smith in 1830, and Adam’s fifth edition copy was printed in 1842. According to the customer, it was also the last edition published in Joseph Smith’s lifetime, as he died in June of 1844. As Rick said, it’s not just an important religious manuscript, but one of the most valuable pieces of American literature. The appraiser, Rebecca Romney of Bauman Rare Books, valued the book at $40,000, making it the most valuable book that had been appraised by Rebecca. Adam walked away with $24,000, only one grand less than what he was originally asking.

#12: 1932 Lincoln Convertible V-12

Yeah, the cast of “Pawn Stars” loves them some guitars, but they REALLY love them some cars! A man known as “Uncle Phil” offered the men of the pawn shop a 1932 Lincoln Convertible V-12, a fancy car that included the Lincoln L-head V-12 engine. It could produce up to a for the era quite impressive 150 horsepower, and it competed with the Cadillac V-12 in its day. And to think, this baby was manufactured during the Great Depression! It’s a luxury car, which, according to Rick, can fetch up to $170,000, provided it’s in mint condition. However, the car had a few minor imperfections, so Rick managed to snag it for $95,000.

#11: Ancient Coin

Anything from the ancient period is sure to fetch a pretty penny. Even their pretty pennies. A woman walked in with an ancient coin, stating that she picked it up at an estate sale without really knowing what it was. The coin is a King of Pontus coin, bearing the image of Mithridates VI. Also known as Mithridates the Great for his military prowess, he served as King of Pontus and Armenia Minor from 120-63 BCE. The owner was asking $15,000 for the ancient coin, but the appraiser valued it at just $10,000. Rick offered the woman $5,500, but she rejected the offer and decided to shop around, promising to return if she failed to find a buyer.

#10: Egyptian Mummy Mask

Egyptian mummies and mummy fashionings are renowned the world over, often posing as major museum pieces. But some make their way to pawn shops. A man brought in an authentic Egyptian Cartonnage mummy mask, complete with the original coloring. It’s a gorgeous piece of work dated from 2100 BCE and the seller claimed that he would take between $30,000 and $70,000 for it. An expert who looks like he came straight from “Jumanji” was invited to the shop and valued the piece at $20,000, greatly disappointing the owner. However, he got one over on Corey after some tense back and forth, securing his goal of $30,000.

#9: 16th Century Spanish Gold Bar

The Pawn Stars see a lot of gold, like the time four one-kilogram gold bars with a value of nearly $130,000 were brought into the shop. But one of the most interesting pieces of gold that they’ve aired has to be a Spanish gold bar from the 1500s. The owner literally found the gold bar hiding away in an attic and discovered that it belonged to a 1554 shipwreck off the coast of Texas. The melted down value of the gold was $24,000, although the bar in its current historical state was valued at $50,000. Rick eventually handed over $35,000 for the bar, a comfortable spot between its meltdown and historical value.

#8: 1961 Fender Stratocaster

You may not know the name Vic Flick, but the man has been around. Flick was a studio musician from the late '50s to the early '80s who played with the likes of Nancy Sinatra and Tom Jones. Perhaps his main claim to fame is that he played the famous guitar riff on the original James Bond theme! So, yes, you know his work! In this episode he was selling his 1961 Fender Stratocaster, which was valued at $70,000. According to the appraiser, that specific guitar can be heard on a lot of popular songs from the '60s and '70s, perhaps more than we even think. Vic was happy to walk away with $55,000, saying he and his wife would “pop out for a beer or two” to celebrate.

#7: George Washington’s Suit

Season fifteen saw one of the greatest items in “Pawn Stars” history – a suit worn by none other than George Washington. The silk suit is from the mid 18th century and was originally pink in color before time did its thing and washed out all the dye. At the time, pink was a fashionable color that signified success and luxury. As you can imagine, a suit worn by George Washington will fetch a bit of money, and the seller was asking $3 million. That was, however, a little too much for Rick, who offered $2 million before bowing out. Maybe now the seller can sell or donate the suit to a museum, where it should have been all along!

