I am not afriad of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today~William Allen White

Archive for October 5, 2010

Pawn shops: oldest form of financial institutions

Each morning, it takes me about 3 minutes to walk from where the bus drop me off to my office, and I realize that during this short stroll, there are 3 pawn shops on the same street!  The word “pawn” actually comes from the latin word “pignus”, meaning to pledge. 

It's easy to spot pawn shops with its green, yellow and red color scheme

I have learned that in HK, the symbol of a pawn shop is created with a winged bat holding a coin, with the winged bat symbolising Fortune and the coin benefits.

The heavily barred countertop and counter being set extremely high is supposed to provide security to pawn shop workers;there is also a screen shielding the customers from people walking past as a form of security and privacy against the "loss of face" for pawning goods.

Don’t be fooled by the antiquated look of the shop and think the trade is passed down for generations, many of them have sprung up over the years and operate as a chain.  While the pawn shops may look antique, this is certainly a professional trade using high-end security systems and top-notch computer systems.   In fact, many of the pawn shops operate as a 1 stop service with a second-hand watch and jewellery store next door selling pawned off goods.


This pawn shop has opened for less than 2 months in a prime location in Causeway Bay, offering 1 stop service of pawning goods and selling pawned goods at shop next door

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