If you’re rich you’re going to have to face facts and admit that nobody likes you; not even your wife. In fact, she’s probably ‘working out’ with her personal trainer whilst simultaneously rehearsing her tearful wails when the police inform her that you fell into a meat mincer.
Poor people don’t like you because they’re poor. The middle classes don’t like you because they’re being squeezed. Other rich people don’t like you because you’re an obstacle to them making more money. Ah well, look on the bright side – you’re rich.
But you didn’t come here to hear that, did you? The main reason you’re lurking is to see how your fellow mighty have fallen. You want to revel in tales of the day the wealthy were brought back to earth. You want to know exactly what they’ve pawned in order to maintain a lifestyle many could only dream of.
In that case, let the feast of misery begin…
The Bentley GT is the sort of car that gives Jeremy Clarkson wet dreams. It’s also the sort of car that only the likes of Clarkson can afford thanks to the wages you pay him… via your TV license. But, hey, don’t get all bitter and twisted. After all, from a purely entertainment perspective, he’s worth it.
Think of all the times you laughed at his little jokes about murdering prostitutes or shooting poor people. Hilarious man.
Back to the storyline, earlier this year, a U.S woman tried to pawn her 2011 Bentley GT. Now, for anyone that didn’t understand the Clarkson reference, this is one seriously expensive car. It’s the sort of ride that would have nuns queued up for a quick grope on the back seat. How expensive?
Your car dealer will happily relieve you of about £127,000 for the pleasure of owning one of these 4 wheeled pieces of automotive bling. But, for whatever reason, the broker declined to take the hideously expensive hotrod off her hands. Maybe it was simply too hot to handle.
Bars Of Gold
Way back in 1983, Spandau Ballet obsessed over this precious metal in their track “Gold”. Lead singer, Martin Kemp went on to strike gold in his acting career with a stint in East Enders. The rest of the band set of to South America in search of the mythical Incan gold mines. They were never seen again (and neither was Kemp following his dismal portrayal as an on-screen ‘hard man’).
And that’s where the trail went cold. If they’d been sensible they would have simply headed off to the local jewellery shop. Once there, Kemp and co. could have used the substantial financial rewards that musical stardom brought them to fund their lust for precious metals.
Fast forward a years… Richard, Rick and Corey, aka the Pawn Stars flogged four gold bars a customer left in their shop. But how much did they get for efforts? The princely sum of $128,000 (currently, that’s about £80,000).
Large Currency Notes
Salmon P. Chase isn’t some kind of kinky water sport. In fact, it’s actually the name of a man who served as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln and as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States. It’s long been suggested that Salmon had absolutely no sense of humour (unlike his mother) but we disagree: just look at that jovial face…
Chase is widely regarded as the driving force behind the creation of a stable U.S economy following the American Civil War. In recognition of his work, he was depicted on the front of the $10,000 note that was issued between 1928 and 1946.
That’s right – a bank note worth over £6,000. Actually, no – it’s not. The U.S treasury took nearly all of these bills out of circulation and by 2009 there were only 336 of them still roaming free in the wild.
Imagine, if you will, the very last lion in the wild. How much would his hide be worth to a hunter? Now imagine these few remaining notes hidden away in safe deposit boxes because they’re now valued at over $1,000,000 each.
In 2011, a pawn shop owner turned down the chance to buy one for $800,000 from a former rich guy who had landed on hard times. I’m not great at maths but buying at that price and selling to a collector for $1,000,000 the next day brings a profit of about $200,000. For a couple of minutes work.
So far, all the most interesting or most expensive pawn shop finds have been in the good old U.S of A. That doesn’t mean it’s a more interesting country. No, it simply means that they have an awful lot of money. Well, they did until recession took a hefty bite out of their wallets.
But I have good news. It would seem that us Brits are just as bonkers as proven by the case of this life-sized silver skull:
The solid silver cranium popped up in a pawn brokers, run by Christopher Smith in North Walsham. Smith, who now uses the skull
The local sculptor who pawned it told Smith that the ‘charming ornament’ was commissioned about 18 years ago for the grand sum of between £3,000 and £5,000. Now, call me cynical, but if you were asked to create the ornamental equivalent of one of Ted Bundy’s victims you’d remember how much it cost. I smell a rat!
Anyway, I’ll put my scepticism to one side; Smith has said that he will probably keep the skull if the owner doesn’t return for it. I can only assume there are very rich pickings amongst the elderly community of North Walsham.
4 tales of woe that the rich have to endure. But do you really care about them or did you simply want to wallow in their misery?