A pawnshop is basically a retail store that is authorized to give you fast, cash loans using your merchandise as collateral. You also have the option of selling your used merchandise outright for cash or store credit, or trading it for other merchandise in the store. Central Jewelry & Loan is a fully-licensed pawnshop, as well as a Buy-Sell-Trade store.

Pawnbroking is not a new business — history shows that pawn lending has roots going back nearly 3000 years. In the late 15th century, as the story goes, Queen Isabella of Spain pawned the crown jewels to finance Columbus' voyage to America. Though it has changed in practice over the years, the idea is still the same: a pawnshop will either buy or loan you money for your valuable items.

Pawnshops offer the consumer a quick, convenient, and confidential way to borrow money. There is no credit history check before we give you a loan — your merchandise alone determines your credit. A customer receives a percentage of the value the pawnbroker believes the collateral would bring if sold. Although the loan to collateral ratio varies over time and across pawnshops, a loan of about 50 percent of the resale value of the collateral is typical. In other words, pawnbrokers feel their loan is "paid in full" at the time it is made.

Loans are based on the value of your collateral, not your credit rating or pay schedule. Typically, loans are small — the average pawn loan nationally is around $80.00 — but can reach as high as $500,000 depending on the value of the collateral. Subject to California law, a pawn loan can be $5-$50,000. Term is 4 months + 10 day grace period. If you cannot pay back your loan in full, including any applicable grace period, we offer extensions/renewals (see below) to give you extra time. You may also choose to surrender your collateral as payment in full.

(1) A passport of the United States.
(2) A driver's license issued by any state or Canada.
(3) An identification card issued by any state.
(4) An identification card issued by the United States.
(5) A passport from any other country in addition to another item of identification bearing an address.
(6) A Matricula Consular in addition to another item of identification bearing an address.

If you are unable to pay back your loan in full on its due date, you may get a replacement loan as permitted by California law. With a replacement loan, you pay the interest that has accrued on your loan in full, and a new loan is written. The principal loan amount remains the same, as does the interest rate, but the due date is reset for the full loan term.

The vast majority of our customers repay their pawn loans and pick up their merchandise. The national average shows 70 to 80 percent of all pawn loans are repaid. If a customer chooses not to repay the loan, the merchandise/collateral for the loan is forfeited.

We base pawn loan amounts on the value of your item — its current appraised value, its current condition and our ability to sell the item. We use all the research tools we have at our disposal to determine an item's value and get you the most money we can. The appraisal process varies depending on the type of item. For example, jewelry is evaluated differently than a DVD player which is evaluated differently than a table saw, etc. In addition, items such as gold, coins, and jewelry maintain their value over a reasonable period of time, while items like computers and electronics depreciate much quicker, all of which is taken into account.

The condition of an item is always taken into account during the appraisal process. For example, if two televisions come in and one looks nearly unused and the other has a crack in the side, we will loan more on the TV that's in better condition. When it's general merchandise you want to pawn, we test each item to ensure it is in good working condition. This includes, but is not limited to, a visual inspection, plugging an item in and turning it on, and noting if any necessary accessories (such as remote controls) and manuals are included. The better the condition of your item, the more money we can loan you. This is true for any collateral.

When jewelry is the collateral we test the precious metals and diamonds to determine its worth. We have a GIA trained diamond grader on staff as well as numerous other employees who have been working with jewelry for many years and are quite knowledgeable. The diamond testing includes a visual inspection using a jeweler's loupe, weighing the item, sizing (determining carat weight) any stones, and noting the cut/color/clarity of each. Current market values of precious metals will also affect the value.

Weight, in calculating values, may only be a minor consideration. Calculations in our formulas for the determination of jewelry value includes a variety of intrinsic factors; including design, function, aesthetics, composition, market considerations, contemporary fashion, construction, as well as other variables. insofar as it is relevant, weight is part of an item's description (i.e. color, size, shape, style, etc...).

Unfortunately, we cannot give quotes over the phone because loan amounts vary greatly depending on the condition of an item. For general merchandise, we test each item to ensure it is in good working condition. The better the condition of your item, the more money we can loan. And for jewelry, we test to ensure diamonds and gold are genuine.

While your item is in pawn, you still own it. When you give us an item for pawn, we keep your merchandise — along with all accessories (remotes, cables, etc.) — in a secure area accessible to authorized employees only where it is safely stored until you come back to pay your loan in full and claim your merchandise.
Note: Jewelry is stored in TL30 safes inside of a class II bank vault.

Yes. States have regulated the pawn industry for decades, and California pawnbrokers are licensed and regulated by local authorities as well. We are subject to such laws as Truth In Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Patriot Act, and Federal Trade Commission Rules on Data Privacy and Security Transfer. At the federal level, we are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Treasury Department.

Contrary to popular belief, pawnshops are actually the worst place to try and get rid of stolen merchandise. In fact, less than 1 percent of items are identified as stolen goods, and most of those are identified and reported to the authorities before being offered to the public in any way. In addition, while being highly regulated (see previous question), we also work very closely with local and federal law enforcement officials. Our staff is trained to be on the lookout for and identify stolen property.