4 Reasons to Buy Christmas Presents at Your Local Pawn Shop

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

As Christmas draws closer, you can’t help but hum a few catchy jingles on your way to work. During a few spare moments, you might envision what parties you’ll throw for your family members and friends. And as you peacefully drift to sleep, you imagine the gifts you should add to your personal wish list.

But as you think about presents, a growing fear nags at the back of your mind. You have a tight budget this year, and you have to buy a lot of gifts before the big day. You dread the idea of joining the crazed hoards on Black Friday, but you don’t know where else to go to enjoy the same deals and discounts.

Why not take this year’s shopping to your local pawnbroker?

When you buy presents at a pawn shop, you can enjoy all of the following advantages.

1. Fantastic Bargains

When you shop at a regular department store or retailer, you often have to pay full price for a brand new item. And on the days popular items go on sale, you may have to fight off other shoppers to snag a product while it’s still in stock.

But at pawn shop, you can find like-new items in fantastic condition for fraction of the retail price. In fact, some estimate that the average pawn shop sells stock for 70 percent cheaper than retail. These prices happen year round, so you can save on gifts no matter the season.

2. Wide Selection

Your family members likely have an eclectic range of personal tastes. Your brother may prefer classical music and frequently enjoys playing his old flute. Your sister may love working with her hands and never seems to have enough power tools to complete her crafts. Your daughter obsesses over the latest video games and gaming consoles, while your son has expressed a growing interest in history and old coins.

If you want to buy a separate, personalized gift for each of your family members, you may have to stop by multiple malls and stores to find an appropriate present. But if you were to stop buy a pawn shop, you’ll quickly find unique gifts in one convenient place.

3. Helpful Staff

Shopping for a hard-to-please spouse? Sometimes you can’t find that perfect watch or necklace that will suit his or her style. Perhaps he likes the band on one watch but prefers the case on another. Maybe she likes the stone in a set of earrings but would rather have a pendant to wear.

Although not all pawn shops offer this option, some stores do allow you to purchase a necklace, remove and resize the stones, and update the settings. For your convenience, some stores will clean and refinish some of your own antique heirloom jewelry and watches so they look like new when you pass them onto other family members.

And even if your particular pawn shop doesn’t provide jewelry repair, you can count on the staff to give you helpful advice rather than simply swiping your credit card at the register.

4. Fast Collateral Loans

Christmas shopping for the entire family can leave your bank account a little empty, especially if payday doesn’t happen until after the holidays.

Fortunately, you don’t need cash or credit cards to purchase your gifts at most pawn shops. If you need a little extra spending money, you can bring in your own items to take out a collateral loan.

Many pawnbrokers will give you an honest assessment of your item’s worth, as well as give you an extension of your loan should you fall on hard times later. Better still, collateral loans don’t require a bank account or co-signer to complete the agreement.

Don’t Forget to Visit After Christmas, Too!

As you can see, pawn shops have a lot to offer you during the holidays. But keep in mind that they can become just as useful after you’ve opened presents and unwrapped gifts. If someone sends you a gift you’d rather not keep or you already own, just stop by the pawn shop to exchange it for cash or for a more personal item just for you.  

What’s in Your Toolbox? 6 Essential Tools and How to Find Them

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

If you own a home or car, you’ve probably felt the frustration of looking at a maintenance task and realizing that you don’t have the tools to handle it. Performing basic maintenance and routine servicing can save you money and help you better understand the systems in your home and personal vehicle.

But to do that you need tools. In this blog, we list six essential tools and teach you how to find them.

Complete Your Toolbox

With only a few tools, you can handle most fundamental maintenance jobs. Try and secure at least these six tools if you can.

1. Adjustable Wrench

For plumbing and some automotive jobs, you’ll need to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts. If you’re a professional handyman, you may want a full wrench set. Otherwise, opt for a compact adjustable wrench.

2. Extension Cord

When you work with a power tool, whether it be an air compressor or a saw, you need a cord to power it. For most jobs, an extension cord between 20 and 50 feet in length will suffice. However, if you have a long driveway or unattached garage, you may need a 100-foot cord.

Choose a model suited for both indoor and outdoor use since these sturdier cords last longer.

