What Can I Pawn for $500, $200, or $50?

When people make the decision to pawn something, it is usually because they need money for something in particular and they need it fast. The first question they may ask the pawn shop is what can I pawn for the amount of money I need? It’s always helpful to know how much money you need before you try to decide what to pawn. A good place to start is by considering why you need the money.


Common Reasons People Pawn Things

When people take things to a pawn shop, it’s because they need money for something essential, right away. These “financial emergencies” don’t usually require as much money as you would normally borrow from a bank or other type of lender. Financial institutions have minimum loan amounts and long, drawn-out application processes that take a long time to process.

Pawning and selling items is often a better solution for things like:

  • Medical or Dental Emergencies – Even a trip to the emergency room with health insurance can cost you $50 or more for copays, deductibles, and services that aren’t covered. There’s also the high cost of dental treatment to consider when a toothache can’t be ignored.
  • Car Repairs – When your car breaks down, you either have to come up with the money to pay for repairs or for an alternative method of transportation.
  • Bill Payments – When you juggle your budget to pay for other things, you may end up running late paying your other bills. Pawning something to get the amount due is more practical than paying late and adding late charges to the balance.
  • Back to School – Parents know the growing expense of sending kids to school each year. If getting the basic supplies will put you into a financial strain, get the money you need from the pawn shop instead.

When you pawn something, it is a type of loan based on the value of the collateral you present. You leave the item with the pawn shop and they loan you an agreed amount of money for a specified period of time. At the end of your term, you repay the loan and take your item back home with you.

The first thing you need to know about what you can pawn to get the money you need is that you won’t get the full value of the item on your loan. The pawn shop is a business that relies on profits from sales and from the interest they make on pawn loans. On average, you will get about 75% to 80% of the value.

Second, it depends on which pawn shop you go to. Each store has their policies and rates. Check out testimonials of previous customers to see what types of deals they have gotten. The right choice could mean the difference in needing to pawn only one item and not two. You’ll be glad you did when it’s time to repay the loan.

What Can I Pawn for $500?

Gold Jewelry

$500 is quite a bit above the average pawn loan but it is still not unusual. If you own gold jewelry, it might be what you need to hit the $500 mark. Almost every pawn shop accepts gold as collateral and most will buy it outright. The method for determining the value of gold is more forthright than with some other types of items. The value of a piece is determined by its purity, the karat of the metal, and its weight.

Gold jewelry that contains diamonds or other precious stones will be worth more depending on the type and quality of the stones. Those that contain less valuable stones will be valued less than the actual weight of the entire piece. Just make sure you think twice before you pawn your wedding rings or family heirloom. There is always some risk involved that you won’t have the money to pay your loan when it comes due.

Cash for Jewelry at a Pawn Shop

A Large, High-Clarity Diamond

If you have ever shopped for a loose diamond, you know that they vary a great deal in value depending on the 4C’s. The diamond that you can pawn for $500 is a single stone that is more than 1 carat in size and has good clarity, color, and cut.

Collectible Coins

You are more likely to pawn coins for $500 for their materials than for their collectability. Those that are heavier and made of 24k gold are the best candidates. Silver coins bring much less but it is still possible to pawn them for the amount you need if you have a lot of them.

High-End Big Screen TV

We aren’t talking about the TV you bought last Christmas at Walmart for $1,000. It shouldn’t be more than a few months old, top-of-the-line, featuring the newest technology and in great condition. No one wants to buy a TV that is already outdated and well broken in when they can buy a new model for a little more.

Computers and Laptops

Again, this is limited to high-end models that are no older than one year. Pawn shop customers like to shop for items that they can’t afford new in the store like the MacBook Pro 15.4.

What Can I Pawn for $200?

Some of the same types of items fall into this category. The difference is that lower quality items might be enough to get you the amount of cash you need.

Gold, Silver, and Platinum Jewelry

Midweight gold jewelry, silver jewelry sets, and platinum jewelry might be enough to get to the $200 mark, depending on the quality of the metal. The same is true for gold and silver coins. If you have a smaller collection or smaller coins, they could get you $200.


While pawn shops aren’t interested in run-of-the-mill watches, many give loans on designer or high-end watches. A Rolex, Seiko, Panerai, Fossil, Patek Philippe, Casio, or other similar brand brings an average of just under $300.


