Top 5 Items to Pawn

Are you in need of a little extra cash in your pocket? Look no further! Here’s our list of the most popular and lucrative items to pawn.  

Gold and Other Precious Metals 

The price of gold is soaring right now. Gold is also one of the easiest materials to appraise and has the most options for reselling. That puts it at the top of our list! 

Gold is a unique metal for pawn shops. Obviously, it’s worth a lot – but it can also be resold in more than one form. Pawn shops have the option of selling a piece of gold jewelry as-is, or melting it down depending on the value of its base materials and the conditions of the market. 

Other precious metals include silver and platinum. If you have gold, silver or platinum jewelry that you haven’t worn in a while, consider having it appraised by a reputable pawnshop like American Gold Exchange & Pawn. If you’re looking for the highest-quality jewelry at a competitive price, also consider visiting us! 

Diamonds and Other Gems 

Diamonds are not only in high demand, they’re also rare. That’s why they’re especially valuable to pawnshops. And just like gold and other precious metals, diamonds are priced according to their quality.  

All real diamonds are valuable. Just how valuable depends on several factors called the 4 Cs:  

  • Carat  
  • Color 
  • Clarity  
  • Cut  

For a better understanding of the 4 Cs take a look at our article that explains the 4 Cs.  Diamond experts take each of these factors into account when determining the price of a diamond.  

Jewelry and Watches  

Buying jewelry from a pawn shop is a great alternative to buying it elsewhere. You can find jewelry that’s of excellent quality and at a price lower than most jewelry stores. 

The price of jewelry depends on the materials it’s made of. As you can imagine, gold and diamond jewelry will be more valuable than jewelry made of other metals or stones. Luxury jewelry and watch brands are highly desirable! 


There’s a near-endless demand for guns, whether for hunting, target shooting or collecting. The market for resale also makes pawn shops and ideal means to sell your used firearms. 

When pawning a firearm, bring in any accessories that may increase its value. This includes bolts, holsters, magazines, sights, scopes, slings and cases.  

When bringing a gun into a pawnshop, be sure to follow all safety rules. Make sure it’s empty of ammunition. If you’re bringing one in uncased, use a blanket for transport and let the folks at the pawn shop know before walking in. 

Power Tools 

Why spend money on new power tools when you can get used, name brand, high performance tools at a competitive price? On the other hand, why hold onto power tools you never use, when you could get instant cash for them? 

Brands that are used specifically by contractors, such as DeWalt, are generally considered more valuable. However, it doesn’t hurt to bring in your used Black & Decker or John Deere. Power tools are so popular that pawn shops tend to cycle through their inventory quickly.  

How to Pawn 

Pawns are short-term loans that don’t affect your credit. Once you’ve agreed to a loan amount for the item, you’ll sign a simple contract. Be sure to bring in your government issued photo ID because it is required for this transaction. You’ll receive your loan in cash and may redeem your item up to 90 days. For more information on how loaning and selling works, visit our FAQs. 

We at American Gold Exchange & Pawn are a family-owned business of over twenty years, and we’re experts at appraising these Top 5 Items. If you’re interested in a loan or instant cash in exchange for any of these items, visit or call us today!  

The 4 C’s of Diamond Details

diamond-1839031_1280Did you know there are four different ways of determining a diamond’s value? They’re called the 4 C’s: carat, clarity, color and cut.

Together, the 4 C’s have an impact on the diamond’s brilliance, or capacity to reflect light. A working understanding of the 4 C’s will also help you make the best decision when purchasing a diamond:


The weight of a diamond is measured in carats, which is often translated into points. To simplify, 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 100 points. For example, a diamond that is .75 carats is also 75 points.

Be aware that carats are a measurement of weight, not size. A diamond that looks bigger may weigh less and may not be as valuable. And while heavier diamonds are rarer and typically more expensive, you should always take into account the other C’s before making a purchase.