3. Hammer

Whether you’re hanging a picture over your mantel or mounting a shelf in your shed, you’ll need a claw hammer. Hammers come in many shapes, sizes, and weights, but for a basic toolbox, look for a 16-ounce hammer with a synthetic handle.

A hammer this weight and length gives you enough leverage for most jobs without weighing you down, while a
synthetic handle lasts longer than a traditional wood one.

4. Measuring Tape

A measuring tape is your best friend. Bring one with you whenever you shop for new furniture to ensure you find a couch or table with the right dimensions. Choose a locking measuring tape to simplify the task.

5. Pliers

You can use a single set of pliers for everything from fashioning DIY wire jewelry to holding a nail steady. If you have trouble maintaining a firm grip, look for locking pliers that do the work for you.

6. Screwdriver Set

Most household appliances feature at least one screw. Add a flathead and a Phillips head screwdriver to your collection.

This list only represents the basic list of homeowner’s tools. Talk to a sales representative at a home improvement store, hardware store, or pawn shop for more ideas on expanding your tool collection.

Find Your Tools

While you can purchase many of these tools new at a reasonable price at your local hardware store, second hand options often offer reliable items at a lower price. Look for tools in these locations:

  • Estate sales: Local estate sells often include the owner’s tool set. You may find what you’re looking for amongst someone else’s collection.
  • Pawn shops: Because pawn brokers appraise items before accepting them, you’re more likely to find name-brand, high-quality tools well worth your investment.
  • Thrift stores: If you frequent a local thrift store, check its hardware or home improvement section for the tools you need. While thrift stores don’t have consistent inventory, you may find a bargain.

Remember, if you purchase power tools second hand, you should check them in the store before buying them. If you don’t feel sure about a particular tool in a thrift store or estate sale, wait to find another one. In a pawn shop setting, address any questions you have with the broker.

To ensure you always have the tools you need for home and automobile maintenance, find the tools listed above. To learn about investments, collateral loans, and pawn shop merchandise, read our other blog posts.

Shopping for an Acoustic Guitar? Ask These 4 Questions

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

After several weeks of casually strumming your friend’s guitar, you finally decide to invest in one of your own. You can’t wait to learn the chords and play your favorite songs. And you hope to impress your special someone with your new-found skills.

But as a beginning musician, you don’t feel comfortable investing in a top-of-the-line, custom-made instrument. You want to learn the basics first and take a few classes. You’d rather work out any clumsiness with an older guitar than potentially damage a new one.

Fortunately, you can find a used guitar at most local pawn shops. And when you ask the following questions, you’ll have an easier time sifting through multiple instruments and finding the right guitar for your needs.

1. Is It Your Size?

Many newcomers mistakenly assume that one size fits all. But if you buy a guitar that feels too heavy, you’ll struggle to hold your instrument for long. And if you buy a guitar that’s too long, you’ll have to stretch and strain your fingers to complete some of the most basic chords.

The dreadnought guitar, for example, is bigger and boxier than the classical acoustic guitar. The dreadnought body also has a more rectangular shape as opposed to the classical’s deep curves. And if you go into most music stores or pawn shops, you’ll likely see more dreadnought than classical.

But smaller individuals with shorter arms may find the dreadnought style too big and uncomfortable to hold. The sides dig into their arms, and they may have to constantly reposition their fretting hand to play cleanly.

When you shop for a new guitar, don’t be afraid to try different instruments on for size, and ask for smaller options if needed.

2. Does It Match Your Style?

With their gorgeous colors and eye-catching finish, some guitars almost scream “play me.” But their initial appearance doesn’t guarantee that it matches your playing style.

Although acoustic guitars share basic features, the following will affect the way your instrument feels and plays:

  • Neck width and length
  • Nylon or steel strings
  • Wood composition
  • Body shape

Nylon strings, for example, produce a soft, mellow tone. So these strings work best in classical, folk, and flamenco-style songs. Steel strings, in contrast, create a louder, brighter tone that better suits rock, country, and pop songs.

Cedar wood, similarly, generates a bright tone that favors those with a light hand, such as flamenco players. On the other hand, mahogany wood creates slower, stronger sounds associated with blues playing.

As you select your instrument, do a little research into the kinds of songs you want to play, as well as guitar features that best match the music.