#6: The O.J. Simpson Bronco

The image of a white Ford Bronco became a piece of American history on the afternoon of June 17, 1994, when Simpson and Al Cowlings entered into a low-speed chase with the police after a warrant was issued for Simpson’s arrest. Nearly 25 years later, that very same Bronco wound up on “Pawn Stars.” The seller, who was O.J.’s agent at the time, states that he had previously turned down an offer of $500,000 and asked Rick for $1.3 million. However, Rick thought buying the Bronco was too much of a gamble and passed, telling the seller that he should take the SUV to an auction.

#5: Harry Houdini’s Straitjacket

Houdini is perhaps the most famous illusionist and stunt performer in history, with his name being basically synonymous with magic. He was renowned in the early 20th century for his thrilling escape acts, which included freeing himself from a straitjacket. One of these straitjackets was brought into the shop by a man asking a hefty $100,000. He claims that the jacket was given to him by his grandfather, who was a good friend of Houdini’s brother, Theodore Hardeen. This caused some consternation with Rick, who claims that Theodore would often sell things supposedly, not but not actually, belonging to his brother. It proved to be the real deal and was valued at roughly $40,000, but the owner walked away after Rick offered $25,000.

#4: D.B. Cooper Bill

D.B. Cooper is one of the most famous thieves of all time. He hijacked a Boeing 727 in 1971, extorting the modern equivalent of $1.2 million before parachuting out of the airplane. Cooper’s fame comes from the fact that he’s never been identified or captured, making this the only unsolved case of air piracy. However, various ransom bills have been found and collected, and a small piece of one eventually made its way onto “Pawn Stars.” The owner was looking to flip $20 into $2,000 but ended up getting $1,600 instead. Less than what he wanted, and far less than what Cooper potentially walked away with back in 1971!

#3: JFK’s Humidor

JFK was a bit of a cigar aficionado – among other things – and Rick was lucky enough to come face to face with his personal cigar box. Included in the package was the humidor itself as well as eight individually wrapped cigars. According to the official document written by JFK’s secretary, the humidor was given to the President as a birthday present on May 29, 1962, just eighteen months before he was assassinated. The seller was asking for a relatively meager $95,000, but walked away with just $60,000. We’re not experts or anything, but that seems like a really small amount for such a personal piece of history.

#2: The Beatles’ Original Contract

When it comes to the most important pieces of musical history, The Beatles’ original contract is pretty freakin’ high on the list. The seller put it nicely when he called it “the Holy Grail of rock and roll.” The contract was between The Beatles and their manager, Brian Epstein, and it stated that Epstein would receive 25% of all Beatles royalties. Epstein served as a major influence on The Beatles’ image and popularity and was even referred to as “the fifth Beatle” before he died of an accidental sleeping-pill overdose in 1967. Despite the seller asking for $1,000,000, it was professionally valued at $500,000. Rick pounced and offered just $350,000, and the seller was forced to walk away.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

1932 Ford Roadster
A Gorgeous Vintage Car Reluctantly Goes for $68,250

2001 Super Bowl Ring
This 14-Karat White Gold & Diamond Ring Was Bought for $2000 But Is Now Worth $100,000

2014 Hertz Penske GT Mustang
Only 150 Six-Speed Manual Transmission Mustangs Were Built & This One Went for $60,000

1915 Panama Pacific Octagonal Gold Coin
A Trip to Florida Results in a $67,500 Deal for a Rare Coin

#1: 3,000 Ounces of Silver

It’s not often that 3,000 ounces of silver comes through your door, but make hay while the sun shines, right? Jeff, the owner of the silver, wheeled 3,372 ounces of silver into the shop, causing the Old Man to practically leap from his desk so he could inspect the glorious find. Included in the collection were bags of dimes and quarters, numerous silver bars, and a 75-pound brick of pure silver. After doing some headache-inducing math, Rick discovered that the pile was worth $111,000, which Jeff was happy to accept. Turns out silver is a pretty good investment! Now if only we had 3,000 ounces of silver laying around…