Clarity is determined by the number and quality of inclusions within the diamond. Inclusions are small, natural flaws that can vary in size, location, color and type. More inclusions typically mean a diamond will be considered less valuable.

That said, some inclusions are worse than others. For example, a dark inclusion might have a more negative impact on the brilliance of a diamond than an inclusion that is larger but lighter in color.

While diamonds are graded for clarity, some of these inclusions may not be visible to the naked eye. For example, a diamond with minor surface blemishes may be perfect for you and your budget, so long as it doesn’t have a strong impact on the diamond’s sparkle.


Diamonds come in a variety of natural colors that include yellow, grey and brown.  In general, the lighter the diamond’s natural color, the better its grade:

D-F = colorless

G-J = near colorless

K-M = faint tint

N-R = very light yellow, grey or brown

S – Z = light yellow, grey or brown

Pink, purple, blue and green diamonds are rarer than these common colors. For that reason, they can be more expensive. Be aware, however, that some diamonds are color-treated to give them a desired hue.


The cut of a diamond refers to something more than its overall shape. It has to do with the number and shape of its facets. Cut is one of the most important factors in a diamond’s brilliance. There are three types that you should be aware of:

Brilliant Cut – triangles and kite-shaped facets create the most dazzling sparkle

Step Cut – trapezoid and rectangles decrease brilliance, but add simplicity

Mixed Cut – combination of step and brilliant cuts

These cuts all have an impact on how the diamond acts as a prism, which in turn affects its sparkle intensity.

Let Beauty + Budget Be Your Guide

gold-jewelry-2920596_1280The overall aesthetic appeal of the diamond is what really matters, not it’s individual grades. While some diamonds are more expensive than others, due to their higher grades, we have one simple suggestion for how to choose a diamond: Pick the one that’s most beautiful to you and that also falls within your budget.

It’s really that simple!

And if you’re shopping for diamond jewelry, come visit us. We at American Gold Exchange & Pawn have a revolving selection of exquisite diamonds. Our staff will also help you navigate the 4 C’s so you can choose the diamond that’s perfect for you!

Best Items to Pawn This Season

lawn-mower-2127637_1280Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner! It’s an ideal time to purchase useful, pre-owned seasonal equipment at a great discount at our local shop in Raleigh, NC.

If you’re looking to make some extra money, now is also the time to pawn these items. The following are in higher demand and worth more during spring and summer:

  • Lawnmowers
  • Snow blowers
  • Bicycles
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Chainsaws
  • Weed wackers
  • Ladders
  • Power tools
  • Hunting, fishing and camping equipment
  • Air conditioners
  • Pressure washers
  • Firearms

How does the loaning and selling process work? Bring your item in, and we’ll test it to make sure it works. Once you’ve agreed to a purchase amount, we’ll ask for a government-issued photo ID and for you to sign a contract stating your intent to sell. After that, we’ll give you cash for you item. That’s it!

To pawn your item you’ll go through a similar process. You’ll sign a 30-day loan agreement stating that you wish to borrow money against the item. You’ll receive your 30-day loan in cash and may redeem your item within 90 days. For more information on the loaning and selling process, visit our FAQs.

At American Gold Exchange and Pawn we want you to get the most out of your item. And with your help, we’re not only able to restock our inventory. We also pass on useful spring and summer items onto another person. Our inventory changes every day, so if you don’t see something you need – be sure to visit us again!




The Difference Between 10K, 14K and 24K Gold

24K gold A common misunderstanding is that the higher the karat, the more desirable the jewelry. This isn’t necessarily true! Depending on your lifestyle, budget and personal needs, lower-karat jewelry may be just what you’re looking for.

A karat which is not the same as a carat (a measurement of weight for gems) refers to the percentage of gold within an alloy. An alloy is a combination of metals that make up a piece of jewelry.

Essentially, 24K is 100% pure gold, while 14K is 58.3% and 10K is 41.7%.

The Value of Alloys

24K gold is very soft and able to be manipulated, making it unsuitable for jewelry. After all, you don’t want your expensive wedding band to be scratched or deformed.

