Pawnbroker

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Pawnbroker, a profession that is based on the offering of loans using possessions as collateral.

The job of a pawnbroker is to evaluate the value of any possessions that are offered as collateral for loans. The loan offered is a percentage of this value and the possessions are kept by the pawnbroker over the agreed period of the loan. If the money is repaid at any time during this period the customer gets the pawned items back. If the time elapses the pawnbroker gets to sell the possessions and as a result there are generally no small number of formerly pawned objects offered for sale at a pawnbrokers.

Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of pawnbrokers. A common pawnbroker's symbol is 3 balls suspended from a bar, representative of the three bags of gold associated with Nicholas's story.

There is an archaic language associated with the pawnbroker that today makes the famous pawnbroker nursery rhyme Pop goes the Weasel sound like a nonsense song to people who are not aware of its true meaning.