3. How Does It Sound?

Once you’ve settled on a style and size, you have to consider the overall sound your new guitar produces. Even guitars with identical shapes and strings will vibrate differently. This distinction creates subtle tones that will affect your music.

So pick up the guitar and play it for a few minutes. You don’t have to know complicated chords or tabs just yet. Just strum and feel the wood’s vibrations. When you switch guitars, you’ll quickly notice the difference between what sounds and feels good to you.

When you’ve narrowed your selection, step back and let a friend or store owner play for you. Have him or her cycle through loud and soft strumming to see if your guitar projects sound clear, even from several feet away. When you listen from a different perspective, you’ll soon pick up on whether or not you like how the instrument plays higher or lower tones.

4. Do You See Any Damage?

Although many pawn and music stores sell instruments in like-new condition, you still run the risk of finding a damaged guitar in your selection. Some guitars may sit around for years before anyone bothers to tune or play them. This long-term storage could permanently affect the instrument’s playability.

Before you settle on your favorite guitar, inspect it from the headstock to the strap pin. Avoid instruments with splits, cracks, or hairline fractures. And leave guitars with a rising or sinking top face, as the bulges indicate moisture damage.


When you carefully follow these four steps, you’ll quickly find a guitar you love for a price you can afford.  

Why and How To Invest in Gold and Silver

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

In our modern age, we live in a world of paper currency and plastic credit cards. Not many people think about the possibility of investing in gold and silver. In this blog we’ll take a closer look at investing in precious metals.

Precious Metals: Actual Value

Think about this for a moment: what actual value does a 5-dollar bill in your wallet have? Other than the value other people agree upon, that piece of cotton-based paper isn’t technically worth anything, particularly in times of crisis.

Now you might say that times of crisis aren’t on the horizon, but it’s difficult to know exactly when a financial crisis could occur.

Since the U. S. Government abandoned the gold standard in 1971, gold and other precious metals draw their value from basic demand. Unlike paper money, gold and silver have uses other than money.

Both metals have countless industrial uses, including electric and thermal conductors, reflectors, and coatings. And that’s not even covering their aesthetic purposes and value.

Precious metals like silver and gold also have value because of their rarity. Today’s silver supply is at a record low, so its demand (and thus its value) continues to increase.

Why Gold and Silver Present a Safe Investment

Most investments factor in a certain amount of risk, which usually goes along with a certain amount of earning potential. Investing in stocks, for example, illustrates this principle. The more you invest in a
company’s stocks, the more you could gain-or lose.

Gold presents a safe investment for several reasons. Unlike stock investments, gold presents a completely anonymous way to increase wealth. And despite the movement of stocks on the market, your gold collection remains the same.

Silver’s rarity, demand, and versatility ensure its current and future value. If any catastrophe should ever occur, gold and silver will always provide you with a valuable resource to fall back on.

Buying Gold and Silver

Below are some basic rules to follow as you look to invest in precious metals:

1. Only Buy Products You Understand

This rule basically means that you should avoid buying gold and silver coins unless you are well versed in the product. Rare and exotic coinage might seem appealing, but you’ll feel pretty foolish if you traded far more than what that coin was worth.

2. Buy From Trusted Dealers

Don’t confuse this rule with “buy from only expensive dealers.” Do everything possible to research and investigate different dealers before you choose someone. Once you find an owner you trust, you’ll feel more confident about your gold and silver purchases.

3. Silver First, Start Small

Remember that any gold or silver you buy has more value if you can liquidate, trade, or barter it easily. Investing in large gold bars might seem appealing, but it becomes more of a hindrance if you ever need to exchange or liquidate your gold investment.

Start with small purchases of silver, and then small pieces of gold bullion from there. A slow, safe start ensures that you don’t make any rash decisions and have freedom to exchange them in the future.

4. Don’t Fall Prey to Myths

Do independent research to protect yourself from myths and schemes. Remember, your money is your own, and you have the right to decide how to invest it. Don’t let numismatic sellers push you around or pressure you into a purchase you’re not comfortable with.

5. Bullion Is Best

Fancy and rare coins are fun, but they often yield a poor exchange rate. If you want to collect gold and silver coins for their entertainment and aesthetic value, that’s great. But trust in bullion to provide a safe investment now and in the future.

