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With most of my favorite TV shows on hiatus until the new season begins in the Fall, I was left with channel surfing for something to watch when I stumbled upon a couple of new reality TV shows. In most cases I stay away from reality TV shows, but in this case the shows deal with the “finding” of antiques and collectibles and of course that piqued my interest. And so now, I am hooked on the two shows on the History Channel; Pawn Stars and American Pickers.
Pawn Stars apparently debuted on the History Channel back in July of 2006 and airs on Monday nights at 9 pm. The show centers around a twenty four hour pawn shop located in Las Vegas owned by three generations of a family. Richard Harrison, his son Rick Harrison and Rick’s son Corey make up the starring cast with Chumlee, an employee and Corey’s longtime friend co-starring. In addition, the show employs a host of experts in different fields to help identify and value the items that people bring into the pawn shop to sell.
The show depicts people trying to sell the Pawn Stars everything from baseball cards to rare books, antique guns, autographed jerseys, vintage glass and pottery as well as antique furniture, treasure chests and other artifacts. The Pawn Stars then evaluate and value the items or bring in experts to help them. In most cases they buy the item for less than fifty percent of its worth and in some cases the patron will walk away with their treasure. In very few cases, the team will opt out of buying an item if the price is too high or they think that they will be stuck with the item.
As Rick says at the beginning of each show, they just never know what is going to come through that door and as you watch the show, you begin to realize how true that is. In one episode a man brings in a bar of gold which Rick inspects and is interested in buying. After bringing in an expert, the bar of gold is authenticated to have once been part of a shipwreck that occurred in the 1500’s. On another episode a man brings in aged and weathered ephemera that turn out to be top secret battle plans for Iwo Jima.