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Gold Star Jewelry and Coin

Featured Shop: Gold Star Jewelry and Coin in Chicago, IL

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Bruce and Joyce Lowis Chicago Pawn
Joyce and Bruce Lowis

The Lowis family has been in the pawn industry since the 1890’s. It started with their grandfather, Joseph Lewis, the first pawnbroker to be licensed by the City of Chicago. Even today, with well over 100 pawn shops in Chicago, Gold Star Jewelry and Coin, is still recognized as an industry leader.

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Since 2008, Bruce Lowis, and his wife Joyce have continued the family tradition by providing professional customer service with experts jewelers certified by the Gemology Institute of America.

Lowis jokingly describes himself as “the oldest living pawnbroker in America.” And he’s gotten a few nicknames along the way, “Professor Pawn” and “Reverend Billy Bob Dollar.”

“He’s a good guy, Bruce,” said Ron, a frequent customer at Gold Star. “He gives me deals all the time, and they have excellent customer service.”

He can be described as enthusiastic, personable, and very knowledgeable. Gold Star has also been known for helping the local community. For example, they’ll provide job training for individuals who looking to acquire new skills.

Bruce Lowis Pawnbroker in Chicago

“Pawnbroking is a time-honored way of borrowing money,” Lowis says. “You don’t see pawnbrokers do advertising on television or radio because pawnbroking is mostly word-of-mouth.”

In Chicago especially, word-of-mouth is even more valuable due to the high-density of pawn shops. Lowis makes the point that for generations – unlike regular banks – the pawning process hasn’t changed. You find a local pawn shop, bring in your item, and then use it as collateral for a cash loan.

“Banks are title lenders, like a lean holder on your house or car,” Lowis explained. “We just happen to be collateral lenders where we’re holding the item until you come back and redeem it.”

Based on his experience,  80% of his customers have returned to redeem back their pawned items. Some clients will pawn the same item several times a year. Their average pawn loan is $250 – mostly for gold jewelry and coins.

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“He’s a good guy, Bruce,” said Ron, a frequent customer at Gold Star. “He gives me deals all the time, and they have excellent customer service.”

“PawnGuru, I think is a very good thing. They are helping direct people to pawn shops.” – Bruce Lowis

As a pawnbroker for over 30 years, Lowis has seen a variety of items that could be worth small fortunes. A world famous violinist once pawned his violin, but Lowis can’t disclose any names for privacy reasons. Gold Star has also helped politicians, actors, and sports figures pawn their valuables for quick cash.

Pawn Shop Jewelry

“We have had several unique items, huge gold wrestling belts worth tens of thousands of dollars worth of gold,” Lowis said. “We also had big diamonds pawned with us; there is no limit to what we can loan you.”

If you’re in the Roger Park area, visiting Gold Star, you’ll notice collections of coins, paintings, sculptures, and sports memorabilia, such as signed baseballs and autographed photos.

Several months ago, Gold Star signed up with PawnGuru to discover new customers, as he said, “PawnGuru, I think is a very good thing. They are helping direct people to pawn shops.”

Pawn Tip:

“Don’t try cleaning your old coins, once you do that it loses it value,” Lowis said. “Coin collectors want it in its raw state, dirty or otherwise.”

If you find an old coin, or coins, which you think might be valuable. Bring it to a nearby pawn shop that specializes in coins so it can be appraised.

Want to sell or pawn an item to Gold Star?
Get cash offers from Gold Star and other local shops.

Get Offers Now

 

Summary
Article Name
Featured Shop: Gold Star Jewelry and Coin in Chicago, IL
Description
Meet Professor Pawn, a.k.a. Reverend Billy Bob Dollar, the "oldest pawnbroker" in America and owner of Gold Star Jewelry and Coin in Chicago, IL.
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PawnGuru
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