High-End Digital Cameras

Pawn shops often buy digital cameras if the condition is good. Less expensive models won’t be enough to reach the $200 mark, but more expensive high-end models in good condition can.

What Can I Pawn for $50?

Power Tools

Power tools are in high demand but only if they are from higher-end brands like DeWalt, Hitachi, Worx, or Ryobi and in good working order.

Good Quality Guitars

Guitars are another of those items that can range greatly in value when pawning. The brand and its condition will determine the amount you can get, falling anywhere between $10 to more than $1,000. Since a lot of what people own fall into the lower end of the spectrum, your used guitar might fetch you the $50 you need.

If you have other musical instruments, they may be worth $50 or more too. Some pawn stores specialize in musical instruments and they carry a diverse selection of items including amps, keyboards, drum sets, and more.

Video Games and Gaming Systems

Newer systems like Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will bring the highest prices. To get top dollar, make sure the system is clean and all parts including cords and controllers are included. The pawn shop will also pay for video game collections, giving more for the newest games.

DVD and Blu-ray Collections

To get $50 for your pawn, take new DVD and Blu-ray discs that are newer releases and scratch-free. Those in their original cases will get more money, too. Price typically varies from $.50 to $2 per disc, so you need a good-sized collection to get to your goal amount.

Preparing for the Visit to the Pawn Shop

It isn’t unusual for people to call up pawn shops and ask them “What can I pawn for $50, $200, or $500. While the pawn shop understands that these people are in a tight spot and they need money fast, they also know that it is more a question of what they have that can be pawned than choosing something that fits in a specific price category.

Many items that pawn shops accept come in a broad range of styles, brands, and values. The item’s current condition also plays a role in determining how much the item is worth. The only way to make an offer on an item is to examine it in person. Knowing how to prepare before you go to the store will help you get the money you need.

Start by choosing the pawn shop with the best possible terms and the longest time to pay off your loan. Unlike selling items outright, pawning is a loan that you have to repay. If you fail to pay the loan back at the end of your repayment period, the pawn shop will take possession of your item and sell it. This is how they get their money back when borrowers don’t pay.

Make It Easier to Repay

If you need $50 cash, you need to determine what item you have that will get you that much money without going way over. If you take in something that gets you $250, then you will have to pay back more than five times the amount of money that you really need.

There’s also the chance that the item you have in mind won’t quite reach the mark for what you need. There’s no rule that says you can only pawn one item at a time! If you get $40 on your guitar, then bring along your DVD collection to make up for the $10 difference. You don’t have to bring in your new TV that you can get $500 on. Cover your bases as well as you can without going too far into debt. You also have the option of declining an offer if it makes sense.

Cash in Hand Pawn Shop

There is no disguising when an item is well-worn but failing to clean it up before you bring it in can reduce the loan value. Clean everything up, make sure all of the parts are included, and try it to make sure it still works. The pawn shop isn’t going to accept anything as collateral that isn’t working.

The Value of Sentimentality

Some of the items that mean the most to you do so for sentimental reasons. When it comes to getting pawn loans, however, sentiment has no monetary value. The emotional attachment you have to an item matters when you get it and while you have it. Will it matter to you if you lose it?

Before you decide to pawn an item, think about how you will feel if you don’t get it back. People fail to repay pawn loans about 15% of the time. The only one who can decide the true value of sentiment is you.

On the other hand, people often have valuables sitting around that they have no real attachment to at all. It might be a piece of jewelry from your ex-boyfriend or the saxophone you haven’t played since high school. Pawning these items is virtually risk-free since there is no real feeling of loss. If you ever need something similar down the road, you can always replace them. The same can’t be said about your grandmother’s wedding ring.

Once you know what to expect at the pawn shop, you will feel more confident in getting the money you need fast. When you understand your options and the best way to get the money you need in a hurry, the process will be a lot easier to understand.


Many people prefer pawn loans over other types of short-term loans, or borrowing from friends or family, because they carry such a low risk of loss. If you have something of value, you can get the money you need without the expense of adding another charge to your credit card.

When you find yourself asking “What can I pawn for fast cash?” we have the answers you are looking for. Contact us to learn more about our terms. We offer more time to pay and the highest amount in loans…guaranteed! With thirteen stores in the San Diego Area, we have a location that is close to you.