There’s nothing quite like the thrill of finding hidden treasure in the midst of what appears to be just a bunch of old junk. That’s part of why we love watching The History Channel series Pawn Stars. At the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, owners Richard, Rick, Corey Harrison, and Austin “Chumlee” Russell see all kinds of things come through their doors. From incredible, centuries-old artifacts to gorgeous guitars and infamous cars, the pawn stars have seen it all. Read on to count down the most expensive things that have ever turned up in the shop. Can you guess what number one will be?
When this autographed, original script for The Godfather came through the pawn shop, our Pawn Stars made the seller an offer they could refuse. Autograph expert John Reznikoff was brought in to examine the script and he determined that it was in fact signed by Al Pacino. Reznikoff valued the script at $2,000. Based on Reznikoff’s valuation, the shop offered the script’s owner $500. They turned the offer down and later sold the script at auction for $12,000. It also turned out Reznikoff was wrong about the autograph. The script was actually signed by producer Al Ruddy.
When a woman came into the shop with an antique bell that she claimed was from 1602, the Harrisons were immediately skeptical. All too often, people believe that items are actually historically significant but they turn out to be clever fakes. The bell’s owner claimed that the bell was from a ship owned by the Dutch East India Company, but it didn’t look like it had ever been in the water. The Harrisons brought in an expert to take a look at the bell and authenticate the owner’s story. It did turn out to be a real 1602 ship’s bell, worth $15,000.
This coin isn’t from your typical piggy bank. When its owner brought the coin into the shop, she said she had inherited it. The coin’s owner was certain it had to be quite valuable based on its age and the fact that it’s made of solid gold. From her own research, the coin’s owner had estimated its value at $18,000. The shop brought in an expert to examine and authenticate the coin and found that it was indeed from 1715. The coin had been part of a massive haul of treasure being brought to Spain from Cuba. The guys made a deal and bought it for $11,000.
This isn’t just any book. De Natura Fossilium, first published in 1546, is a guide to rocks, minerals, and sediment. What makes this particular copy so special is the fact that it belonged to none other than Sir Isaac Newton. When the book turned up on Pawn Stars, an expert looked it over and confirmed that it was the real deal. The book has a plate inside indicating that it belonged to Isaac Newton’s library. The expert who examined it valued the book at $20,000. The owner ended up selling it for $7,000, leaving a whole lot of money on the table.
Most of us will never get to hold a mummy’s mask in our hands, but the Harrisons got that special thrill when this mask came through the shop. Antiquities expert Dr. Phineas Kastle made an appearance on the show to examine the mask that came from an ancient Egyptian burial site. Dr. Kastle determined that the mask was, in fact, genuine and he valued it at $22,500. However, he cautioned that because it’s such a rare item it could go for a higher price. Corey mulled it over and decided that this mummy mask was worth the asking price of $30,000 to him, so he paid that amount to own it.
This beautiful gold and stained glass bird came through the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and turned out to have a good deal of historical significance. Not knowing exactly what it was, Rick Harrison bought it from the seller for $6,000. An authenticator came in to take a look at the emblem and determined that it was made in Russia, saying the quality of it was as close to Faberge as you can get. It depicts a white eagle, which was the emblem of Poland. In 1795, when it was made, Poland was split into three parts and the largest was owned by Russia.
Long before Book of Mormon became a satirical musical from the makers of South Park, the Mormon faith served as a guiding light for many settlers in the American West. The Book of Mormon was first published in 1830, so the 1842 edition that came through the shop on Pawn Stars was already the book’s fifth edition. Rare book expert Rebecca Romney came in to examine the book and valued the fifth edition at $40,000. Rick ultimately made a deal with the owner, taking the book off their hands for just $24,000.
If you’ve ever dreamed of finding buried treasure or pirate gold, this piece is sure to linger on your mind. A bar of Spanish gold from 1554 found its way into the shop on Pawn Stars. It has a truly incredible story behind it. Apparently, this gold bar came from a shipwreck in 1554. The owner found the gold in his attic and brought it to the shop to make a deal. The bar could be sold for $24,000 melted down, but in its current historical state, it’s worth $50,000. The Pawn Stars paid $30,000 to add it to their hoard of treasures.
All the deals on Pawn Stars aren’t made in the actual shop. From time to time, shop owners will arrange meetings with private sellers or look at other interesting items. To get his hands on this octagonal Panama Pacific gold coin from 1915, Rick took a road trip to a coin show in Florida. This coin commemorates the completion of the Panama Canal and is quite rare. Valued at $70,000, Rick managed to talk the price down and paid $67,050 to take it home from the coin show. He quickly sold it to a private buyer who he already knew was interested in owning the piece.