If you follow the above rules, you’ll enjoy safe and secure investments in precious metal. Contact a
trusted local gold and silver exchanger to get started today.

Valuable Coins That Could Be Hiding in Your Pocket Change

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

Many circumstances can lead to the printing of a rare and valuable coin, including misaligned presses, wartime metal switches, or production errors. While the valuable coins you find in your purse won’t buy you a nice vacation, they can still be worth significantly more than face value. Here are a few valuable coins that could be hiding in your pocket change.

1943 Pennies

To help the war effort in 1943, manufacturers made pennies with steel instead of copper. This only lasted a year, so steel 1943 pennies have value of up to a few dollars apiece.

But the few 1943 copper pennies have even greater value. Professional numismatists (or rare coin experts) estimate that around 40 of these pennies exist, but they’ve only confirmed about a dozen. One of these pennies was sold in 2008 for over a hundred thousand dollars.

Wheat Pennies

America has hundreds of millions of wheat pennies in circulation. Any penny dated from 1909 to 1958 features the wheat design, and most of them are worth around a dollar apiece.

A few wheat pennies, however, appear rarely. These include the 1922 plain penny, which has a missing letter D in the mint mark, and 1955 double die cents, each worth hundreds. We’ll discuss double die coins later on.

Wide AM Pennies

Wide AM pennies come from three years: 1998, 1999, and 2000, with 1999 representing the rarest year. On a normal penny, the A and the M in “America” almost touch. In these rare pennies, the M looks centered between the A and the E. This makes the AM in America stand further apart from the other letters than normal.

The FG signature (the designer’s initials) on the back of the penny also appears closer to the Lincoln Memorial Building than normal.

Extra Leaf 2004 Wisconsin Quarters

The Wisconsin quarter design entered circulation in 2004, in the middle of the fifty-state run. The design features a partially shucked ear of corn in the background. An accidental extra line on some of these quarters makes it look like the ear of corn has an additional leaf.

The Extra Leaf coin comes in two varieties: the Low Leaf and the High Leaf. In the Low Leaf design, the extra leaf looks lower than in the High Leaf quarters. The value of these coins varies from $20 to $300.

Kennedy Silver Half Dollars

After John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, manufacturers made a remarkably rapid design change. Silver half dollars with Kennedy’s profile entered circulation by 1964. For a year, these coins consisted of 90% silver. For five years after that, they consisted of 40% silver.

To find out the worth of your silver coins, have an expert check their silver content.

Lettering Errors Presidential Dollar Coins

The United States Mint started printing dollar coins featuring presidents starting in 2007. A number of these coins have lettering errors around their edges. Sometimes the lettering appears twice (giving a “doubled” look), and sometimes letters are missing entirely. Any part of the lettering could be doubled or missing.

These errors occur most often on Washington dollar coins, which can have a value of thousands of dollars.

Double Die Coins

Double die coins happen when a press becomes misaligned during production. The resulting double printing makes elements of the design look blurred or repeated depending on the press’ misalignment.

Most of the time the defect only affects lettering, but sometimes it is part of the image. Some double die coins include pennies from 1969, 1970, 1972, 1984, 1995, and 1997, as well as dimes from 1946.

In 2001, a series of quarters were double struck, meaning these coins have two overlapped images of Washington on the front and two images of the Statue of Liberty on the back.


These are only a few of the coins you may find in your pocket change. It might even be worth checking under your couch cushions for spare change-you never know what rarities you’ll find.

And once you find these coins, don’t let them go to waste. Visit your local pawn shop to learn how to turn a profit on your rare coins. 

Your Guide to Collateral Loans Through Pawn Shops

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

Income shortages can happen at any time for a number of reasons. Whether you face an unexpected medical bill or a sudden job loss, you need to make ends meet to take care of yourself and your family.

If you have experienced an income shortage, you’ve probably considered pawning an item. You may also know a little about collateral loans. What you may not know is how these two concepts work together.

In this blog, we answer some of the most common questions about collateral loans issued through pawn shops.

What’s the Difference Between Obtaining a Collateral Loan and Pawning?

Essentially, any loan where you receive money based on the value of a specific piece of property qualifies as a collateral loan. Collateral loans come in all shapes and sizes. Many loans you may already have fall under the “collateral” category. You can obtain a variety of collateral loans in financial institutions, like banks and reputable pawn shops.

