The History Of Pawnbroking
Pawnbroking is often called the “the world’s second oldest profession,” and can be traced back at least 3,000 years to ancient China, as well as to some of the earliest Greek and Roman written histories.
During the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church imposed usury laws that prohibited the charging of interest on loans. In doing so, the church limited pawnbroking to individuals other than Roman Catholics. As a result, pawnshops made a resurgence. The House of Medici, a powerful merchant family that later counted itself amongst the crowned heads of Europe, began as pawnbrokers operating pawnshops throughout Europe. The Coat of Arms of the Medici’s with its three gold balls still remains the universal trademark of pawnbroking.