Prestige Pawn is known by many for its channel four Posh Pawn fame, and while business downsized during lockdown, Mr Constantinou grew his business to a total of nine stores nationwide. He commented that some of the most common items to keep an eye out for would be watches, handbags and gold jewellery which are heavily in demand and could fetch lucky owners thousands of pounds.
Mr Constantinou shared one story of a London restaurateur who came into the shop in desperate need of £650,000 to meet the help his business build traction following pandemic closures.
“His 10 restaurant strong operation is undergoing a light revamp and a new marketing campaign is underway to assist with bringing clients back in to dine.
“This particular client was fortunate enough to have built up a collection of valuable assets during the good times including a rare Ferrari Dino, fine Art and extensive well known branded jewellery pieces, which are now being used to secure the loan.”
Mr Constantinou commented that before the pandemic it was seldom that business owners would use Prestige Pawn services to help fund their cash flow needs, but their presence on the High Street has proved remarkably successful in driving more of this clientele.
From pawning cars to pawning purses, there are a variety of items that can fetch someone a few thousand pounds, and Mr Constantinou also noted a woman who sold her Hermes Birkin bag to raise money for a shopping trip to Harrods.
Likewise, another customer had gotten a hefty sum for her forgotten handbag: “A rare Sterling silver Hermes Kelly 15cm handbag, brought in to store by a well-heeled Chelsea client that had almost forgotten she had it at the back of her wardrobe. She explained that her husband had bought it many years ago and she wasn’t aware of the figure paid.
“We did a deal with the particular client for a tidy undisclosed sum. Following a visit to a top London silversmith for a light renovation the bag was eventually purchased by a very well-known USA based female celebrity for a six-figure sum.
“The new owner absolutely adores her Hermes, it’s unlikely to ever be replaced, being one of only 10 ever produced,” he added.
It’s generally assumed that for an item to be valuable it has to be incredibly special, like the woman’s limited-edition handbag, or vintage but in pristine condition. However, even the most unexpected items can have a lovely price tag.
Mr Constantinou explained: “A lady caller informed us of an Art Deco Cartier Aquamarine and diamond necklace that was handed down to her. Obviously, we were very excited to have the opportunity to appraise a Cartier piece from this period.
“Upon inspection, we were thrilled with what we were presented with, the piece was truly spectacular with 160 carats of perfectly matched Aquamarines.
“We all felt that this was a very important piece and that there would be much interest internationally.
“Following the purchase the piece went to a well-known international auction house where it was sold to a collector for just shy of £500,000.”
In a final tale, Mr Constantinou added that vintage cars in good condition can easily fetch thousands for lucky owners.
“An elderly gentleman recently called to inform us that he was in possession of an early Porsche 356 B motor car and was thinking about selling.
“Apparently it had been in storage for the last 10 years following his brother’s death to whom the vehicle originally belonged.
“Although the caller had emotional ties to the vehicle he decided to let it go for an agreed figure of £70,000.
“This particular model was very sought after, a rare right-hand drive example with black coachwork and red leather interior.
“We sent the vehicle away to a well-known Porsche restorer where it underwent a mechanical overhaul and some restoration work. It was offered for sale to a select few and finally purchased by an avid collector of early Porsche cars for £110,000.
“It really is a shrewd move in terms of an investment, as these vehicles will see sharp rises in years to come due to their rarity and desirability.”