Pawning represents a specific type of collateral loan. To pawn an item, you bring it into a shop. The owner or resident appraiser offers you a loan amount based on the item’s value.

How Does the Collateral Loan Process Work?

Once you come to an agreement about the dollar amount, you leave your chosen item at the pawn shop. The owner issues you a pawn ticket or receipt, which you’ll bring with you when you collect the item.

While the item stays in the shop, the loan accrues interest at a set rate. When your loan comes due, you come back to the shop with your pawn ticket. At this time, you pay back the loan amount, any interest, and any additional fees. The shop then returns your item.

If you cannot make the payment before the due date, you may ask for an extension or loan renewal.

During the loan period, typically one to four months, the pawn shop simply stores your item. If you do not return to the claim the item, the shop takes possession of your belonging and puts it up for sale. However, studies show that 80% of individuals claim their items within the terms of their loans.

What Do You Need to Bring With You When Seeking a Collateral Loan?

When you come to a pawn shop, you will not need to provide proof of income, a credit score, and the personal information required for loan issuance. However, you will need to bring a valid form of identification with you. You will need ID even if you’ve worked with this pawn shop before.

In most pawn shops, you can provide any of the following types of identification:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport, either US or international
  • State-issued photo ID

Additionally, you must bring the item you intend to pawn. Pawn brokers cannot appraise items over the phone since the item’s condition factors heavily into its value.

What Type of Collateral Can You Use?

Collateral restrictions vary from shop to shop. However, most pawn shops accept items in the following categories:

  • Antiques
  • Firearms
  • Jewelry and coins
  • Musical instruments
  • Vehicles

If you want to pawn an item outside of these common categories, call your local pawn shop before you bring the item in. If the shop cannot accept your item, the staff may be able to help you find a shop that will. You can even pawn the same item more than once, as long as you continue to adhere to the terms of each new loan.

Seeking a collateral loan for the first time can seem intimidating, but the process is straightforward. If you feel unsure or have more specific questions about collateral items, value appraisal, or loan terms, bring them up with pawn shop staff. These experts handle many collateral loans every day and can guide you through the process.

3 Tips to Turn Old Games and Consoles into Personal Profit

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

Maybe you’re a big-time gamer who bought an Xbox One and no longer needs that Xbox 360 (thank goodness for backwards compatibility). Or you might be an empty nester with some old video games and game systems, and you want to clear out some storage space. Either way, a pawn shop lets you sell your games and consoles quickly and easily.

If you want to get the most out of your PS4 or Sonic the Hedgehog collection, read these simple tips to learn about how you can boost the value of a video game or gaming system.

1. Take Inventory of What You Have

A pawn shop owner will know basic information about selling electronics, but he or she might not know much about video games. Help the pawn store out by grouping related video game items together. A Nintendo Wii that includes functional Wii remotes and accessories will net you more cash than the console alone.

If you have games you wish to sell, include them with the appropriate console when possible. Not only will this increase the collective value of your games and system, but it also allows the pawn shop to test out the equipment and feel more comfortable about the transaction.

Know your console. When you include a Kinect sensor with the Xbox One, you get more money for your system. Similarly, a Wii needs the sensor bar to function properly. Make sure to include the correct adaptors and power bricks or your console loses most of value.

2. Make Your Items Look Shiny and New

As much as we might say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” appearances matter. A potential buyer at a pawn shop might turn down a functional gaming system if it’s covered in scratches and grime. Pawn shops know this fact, so they will subtract value from a beat up or dirty console.

So clean your Xbox, Nintendo Wii, or PlayStation. Unhook and separate everything so you can give the console a deep clean. A can of compressed air dislodges dust in ports and vents, while a microfiber cloth gently cleans other areas. Note that the glossy areas on your console require very careful cleaning to prevent scratching.

When you clean your controllers, you give them that like-new look that will likely impress your pawnbroker. Clean joysticks and buttons with a damp cotton swab-a mix of water and rubbing alcohol works well as a cleaner. For the gunk caught in the seams of your remote or gamepad, fold a piece of paper and slide it through the seam to remove the grime.

After you clean everything, try to put your console, games, and accessories into their original packaging if possible. This step makes the item appear more credible and enhances the resale value of your gear.

