Pawn Stars, the long-running reality television series on the History Channel, has captured viewers’ interest for over a decade by showcasing unique historical artifacts and their transactions.
The show, set in the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, follows the daily operations and antics of the Harrison family and their associates. A lingering question on the minds of many fans is whether the events in the series are real or staged.
Insiders have revealed that Pawn Stars contains a mix of real and staged elements, leaving viewers to decipher their authenticity. Let’s examine some of the myths and facts surrounding the show.
Sellers are pre-vetted
Sellers appearing on Pawn Stars are pre-vetted to maintain the show’s quality and authenticity of items.
This involves the producers examining potential sellers and their items, ensuring they are genuine and prepared to sell at a reasonable price. This verification process happens off-camera, preventing the show from becoming cluttered with fake or unfeasible deals.
Pawn Stars‘ executive producer, Brent Montgomery, has mentioned the importance of this process. He stated that if the producers do not check whether the sellers are willing to part with their items at a fair price, some people may simply try to get on TV without any genuine interest in making a transaction.
By implementing this pre-vetting system, the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop makes sure to maintain an air of realism in the show, while also ensuring viewers are provided with intriguing and genuine content.
However, it is crucial to remember that Pawn Stars does contain some scripted elements and is a partially staged reality show meant for entertainment purposes.
The store is primarily a destination for tourists
The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop featured in the History Channel’s popular show is indeed a real establishment located in Las Vegas. Though it continues to function as a pawn shop, it has evolved into a tourist attraction due to the show’s massive success.
Visitors to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop are likely to encounter a structured environment with crowd control measures in place. It’s not uncommon to find a line of people waiting to enter the shop. Once inside, tourists can explore the store, view the various items on sale, and even catch a glimpse of the items featured on the show.
Items Are pre-screened
People often wonder how authentic the deals portrayed on the show are.
Much like the sellers, featured items are pre-screened by the show’s producers.
This process ensures that the items showcased on television are either valuable, unique, or visually appealing. Given the nature of a pawn shop, it would be unrealistic to expect that every customer would bring in noteworthy items worthy of being included in the broadcast.
Despite this measure of pre-screening, the transactions taking place in the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop generally appear to be genuine.
Negotiations are also done beforehand
According to sources, the negotiations shown on Pawn Stars are staged to some extent. This means that many aspects of the negotiation have been pre-discussed and agreed upon even before the camera rolls.
For instance, when a seller brings an item to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, Rick Harrison and his co-stars are often already informed about the item, its value, and the potential price range. This pre-knowledge allows the Pawn Stars to create a more dramatic and entertaining negotiation for viewers.
Another point to consider is the influence of producers on the show. It has been reported that they monitor various aspects, including urging the cast members to purchase specific items in order to create an engaging storyline for the audience.
You won’t see cast members behind the counter
During the initial seasons, cast members such as Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison, and Chumlee Russell could often be seen behind the counter, engaging in negotiations and interacting with customers. However, as their fame and popularity grew, their presence in Gold & Silver Pawn Shop during regular business hours diminished.
This change does not necessarily imply that the show is fake or staged. It simply highlights that the cast members’ roles have evolved over time as their celebrity status ascended. Now, they are more focused on filming for the show rather than handling day-to-day transactions at the store.
Even though they might still have a good rapport behind the scenes, their on-screen antics and appearances now take precedence.
Gold & Silver Pawn also offers a variety of other items for sale
While the store is primarily known for trading in gold and silver, they also buy and sell a wide variety of other items. Customers can find a diverse selection of valuable and unique pieces. These items include:
- Antiques and collectibles
- Jewelry and watches
- Artwork and sculptures
- Instruments and musical equipment
- Furniture and home décor pieces
- Books and other printed materials
- Sports memorabilia
Besides visiting the physical store location in Las Vegas, customers can also view and purchase items from Gold & Silver Pawn’s online shop.
This allows individuals from all around the world to browse and acquire some of the unique items that Gold & Silver Pawn has in stock.
Some are hired actors
However, to keep things interesting and provide a diverse range of items for appraisal, producers occasionally hire actors to bring in unique or rare items. This approach allows for controlled storylines and ensures the show remains engaging for its audience.
As an example, former professional wrestler Scott Hall has appeared multiple times on Pawn Stars to bring in memorabilia and other items related to his career.
Product placement is huge
One notable aspect of the History Channel show is the significant presence of product placement. This marketing strategy involves featuring specific brands and products within the show in a way that subtly promotes them to viewers.
A prime example of product placement in Pawn Stars is the frequent appearance of Subway sandwiches. Cast members are regularly seen eating Subway during their meetings or even using it as a means to explain how an auction works. This not only provides exposure for the fast-food chain, but it also weaves the brand into the storyline in a believable and relatable way.
In addition to food brands like Subway, Pawn Stars also showcases various products related to the cast members’ interests and expertise, such as antique coins, collectibles, and memorabilia.
By integrating these items into the show’s narrative, Pawn Stars effectively highlights a range of products and brands in a way that feels organic and natural to the storyline.
The presence of product placement doesn’t take away from the show’s primary purpose, which is to entertain and educate viewers about history, collector’s items, and the intricacies of the pawn industry.
It is unlikely that you will encounter the stars of the show
If you are planning to visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, hoping to meet or catch a glimpse of Rick Harrison and other cast members from Pawn Stars, you might be disappointed. While it’s not impossible to see them at the shop, the likelihood is quite low since the main cast members are usually only present during filming.
When episodes of Pawn Stars are being filmed, the production crew takes over the shop, which involves setting up cameras, equipment, and rearranging items for cinematography purposes. During this time, it can be quite challenging for visitors to interact with Rick Harrison or other Pawn Stars cast members.
In summary, while visiting the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop can be an exciting experience for fans of the Pawn Stars show, the chances of meeting Rick Harrison or other cast members are quite slim.
The best bet for fans might be to simply enjoy the shop’s wide variety of unique items, embrace the atmosphere, and appreciate the rich history associated with the popular television series.