Metal Sensitivity: Advice From a Jewelry Lover

Metal Sensitivity: Advice From a Jewelry Lover

5 Surprising Tidbits About Pawn Shops

by Tammy May

Popular television shows that feature the pawn shop business have drawn attention and helped to bring a higher level of legitimacy for these businesses, which have actually been around for a lot longer than you may have thought. For those in need of quick cash in exchange for goods, pawn shops have always been popular, especially for those who have fewer money borrowing choices. The history of pawn shops runs long, and the tales and lore abound. Read on for some truly surprising facts and tales about pawn shops.

1. Pawn shops are part of ancient history, with the first known shops appearing during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). The fascinating history of pawn shops in China is on display at the Pawn Shop Museum in Macau.

2. Have you ever wondered what the words in the nursery rhyme "Pop Goes the Weasel" mean? This rhyme dates back to 1700's London, England and is full of the cockney slang used in that time period. "Pop" can be translated to "pawn" and "weasel" for "suit". In those dark days, poor people had to pawn their "Sunday best" suit during the week, and retrieve it before Sunday services.

3. The founding of the New World itself is connected to the practice of pawning. Queen Isabella is well-known for financing the voyage of Christopher Columbus, but many do not realize that she actually offered to pawn her jewelry as collateral. The California State Capital building pays homage to Queen Isabella (and perhaps pawn shops) with an inscription on it's rotunda: "I will assume the undertaking...for my own crown of Castille, and am ready to pawn my jewels to defray the expenses of it..."

4. Great fortunes were built on the business of pawn shops in Europe. In fact, the mysterious symbol of three balls that appear on pawn shops worldwide even today is said to be derived from the Medici family crest. The actual origin of the symbol is unknown, but folklore has several charming explanations.

5. The patron saint of pawn shops is the jolly old elf himself, St. Nicholas. Even before he became a saint, Nickolas was known to be kind and generous. There is a tale that Nicholas gave three bags of money to a man who needed them for his family and that soon after pawn shops and banks began using the symbol of three balls (or money bags) as a tribute.

As you can see, pawn shops not only fill an immediate need for quick and easy cash for emergencies, but have a rich and interesting past. For more information, contact a business that offers a collateral loan in your area. 


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Metal Sensitivity: Advice From a Jewelry Lover

Ever since I was a child, I've loved the look of fashion earrings. However, I soon discovered that my ears are sensitive to metal-coated earrings. Rather than spend a small fortune for custom made jewelry, I've found retailers that sell hypoallergenic earrings. These earrings are made for individuals such as myself with sensitivity to metals. Check your high-end department stores or local jeweler. You'll find hypoallergenic earrings in sterling silver, white gold, yellow gold, and platinum. The main thing is to never choose jewelry containing nickle, as this is commonly the culprit. A good alternative to metals listed above is titanium jewelry, as this is considered to be hypoallergenic. Also, avoid using harsh detergents or chemicals to clean your earrings and jewelry, as this may cause further irritation. Mild dish soap may work well, but be sure to rinse your jewelry thoroughly.

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