3. Pawn your Games

When you sell your video games to a pawn shop, remember that the owners worry about the resale value of your game. However, many pawn shops offer more money for used games than a gaming store. Since a pawn store relies on other items to generate profit, the pawnbroker can afford to take more chances than a store with more specific merchandise.

Because a pawn shop owner might not be a gamer, he or she might pay more attention to the quality of the game disk than you expect. You may have grown accustomed to the scratches on your Super Smash Brothers Melee minidisc, but these imperfections cause others some concern. You know that the game still works well, but a non-gamer often worries about how those scratches affect its resale value.

Cleaning video games properly requires ingenuity, effort, and sometimes a bit of risk. Look online or in the manufacturer’s guide for help on how best to clean up your video game disk or cartridge.

If you need cash or space immediately, a pawn shop provides the perfect solution. Ask your local pawn shop about any questions you have about selling or pawning a video game or game system.

3 Tips to Pawn or Purchase Your Gun at a Pawn Shop

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

Perhaps you own a few firearms or inherited your grandfather’s antiques. Either way, you’ve started to see your collection as a potential source of income. But while you may have sold guns at other venues before, you’ve never sold one at a pawn shop, and you’re not sure where to start.

On the flip side, you could be a gun collector searching for a new, unique, or affordable gun. Pawn shops seem like a good resource, but you want to ensure you get a good deal on your new firearm. You don’t want to run the risk of spending too much money on a gun that doesn’t work as well as the seller promised.

If either of these hypotheticals describes your situation, you’ve come to the right place. Read our blog below to learn the basics about firearms and pawn shops-then, leave your local pawn shop with either the right amount of cash or the perfect firearm for your collection.

1. Understand the Law

Since you already own a firearm (or are seeking to own one), you understand the legal requirements and obligations that come with gun ownership. Similarly, your pawn shop must comply with local and federal gun laws to buy and sell guns, including the following regulations:

  • Any pawn shop that markets guns must be a Federal Firearms Licensee, which means they’re licensed to deal with guns in the United States. To earn their license, all pawn shops must understand and follow all federal gun regulations.
  • State and local laws may add further restrictions. For instance, most states require gun owners to unload and case their guns. Many states also require pawn shops to place a background check on owners who seek to reacquire their pawned firearms.
  • Bear in mind that pawn shops can’t accept stolen property, including firearms. They typically won’t accept firearms from minors and those who live outside of the pawn shop’s state.

Like other firearms marketers, pawn shops adhere to all laws to keep the process safe, simple, and convenient. Whether you want to purchase or sell your gun at a pawn shop, you can rest assured the process is safe and legal.

2. Understand the Process

Many people choose pawn shops for firearm sales because pawn shops streamline the process. You can usually walk in and out with the cash or firearm you need quickly, as long as you can pass a background check. When you understand the typical pawn and purchase process, you can speed the transaction up even further.

If you plan to pawn your gun, follow these steps:

  • Unload and case your gun. Bring it to the pawn shop along with photo identification, such as your driver’s license.
  • Once you arrive, the pawn shop broker will probably ask you to complete a form from the Department of Justice that ensures you’re legally allowed to carry a gun.
  • Thoroughly review the terms of your loan, then hold on to your receipt-you’ll need it if you want to reclaim your gun.

You’ll follow similar steps if you plan to purchase a gun. Bring your government-issued photo identification and prepare to fill out federal forms.

3. Know Your Gun’s Value

Whether you plan to buy or sell, make sure to research its resale value before you commit to a purchase or sale. If you purchase a gun, always examine it thoroughly to ensure it meets your standards. And take a good look around the pawn shop-you never know what antiques, treasures, or rarities you could come across.


With these three tips in hand, you’re better prepared to pawn or buy a gun at your local pawn shop. Talk to your pawn broker if you have any questions, and get ready to enjoy your new cash or firearm.

9 Unique Materials for Wedding Bands

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

As your wedding day approaches, you realize that you still need to select your husband or wife’s wedding band. But you’ve never liked traditional gold, silver, or platinum jewelry, so you don’t know what style of ring you should choose.