That’s where alloys come in. Alloys, despite having less gold content, are stronger, more durable and more resilient against the elements.

The type of alloy that comprises gold jewelry, including platinum, silver, copper, nickel, and zinc, also affect the price. An alloy that includes platinum, for example, can be more expensive because of the strength it lends to the piece.

The Real Difference Between 10K and 14K

Lower-karat alloys like 10K are used in both fine and costume jewelry. They stand up well to daily wear and are less expensive due to the smaller percentage of gold. Finer jewelry, on the other hand, often comes in the form of 14K. The piece is still durable but is generally more valuable because of the higher gold percentage.

If you have a rugged or active lifestyle, you may want to consider 10K gold jewelry. 14K jewelry, however, is still very resilient. 14K makes for a perfect engagement ring or wedding band for those with less active lifestyles or who don’t work with their hands.

In A Nutshell

Before buying gold jewelry, ask yourself “How well do I want a particular piece of gold jewelry to hold up?” The basic rule is this: a higher karat = higher purity, but with less resilience.

If you ever need help picking out gold jewelry that matches your lifestyle and your budget, feel free to drop into American Gold Exchange and Pawn or give us a call at 919-231-6433. After over two decades in business, we’re gold experts and can help you make the right decision for your needs!

What Are the Differences Between Estate, Vintage and Antique Jewelry?

Words like estate, vintage and antique are often used interchangeably to describe jewelry that’s old. There are very real differences, however, that impact the true value of the piece. When visiting any jewelry professional, be aware of the following distinctions.

Estate Jewelry

Estate jewelry refers to any used or previously-owned jewelry. That means all second-hand jewelry is estate jewelry regardless of its age. Reputable jewelry experts will be careful to clarify the real age of a piece of estate jewelry, or they’ll simply reserve that description for older, more high-quality pieces.

Either way, you should always ask how old a piece is before purchasing it. That way you can also tell if it’s vintage, which brings us to our next definition!

Vintage Jewelry

All vintage jewelry is estate jewelry, but not all estate jewelry is vintage. Typically, jewelry professionals will describe a piece as vintage if it’s between 20-100 years old.

That’s a wide age range! Again, that’s why you should always ask how old a piece of jewelry is before ever committing to buying or selling it.

Keep in mind that not all similarly-aged vintage pieces are created equally. Jewelry from different eras may be valued differently, depending on how mass-produced that particular style was at the time. Just because it’s vintage doesn’t quite mean it’s rare.

Antique Jewelry

While we at American Gold Exchange & Pawn don’t sell or certify antique jewelry, we do know the distinction! Simply put, a piece of jewelry can be considered antique if it’s over 100 years old. That makes it an incredibly valuable artifact, which is why most collectors don’t even wear the pieces they own.

Antique jewelry is usually the most expensive, because of its history, the workmanship that went into creating the piece, and the resilient, high-quality materials it’s made of.

Be aware however, that many antique dealers will sometimes describe jewelry as antique even though it doesn’t meet the age requirement. That’s why it’s so important to ask for clarification as to how old a piece of jewelry actually is!

Rules to Remember

The meanings of estate, vintage and antique can be ambiguous. Remember that estate jewelry includes all second-hand jewelry in general. There’s also no strong consensus on how old a piece of jewelry must be in order to be considered vintage. Antique jewelry, on the other hand, must be over a century old.

All jewelry, whether estate, vintage or antique can also vary wildly in price depending on the piece’s history, the materials that went into its creation, and its rareness.

Reputable jewelry professionals will be honest and upfront from the beginning. At American Gold Exchange & Pawn, we pride ourselves on being 100% transparent about the jewelry we have in our store. Don’t hesitate to ask us upfront questions about a piece you’re interested in buying or selling. We’re happy to help. Stop in our store at 3404 Poole Road, Raleigh, NC. We are conveniently located a few blocks off I 440. See  you soon!