If you watch the History Channel, you have most likely seen the hit show “Pawn Stars.” If not, the show is about a family-owned pawn shop in Las Vegas that is run by some very interesting characters. “Pawn Stars” has become a real phenomenon and has placed the pawn business in a new and interesting spotlight.
Well, what a lot of folks don’t know is that Ramona has its very own “Pawn Stars.” That’s right, Jewelry World and Loan is more than just a great jewelry store. It has a lot in common with the new hit show. Ramona’s JW&L is a family-owned and operated pawn shop that has been offering collateral loans on a wide variety of items for 25 years. It also offers free verbal appraisal for those who are interested in knowing what the value is on the item they just found in their attic, or what kind of stone is in the ring that they just inherited.
Jewelry World and Loan’s staff is highly knowledgeable in a variety of areas including: all types of numismatics (collectible coins), vintage watches, bullion, precious gems, antiques and collectibles. People from all over San Diego County make the trip to JW&L to learn more about the value of their unknown treasures.
Let’s introduce you to the stars...
Tom Cole (Owner) is Jewelry World and Loan’s appraiser. Tom’s specialty is diamonds, gems and coins. As a diamond broker for the past 30 years, his expertise is invaluable in assisting you in your buying, grading or selling of diamonds. As a member of the numismatic association and an avid collector, Tom can identify and appraise your coins. Furthermore, he has a large collection of his own that he enjoys sharing with other collectors. You can stop in any time if you like or make a private appointment. Tom’s motto has always been “The preservation and restoration of the planet Earth.” What better way to pursue that ideal than to open your own pawn shop?
Chris Waddell (Store Manager) graduated from high school in Ramona and went on to get his teaching degree from California State University San Marcos. Chris keeps the store running smoothly and always makes sure that you have a positive experience any time you come through the door. Lately, there has been a buzz around the store, and even around town, about some of the changes at Jewelry World and Loan. It turns out that Chris has taken on a new, more “professional look” by cutting his long hair. Way to finally let go of your youth, man!
Tamie McMillan, (Jewelry Department Manager) daughter of Tom Cole, knows her gems and diamonds and can find that perfect gift you’re looking for. Tamie lives in Ramona with her teenage son and is single and gorgeous. You may have seen her gracing the December cover of the Sentinel magazine. True “star” quality.
Owen Kochur (Pawn Manager) is a Ramona High graduate and Tom Cole’s grandson. Owen has a keen eye for coins and is quick to pass along the helpful knowledge he has acquired from his experience at Jewelry World and Loan. Owen is the store engraver and can personalize that special gift for you.
Reggie Costa is the music man extraordinaire. Reggie can assist you in buying, selling or trading musical instruments. He plays nearly every instrument and also plays guitar in the Ramona ska band Amalgamated. For any musical assistance that you might need, Reggie is your man.
David Garnica is the jewelry repair master. Dave can set your stones, size your rings and turn your old, worn pieces into new brilliant jewelry. Just imagine those broken pieces of jewelry sitting in their boxes returned to their beautiful original condition. Looking for a truly unique design, Dave will create that special piece that you’ve always dreamed of. Come in and meet Dave. He always has a big smile and, if you’re not careful, you might just get a hug. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.
Kathleen Cole is Tom’s lovely wife. Kathleen is truly the great woman behind the man. She has the incredible ability to find that one special piece for her customers, no matter how difficult the request. Kathleen is the mastermind behind all the crazy advertising that Jewelry World and Loan is known for. If you’ve passed by the store and seen something that has made you laugh out loud—that was probably Kathleen’s idea.
Throughout history people all over the world have from time to time found themselves with one thing in common—the need for quick cash. With necessity being the mother of invention, pawn shops also date back to the beginnings of recorded history. Pawn shops provide a simple and respectable solution for people in need of money. Pawn shops were prevalent in Ancient Greece and Rome, providing merchants with the opportunity to finance new business endeavors.
Some of the most famous people in history were known for pawning their valuables. England’s King Edward III pawned his jewels to the Lombards in 1388 to finance his war with France. Queen Isabella of Spain is said to have put up her jewels as collateral to fund Christopher Columbus’ expeditions to the New World. So, if you have always dreamed of invading a neighboring country, sailing off to find new uncharted lands or just paying that delinquent cable bill, history shows that pawning is a viable option for acquiring immediate funds in times of need.
What about the security of your valuables while they’re at Jewelry World and Loan? Tom and his staff would argue that items are safer in their store than in their customers’ possession. Pawned items are always locked in safes, surrounded by security alarms and literally a stone’s throw from the sheriff’s department. It is unlikely that the average person can match the protective security of Jewelry World and Loan.
If you have doubts about the integrity of pawn shops, it is not surprising. Movies and television have always portrayed them in a negative light. Truth is that the pawn industry is one of the most regulated businesses in the state. Business licenses, resale permits and state pawnbrokers licenses are required. Also, pawnbrokers must be bonded for $100,000 before opening a new business.
Annually, pawn shops are inspected by the California Department of Weights and Measures for accurate scale calibration, and by the Sheriff’s Department to ensure that all regulatory laws are being observed. Your local pawn shop is under more scrutiny than any second-hand retail dealer such as antique stores, thrift stores and consignment shops.
With this in mind, Jewelry World and Loan is no ordinary pawn shop. It is not uncommon for their customers to take a couple of trips to the store before realizing that it’s a pawn shop. There are bright spotless showcases exhibiting beautiful varieties of jewelry and it is also an interesting hunting ground for the avid collector and die-hard “bargain hunter.” And as all musicians know, there is nothing more special than finding that “pawn shop guitar” that all the greats have sung about.
JW&L are dealers of precious metals and can assist you in any amount— large or small—of buying or selling gold, platinum, and silver bullion and coins. JW&L carries new and estate jewelry and is a dealer of Seiko watches, Landstrom’s Black Hills Gold and Camelot Bridal.
There is no need to take your gold or collectibles “down the hill.” With gold prices at an all-time high, many people are looking for places to sell their unwanted and broken gold.
Don’t mail your precious gold to strangers. Keep your business local. Jewelry World and Loan will host a Gold Seminar on Friday, April 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. You are invited to bring your gold, coins and collectibles to sell, trade or just get educated on what you have. There will be food, drink and prizes.
If you can’t make the party, stop by any time to meet Ramona’s “Pawn Stars.” They’ll be happy to assist with all your needs.