A regular Fender Stratocaster from 1961 sells for around $20,000 on sites like Reverb and eBay. However, this particular strat that turned up on Pawn Stars is extra valuable because it belonged to Vic Flick. Flick is a legendary guitar teacher who has had famous students like Jimmy Page. He also played on the original James Bond theme. Flick himself turned up in the shop to sell his old Stratocaster. At first, nobody in the shop knew who he was, but once they began to understand his history, they were eager to take his guitar. They ended up paying him $55,000 for the instrument.
Rick made another house call to pick up this Ford Roadster Model B from 1932. He brought his son along for the ride and even though it’s quite small in the interior, they decided they had to have this car. The particular Ford Model B they looked at on Pawn Stars was in mint condition and worth a pretty penny. Rick had his favorite car guy Danny Koker (who you might know from Counting Cars) check the roadster out. Koker confirmed that the car was worth about $75,000. After some tense bartering, Rick talked the seller down to $68,250 and drove away in style.
Only 150 of these limited edition Hertz Penske GT Mustangs were ever made. The first ten were given to VIPs and Hertz executives, while the rest are prized by collectors of rare cars. This car is also the only GT Mustang with a six-speed manual transmission; this called for a very special test drive. Rick called in Nascar driver Joey Logano to take the car for a spin. Logano said the car was easily worth $75,000. Rick offered the seller $60,000 and stuck to that number through a few rounds of negotiation. In the end, Rick drove away in this car after paying a cool $60,000.
In a famous episode of Pawn Stars, the rapper Flavor Flav came into the shop with a bizarre piece of art. He had a bronze statue of football player O.J. Simpson that once stood by Simpson’s pool at his Los Angeles home. Flav was asking $125,000 for the statue, but the pawn shop valued it at just $80,000. TMZ reports that Flav still has the statue and hasn’t given up hope of fetching a six-figure sum for it. At one point, Flav offered to give the statue back to Simpson, but Simpson refused. If it does ever sell, we’re very curious to see the final asking price.
When the seller of this little brooch came into the shop, she never expected it would be one of the most expensive items ever on Pawn Stars. She explained that she had gotten this spider brooch from a relative and was hoping to get a couple thousand dollars for it, at most. Rick took a look at the brooch and quickly realized it was worth far more than the seller had ever imagined. He surprised us all by offering her $15,000, which she accepted. The brooch turned out to be a Faberge piece worth $80,000. Though Rick didn’t pay her anywhere near its real value, he couldn’t stomach the idea of paying just $2,000 for it.
A private seller and classic car collector who goes by “Uncle Phil” approached Rick with this incredible, classic car. Uncle Phil bought the 1932 Lincoln Roadster from a museum and wanted $100,000 for it. Rick immediately fell in love with the car, but the price tag made him feel a little uneasy. Rick knew that it could be hard to find a buyer for this car (exceptional and valuable though it may be) because there is a small market for these kinds of vehicles. Finally, he offered Uncle Phil gold, and the seller agreed to lower his asking price to $95,000.
When former New England Patriots defensive back Brock Williams showed up at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, there could be no doubt that he was hocking a genuine item. Brock sold his New England Patriots Super Bowl Championship commemorative ring to the shop for just $2,000 as collateral for a loan. The ring is truly beautiful, made of white gold and encrusted with 143 diamonds. Rick was enamored with the ring at first sight, and since Brock never came back to pay off the loan, the ring belongs to the shop now. Its value today is estimated at $100,000.
The Proof Peace dollar coin, minted in 1922, is one of the most valuable coins ever made in the United States. Coin collectors covet this bit of loose change and are prepared to pay top dollar for the coin that was once worth just one dollar. This coin’s seller won it in a poker game and came into the shop asking for $20,000 for the coin. However, an expert came in to examine the coin and determined it was worth at least $100,000. Rick eventually agreed to give the seller $80,000 for the coin and everyone left happy with the deal.
On its own, a 1941 Gibson guitar can fetch a high price. Guitar collectors and music lovers especially prize Gibsons for their clear tone and fine construction. This guitar is extra valuable because of who originally owned it. Guitarist Stephen Stills was a member of the folk-rock super group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. His vintage Gibson somehow found its way into the shop. On its own, the guitar would be worth $75,000, but an expert said that because it had belonged to Stephen Stills, its worth was $105,000. Rick offered the seller $85,000, and the money and guitar changed hands.
When a seller turned up at the shop with 3,000 ounces (that’s 200 pounds) of silver, Rick was impressed but also a little skeptical. The seller, Jeff, had bags on bags of silver coins and bars that he wheeled into the shop. Apparently, his father had advised him to invest in the precious metal and he was ready to cash in. Rick wisely had the silver tested to make sure it didn’t contain any other metals. The results came back pure. Rick offered Jeff $111,000 for his massive collection of silver and the deal was made.