Many trends today indicate that classic silver or yellow gold rings aren’t as popular as they once were. Some might even say that these precious metals are classic for a reason. But did you know that jewelry resellers and pawn shops stock unique items, including wedding rings?

Below, you’ll find different materials that form wedding bands. Look for unique bands like these so you can commemorate your special day with a specially crafted emblem.

Abalone Shell

You don’t get to visit the ocean as much as you like. Or maybe you just have an affluence for seashells. If you want to forego traditional bands for your wedding, look into abalone shell rings.

A durable metal frame, usually tungsten, encloses a ring of this exquisite, colorful seashell. Each piece of shell glimmers with reminders of the sea, so no matter where you live, you’ll always be near the ocean.


You or your future spouse likes to hunt. However, you don’t like to mount deer heads on your living room wall. Display your skills and hobby in a more sentimental way with antler rings.

You may find a ring made from pure antler bone. Since brittle and delicate antler bones disintegrate over time, this ring type doesn’t last as long as other rings. Instead, choose a titanium, tungsten, or other sturdy ring inlaid with antler. You’ll display your love of the hunt in a classy, more durable manner.


If you prefer a wedding band with a more natural look, consider a bamboo ring. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing woods in the world, which makes the material highly sustainable. And since wood comprises the ring, you don’t have to remove the ring when you swim, wash dishes, or shower.


Satisfy your inner archaeologist with a cobalt wedding band. Ancient craftsmen in Persia, Egypt, Pompeii, and China used cobalt in porcelain vases, sculptures, glass, and jewelry. This metal contains blue pigments that give it a bright blue tint-hence the name.

Though most of the world’s cobalt comes from the copper belts in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, miners have also found the metal in Blackbird Canyon, Idaho.

Dinosaur Bone

The designers at Men Tungsten Online initially customized this wedding band for a paleontologist. These designers used a piece of velociraptor fossil from a dig site in Utah. Over thousands of years, the raptor bones combined with minerals in the soil. As a result, the fossil appears cobalt blue, purple, and black.

If you want to memorialize your love of dinosaurs, ask a jewelry reseller if he or she can order in this one-of-a-kind piece for you or your spouse.


If you’ve ever visited China, Guatemala, or New Zealand, then you probably saw plenty of jade during your trip. Many jewelry makers have begun to craft rings and other types of jewelry from this precious stone.

If a typical metal ring seems too clunky to you, try a jade band instead. The jadeite and nephrite stones are smooth and cool to the touch, not to mention they have a unique look not shared by other rings. You can choose jade rings from colors such as lavender, white, traditional or deep green, and multicolored.


Maybe you love outer space so much that your jewelry needs to reflect that passion. You can purchase meteorite wedding bands in a number of different styles to suit your desires. In fact, you can find rings that use this space rock as the entire band, as a small ring embedded within the band, or as the stone set into prongs.


You know that titanium is one of the strongest metals, but do you know where it derives its name from? A German chemist named Martin Heinrich Klaproth named this metal after the Titans in Greek mythology-divine beings famed for their strength and power.

Titanium looks silver in color and is the perfect ring material for those who suffer from metal allergies or sensitivities.


Properly known as tungsten carbide, these wedding bands are incredibly strong. Tungsten actually possesses the highest melting point for metals, which makes tungsten more durable than traditional wedding band metals. This feature also makes the ring impervious to scratches and similar damage.

Once jewelers craft this metal into a ring, they apply a gloss over the band so that the ring shines. Like jade, tungsten rings come in a range of colors including black, white, or steel gray.


Don’t let tradition determine the type of wedding rings you exchange on your wedding day. If you don’t want a gold or silver wedding band, look for rings made of these unique materials. Ask a jewelry reseller if he or she offers any of the above listed rings so that you can find the band that best suits your personal taste and style. Remember that resellers might not stock these specific wedding bands, but they’re sure to have a one-of-a-kind ring to symbolize your love.

Rare Gemstones You Might Have

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

You’ve saved as much money as possible for a new car or down payment on a home. Or maybe you want to start a college fund for your kids. But no matter how much you’ve trimmed your budget, you still don’t have the funds you need. You have no idea what else you can do, so you consider pawning off some of the items in your home that you don’t have any use for.

