Inside Vegas’ Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, Setting for ‘Pawn Stars’
- By Brendan
- Interview of Brett Maly for the Allstate Blog
The value of property appraisal
So, how do sought-after artifacts actually turn up on the collectibles market? According to Rick Harrison, who co-owns the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, some belong to people who are retired, wealthy, and/or well-traveled; others pass down to the next generation who may sell them, for whatever reason.Still other artifacts turn out to be stolen goods. For this reason, the decision to buy valuable collectibles has financial implications beyond the purchase transaction. Having a precious asset appraised before purchasing it can be beneficial, compared with the potential losses that may come with buying ill-gotten property.To get ready for an appraisal of your own personal property, Maly says one of the most important steps is keeping complete records. Write down everything you know about the piece that you are having appraised. Provenance (record of ownership) can add value to an object, he says.
Buying and selling collectibles
Over the years, Maly has seen a change in the types of appraisals that clients want. From 2003 to 2008, insurance appraisals—determining the replacement cost of a piece of art—made up the bulk of his business, he says.More recently, people have been seeking to liquidate their collections. They see that family heirloom or piece of art as a potential financial windfall, he explains.And, sometimes it can be. George Tallas, co-owner of Global Art & Collectibles, says he turns to Maly for help doing research on fair market value—the price an item would receive in the marketplace.As example, Tallas holds up a plastic sleeve containing a block of mint-condition stamps, dated 1869 and titled “The Landing of Columbus.” Tallas says he found the stamps at a garage sale, and just sold them for $1,800. (He wouldn’t say what he paid for them.)“One of the most unique things about Las Vegas is that there are so many collectibles here—in garage sales, or from storage units left unclaimed,” says Tallas, a retired NASCAR driver, lifelong collector of racecar memorabilia, and an area resident since 1979.Collecting in Vegas can offer a sense of discovery, he says, as well as history lessons from these discovered artifacts. And, unlike other local pastimes, it can also provide a chance to put together something meaningful.
“Collecting is like building your own time capsule for your family,” he explains.