When a valuable item comes into the shop on Pawn Stars, they don’t always spring for the purchase. These four gold bars, however, were too good to pass up. Each gold bar weighs one kilogram, which equals about 2.2 lbs. The bars were beautiful, valuable, and looked like buried treasure. Buying them was a no brainer for the Harrisons. For their tenth most valuable item, the Harrisons made a deal to get the gold bars and then quickly sell them for $128,000, which equals about $32,000 each. If you ever get the chance to snag yourself a gold bar, it could be worth holding on to.
It seemed too good to be true, but this “Ides of March” Roman coin really was over 2,000 years old. A seller named John brought this coin into the shop. He was a coin collector and had bought the coin from another collector decades before. John was well aware of the value of the item and wouldn’t take less than $150,000 for the coin. Rick brought in an expert to look at the coin and they agreed that it was worth no less than $150,000. Rick offered $140,000 for it, but the seller refused the offer and took his coin elsewhere.
Coming in at number eight on our list, we have another Gibson guitar that was owned by someone quite special. Though she may not be a household name, Mary Ford holds a special place in music history. The seller brought this beautiful vintage Gibson in the shop and explained that it belonged to their Aunt Mary, who was married to Les Paul. Les Paul basically invented the solid body electric guitar; this particular one had been made just for his wife. An expert confirmed that the guitar was worth $150,000, and eventually, the Harrisons struck a deal for $90,000.
Maurice Sendak’s picture book Where the Wild Things Are has long been a favorite with young children who love the story’s imagination and spirit. The illustrations are a huge part of the book’s success, so when a dealer approached Rick with original artwork from the book, he was interested right away and went on a mission to check it out. The dealer was originally asking for $350,000 for the original illustrations. Rick was able to talk him down to $250,000, and he made a deal that left both sides satisfied.
It’s not every day that you come across a cigar humidor belonging to a former President. So, when this humidor came through the shop, the Harrisons were a bit at a loss to determine its value. In addition to belonging to American Royalty, the humidor also still had some of the President’s cigars inside of it. Rick was sure that there was value in this item, so he offered the seller $60,000 to take it off their hands. Recently, another similar humidor was sold by Sotheby’s for $575,000, making Rick’s $60,000 offer look like chump change.
This guitar is definitely among the most incredible things to ever end up at the pawn shop. A seller brought in this 1963 Fender Stratocaster guitar claiming that it had once belonged to Jimi Hendrix. To make sure it was the real deal, the serial number on the guitar was checked and they confirmed that it matched a guitar known to have been one of Hendrix’s. A guitar expert evaluated the instrument and told the Harrisons that it was worth between $750,000 and $1 million. Rick offered the owner $500,000, then $600,000. However, the owner knew the guitar was worth much more than that and turned down the deal.
You’ve heard of The Beatles, right? As one of the most influential and beloved bands in rock history, any and all pieces of Beatles memorabilia turn up in pawn shops and some can have a great deal of value. Their original contract from 1962 is an incredible find and a one of a kind piece of music history. The contract is signed by all four members of the band: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr; their manager Brian Epstein as well. The seller would accept nothing less than $1 million for it, so the Harrisons let it go. Money can’t buy you love, but enough of it would buy a contract with some of the most famous autographs ever.
Robosaurus is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a robot dinosaur that stands at 40 feet tall. As an added bonus, it can breathe fire and crush cars with its robot talons. It also comes equipped with air cannons that can fire glitter or confetti as needed. All in all, it would make a nice addition to any home. The Robosaurus was built in 1989 and it starred in the made-for-TV movie Steel Justice in 1992. The owner of the Robosaurus wanted $5 million for it, but the Pawn Stars had to pass on the deal.
O.J. Simpson’s attempt to evade the police in 1994 continues to live on in infamy. On the day Simpson was supposed to be arrested, he decided to make a run for it. With driver Al Cowlings at the wheel of his white Ford Bronco, Simpson led the LAPD on a low-speed chase that lasted for hours on end. The whole thing was televised. When a seller brought this famous vehicle to Rick, he almost couldn’t say no. After all, millions of people had watched the car chase that made this car go down in history. Ultimately, because the seller was asking $1.25 million for it, Rick decided to let this one get away.
In the northeastern United States, you’ll come across many historic sites with claims like, “George Washington slept here.” But how many times have you seen an actual suit of clothes that Washington wore? This three-piece suit belonging to the first president turned up on the special 500th episode of Pawn Stars. Rick was visiting a private dealer who showed him Washington’s suit, dating back to the 1750s. The dealer wasn’t particularly keen to sell the item so he threw out a price of $3 million before dropping it to $2.5 million. That wasn’t low enough for Rick, so he walked away from the deal.