3 Questions We’re All Asking About Silver


We all know it’s out there, but the details about it are fuzzy. Silver has been a sign of wealth and beauty dating back to ancient civilizations. This durable element is used in a variety of ways that we likely never hear about. Silver is handy in car manufacturing, photography equipment, deodorant, water purification, silverware, and our favorite jewelry.

There are three main questions that we have all been wondering about Silver, and we here at American Gold Exchange & Pawn are ready to answer.

1. What is the difference between silver and sterling silver?

This question is all over the internet, but the answers can be confusing. Sterling silver is the material that is typically used for items such as jewelry and silverware. The truth is that pure silver is very soft. Imagine a beautiful, shiny, and intricate ring made of lead. It would keep its shape just about as long as pure silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver mixed with 7.5% copper and other hard metals. This mixture helps to make sure the item holds the right shape and lasts for a long time. Sterling silver pieces can often be coated with a layer of pure silver to enhance the look and shine!

2. How do I know if my item is made of silver?

It may look like silver, but don’t be fooled by the outer appearance. The easiest way to tell if an item is made of silver is using a magnet. Fine jewelry made with materials such as silver, gold, or platinum will NOT typically react to a magnetic pull. If your item is dancing with the magnet, it is likely made of another material. Occasionally some of the mixed in materials or coating will still make the item react. Though the magnet test isn’t full proof, it sure is a step in the right direction!  Another easy way to tell if an item is made of silver is by checking for a “.925, 925, or sterling” engraved right on it. The easiest way to identify your item is to simply stop by our store, and we will get your item examined and appraised in no time!

3. Why should I buy silver?

Just like diamonds, silver is forever. Silver is a fine quality material that will last for generations to come. The value of silver has been steady through history and its uses are never ending. If you invest in items made of sterling silver you can be sure that with constant care and polishing, your items will keep shining! The best news is that we can provide affordable cleaning and care for your silver in store.

These three questions may have covered the basics, but we know that more questions about silver will arise. Stop in or call to chat with one of our jewelry experts and we will be sure to make your sweet silver shine!

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!  

Pawning Made Simple



Do you have a basement or attic full of things you don’t use anymore? Did you know you can clean out those unused items and make some money on ones that are still in good condition? It just takes a visit to American Gold Exchange & Pawn located at 3404 Poole Road, Raleigh, NC.  

Now, as good as that sounds, if you haven’t done this before you might be wondering where to start, and that is where we come in! We want to help you feel prepared and completely knowledgeable when you walk through our doors. So, let us walk you through the whole process! 

The Pawn  

  • We offer collateral based loans – meaning that the loan is secured by something of value.  
  • You bring an item you own into the store, and we come to an agreement on an amount that will be lent to you for that item.
  • For the loan to be completed, a valid Government issued picture ID must be presented. We will take all your information down and provide you with a loan ticket. This ticket will have all the terms of your loan including loan amount, fees, expiration date, and a description of your item.
  • In the next step, you will need to sign a loan agreement stating that this item does indeed belong to you and that you want to borrow money against it.  
  • Voila! You now have a pawn loan agreement in place that puts cash in your pocket.
  • The only thing left to do now is redeem your item within the next 90 days or make a fee payment so that it will be held for a bit longer. 


Interest and Fee’s

Since a pawn is a short-term loan that doesn’t affect your credit, it incurs a fee at the beginning of each 30-day period it is held by the pawn shop. If an item is not picked up or if a fee has not been paid to keep the item in pawn after a total of 90 days, the merchandise becomes the property of the pawn shop. It may be sold to recoup the loan amount and fees. 

Example of a Pawn Loan 

Tom is running short on cash for the week and his daughter just told him she needs $100.00 to attend cheerleading camp!

He doesn’t want to disappoint his daughter, so he takes his portable generator to the pawn shop for a temporary loan on June 29.  The pawn shop agrees to loan Tom $100.00 on his generator.

The fee for a $100.00 loan will be $20.00 ($100.00 x 20% interest/fees) for each 30-day period the loan is active.