If you don’t like to wear jewelry much, then those items seem like the best items to go first. But did you know that some of the jewelry, broaches, or other items in your home might contain rare gems? It’s true. If you think you might have one of the following gemstones, consult with a gemstone appraiser to see how much your ring or necklace is worth.


Few gemstones in the world shift colors. Depending on how you hold this gemstone and the type of light you expose it to, alexandrite alters between many different colors. This crystal contains minerals such as chromium, titanium, and iron. These minerals make the stone shift colors independently.

Miners found this jewel in the Ural Mountains of Russia and named the gem after Tsar Alexander II. However, the original mine deposits have almost been completely depleted. Today, miners can find alexandrite in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil.

Though mineworkers can still find this transformational gem, it is especially scarce. Gemologists value an exceptional quality stone alexandrite at over $20,000 per carat.


In 1906, J.M. Couch discovered a rare gemstone believed to be a sapphire in California’s San Benito River. A year later, mineralogy professor George D. Louderback identified the stone as a new mineral which he named benitoite (after the river in which Couch found the gem).

This unusual blue jewel also fluoresces under UV lights and takes on the appearance of glowing blue chalk. What’s more unusual about this hard-to-find gem is that mineralogists still don’t know benitoite’s full chemical composition.

You won’t typically find stones larger than one carat in size, though the largest recorded benitoite stone has over 15 carats. Small stones typically fetch between $500 and $2,000 per carat.

Black Opals

If you or an ancestor ever took a trip to Australia, then it’s possible that you or your family member returned from Down Under with opals as a souvenir. About 95 percent of the world’s opals come from Australia, and the remaining five percent come from Mexico, Brazil, and Ethiopia.

Opal experts classify black opals as the most valuable type of opal. You can easily recognize this type of gem by the general dark body tone. This gem can range from a dark, smoky gray to jet black in color. However, black opals also contain a wide range of fiery colors (such as blue, green, orange, or red) in addition to the gray or black properties.

The mixture of dark and vibrant colors makes black opals incredibly expensive. Most black opals can fetch between $2,000 and $15,000 per carat.


In 2005, the Guinness Book of World Records declared painite the world’s rarest jewel. A British mineralogist first discovered the reddish brown gemstone in what is today known as Myanmar. In 1950, only two specimens existed, but mineralogists know of around 25 different classes of painite today.

Red Beryl

You may not recognize a gem called red beryl, but you know a stone known as scarlet emerald. Red beryl is an uncommon gemstone that miners produce in Utah’s Wah Wah Mountains. This crystal forms from a compound of aluminum, beryllium, oxygen, and silicon, and it looks much like a scarlet emerald-hence the nickname.

Experts describe red beryl as more than 1,000 times more valuable than precious metals such as gold. This rare gem runs up to $10,000 per carat of cut stone.


Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones on earth. Gemologists and gem miners only find tanzanite in the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This beautiful gemstone displays magnificent colors that depend entirely on the crystal’s location and amount of light exposure. In fact, the stone is highly prized for its color-shifting properties.

Tanzanite typically appears blue or violet in color, but the blue stones have much more value. People often confuse tanzanite with sapphires because these two gemstones share similar color properties.

The blue color sits on the tanzanite crystal’s short axis and therefore makes the stone incredibly difficult to cut into a large piece. If you think you own a tanzanite gemstone, you might want to schedule a consult with an appraiser. Gemologists and appraisers value tanzanite at around $1,000 per carat.

Since tanzanite is so rare and difficult to mine, gem experts expect tanzanite’s price value to increase exponentially within the next few decades. In fact, this precious gemstone will disappear from Mount Kilimanjaro within the next 20 years or so.


You don’t have to look around your home spare change or pawnable items. Instead, check for these rare gems. You never know what jewels comprise your bracelets, earrings, or other jewelry. Your payout might be bigger than you expect.

2906 N 72nd St.
Omaha, NE 68102
TEL: 402-397-2845
7926 S 84th St.
La Vista, NE 68128
TEL: 402-331-3327
2505 S 120th St.
Omaha, NE 68144
TEL: 402-334-8776
514 N 16th St.
Omaha, NE 68102
TEL: 402-342-7764
3110 L St.
Omaha, NE 68107
TEL: 402-731-2915
14207 U St.
Omaha, NE 68137
TEL: 402-896-2633
FAX: 402-895-4545