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About Royal Loan

Pawn Shop San Diego Team

Family Owned Since 1992

We are a family owned & operated business and we plan to stay that way. This enables us to treat each customer as an individual. Our friendly employees look forward to serving you.

History of Pawnbroking

As mankind's oldest financial institution, pawnbroking carries on a tradition with a rich history. Pawnbroking can be traced back at least 3,000 years to ancient China, and has been found in the earliest written histories of Greek and Roman civilizations.

During the middle Ages, certain usury laws imposed by the church prohibited the charging of interest on loans, thus limiting pawn broking to people who had religious beliefs outside of the Church. Out of economic necessity, and because of problems in the banking system, pawnshops made a resurgence in later years.

The House of Lombard operated pawnshops throughout Europe. Legend contends that they even counted royalty, such as King Edward III of England, among their clients during the 14th century. The symbol of the Lombards' operations was the three gold balls that still remains the trademark of pawnbrokers.

Pawning has long been a source of capital for people in times of need, as well as a means of financing business ventures.

Pawn Shop San DiegoHistorical Facts and Legends

Queen Isabella of Spain pawned the crown jewels to finance Columbus' voyage to America. The word pawn originates from the Latin word "patinum" which means cloth or clothing. The French word "pan" refers to a skirt or blouse. In the early centuries, the principle assets people had were their clothes and borrowed money by pawning their clothing.

The nursery rhyme "Pop Goes The Weasel" refers to pawning. A weasel is a shoemaker's tool and to "pop" is to pawn. "That's the way the money goes... Pop goes the weasel."

There are several versions of this famous nursery rhyme. We present our favorite for your enjoyment.

The monkey chased the weasel,
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

A penny for a spool of thread
A penny for a needle,
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

A half a pound of tupenny rice,
A half a pound of treacle,
Mix it up and make it nice,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

Up and down the London road,
In and out of the Eagle,
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

I've no time to plead and pine,
I've no time to wheedle,
Kiss me quick and then I'm gone,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

The Legendary Origins of the Pawnbroker Symbol

The Least Known Legend

One of the least known origins that have been researched is the coin known as the "Silver Shekel" or "Shekel of Israel" which was issued in A.D. 68 after a Jewish revolt against the Romans. One side of the coin depicted three pomegranates, with a common stalk.

The Traditional Legend of the Three Balls

The symbol of the three balls was part of the coat of arms of the Medici family, who established the Medici trading and banking empire in Florence, Italy. The Medici’s were a 15th century Italian family of bankers and lenders, with considerable fame and fortune.

They became so well known in the finance and lending profession that the other lenders, wanting to share in their success, adopted similar coats of arms, signs, shields and symbols, with three golden balls being the most popular.

Once other merchants involved in monetary dealing adopted the three golden balls as their symbol, the three balls came to symbolize the entire profession founded on the ethic of mutual trust.

Throughout the middle ages you can find many coats of arms bearing three balls, orbs, plates, disks, coins, and more as symbolic of monetary success.

When Italian bankers began to open branches abroad, the symbol of the three golden balls spread to the European west. It is known that there was pawn broking in Spain because Queen Isabella pawned some of her royal jewels to finance Columbus' long voyage to the New World. I wonder if the pawnbroker who made that loan knew just what he was starting?

The symbol of the three golden balls was brought to the United States from England, where pawnbrokers still display the symbol to this day.