Tom needs to make sure to either return to the pawn shop to pay a $20.00 fee or pick up his generator within 90 days (by September 27) so as not to default on the loan and lose his generator.

If Tom returns to the pawn shop to redeem his generator within the first 30 days, it will cost $120.00. If he does not, then another $20.00 will be incurred and so on every 30 days until the full 90 days are up. If Tom waits the whole 90 days he would pay the original $100.00 loan + 3 months of fees. This would bring his total to $160.00 to get his generator back. If he cannot pay the amount Tom would have the option to pay a $20.00 fee to extend the loan for another 30-day period.  

 It really is as simple as that, and we hope that this breakdown of how to pawn an item has been helpful! We look forward to seeing you in our store soon located at 3404 Poole Road, Raleigh, NC 27610! 

Why Layaway?


American Gold Exchange & Pawn is full of possibilities! We constantly have new merchandise that ranges from everyday items to collectables for a fraction of the cost! Some of these items are things you would purchase on the spot, while others maybe not. This is where layaway comes in handy!

What is layaway? It is a system of paying a deposit to secure an item for later purchase. This can be very helpful when you are purchasing larger items because it allows you to make payments over the course of a set period of time without the cost going up. And, it doesn’t incur interest like you would on a credit card.  Layaway makes it possible for you to still buy the items you need or want without feeling the financial pressure of paying a large sum all at once. So, whether you need alawn mower, camera equipment, or a new fire arm we have a layaway plan that can help!

Top 3 Most Frustrating Computer Problems – And How We Can Help


Technology. You can’t live with it, and you sure can’t live without it. Especially not in 2018! We each have our phones, tablets, laptops, and maybe even a desktop computer or two. Over 140 million people in the world are using a smart watch every single day. Google Home and Amazon’s ever so popular Alexa are the latest ways to stay connected and up to date. It’s hard to keep up with the frenzy of technology and how rapidly it is growing. One thing that we can all agree on: it doesn’t always work the way we want it to.

Surely each of you have had that moment where the ONE project you had been working on for hours came crashing down, never to be found again in the abyss of digital files on your computer. In honor of all the hours and files lost we are writing the top 3 most frustrating computer problems of all time.

1. The Pop-Up Party

The worst kind of party is the one that you were never expecting. Hopefully, you will never have to suffer the fate of clicking the wrong link. If you do, you will have windows coming up from every direction faster than you can close out of them. Everyone has been there before. Some pop-up parties can be handled or avoided through programs or browser extensions. Others may be more deeply rooted in the depths of your computer system. If this happens to you – may the odds be ever in your favor.

2. The Extra Heat

There are times when your laptop computer is working so hard that it just can’t handle the heat. You may hear it making a loud noise and start to feel a slight burn to the touch. It can often get to a point where the computer is WAY too hot, and you aren’t sure if it’s going to explode or burn from the inside out. The noises you hear are the internal fans working as hard as their little blades allow. A quick fix for this could be that your lap is blocking the ventilation from properly cooling the computer off. You can also purchase cooling pads or external fans that will give you a little pick-me-up. If these options don’t help, it may be time to call in the big dogs.

3. The Frost Bite

Overheating is no good for your system, but a frozen computer may just be worse. There are few things more devastating than when you are happily working on the latest blog post and everything just stops. Maybe the mouse is still moving, but your programs are not responding to any clicks. Some Mac users call this the “spinning color wheel of death.” The choice is yours on whether to wait it out or reboot everything with the risk of losing valuable information or projects. If this has happened to you. we sincerely feel your pain.

Computers can be a lot of work and confusion. When in doubt, our certified technician is just one visit away from making all your computer problems disappear! There will come a time where you will have to move on from your current computer to the next.

Luckily, we also carry a wide variety of electronics in store many of which are less than 50% of the original retail value.

If you need a quick fix and are having issues with your computer hardware or software, we’ve got your back. If you need a brand new computer because your old one betrayed you, we’ve got your back. Here at American Gold Exchange & Pawn our goal is help your electronics help YOU.

Read more about us on our website!! http://www.americangoldandpawninc.com


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!