What you don't know about the experts on Pawn Stars

Because most reality TV shows are about as authentic as a $3 bill, these series will often bring in experts on various subjects to boost credibility. For instance, History Channel's Pawn Stars often makes use of specialists who themselves have become quite famous thanks to frequent appearances. These men and women can help determine whether a big ticket item is the real deal…or someone's sad attempt at getting over on the Pawn Stars crew.

But who are they really? Most viewers have no idea who these people are outside the context of the show. It's time to take a look at the experts of Pawn Stars.

Bob Yuhas

Bob Yuhas is an antiques restorer who first appeared on Pawns Stars during Season 8. Yuhas specializes in "restoring, repairing and the conservation of antiques." In his own words, he can make "old things look new and new things look old." Check out Yuhas' ad above, in which he demonstrates his restoration abilities by taking a worn-down antique safe and making it look practically brand new.

Yuhas' restoration abilities are no joke, although his line delivery could use a little work—which is rather odd, because in addition to Yuhas' work with antiques, he's also an actor. If you're a fan of the Food Network reality series Mystery Diners, he might look familiar. He appeared in an episode titled "Night Shift" as the buddy of a late-night bartender that was supposedly undermining his unsuspecting boss. We say "supposedly" because as Radar Online reveals, the show was busted for fakery.

With Pawn Stars dodging its own accusations of staging, Bob Yuhas' addition to the series' list of experts feels somewhat ironic.

Bill Tsagrinos

Bill Tsagrinos runs The Underground Garage and specializes in collecting and restoring classic vehicles. You can see his enthusiasm shine through in the above interview, which finds him discussing restoring a 1967 Volkswagon Bus in his spare time.

Before Tsagrinos appeared on Pawn Stars, his love of cars played out on the Bill Goldberg-hosted reality TV show known as Bullrun, where he and his brother George successfully auditioned to appear during the second season. The brothers raced in (what else?) a 1967 Volkswagon bus against 11 other teams. Sadly, they didn't win.

While Pawn Stars fans may know Tsagrinos primarily for his love and knowledge about old cars, there's another industry for which he's known: tiles. Tsagrinos founded T Brothers Tile, a company "specializing in tile, granite, laminate, wood, carpet, window coverings, and water jet cutting services." The company claims they've installed more than 26 million square feet of tile—enough to cover just over 450 football fields.

Dr. Phineas T. Kastle

One can't help but instantly become a fan of the charmingly eccentric Dr. Phineas T. Kastle, better known as "Doc Phineas." As you can see in a demo reel from Pawn Stars, Phineas is the expert that cast members turn to when they have no idea what an item is or if the antique is remotely authentic.

In addition to his vast knowledge of antiques, Doc Phineas is a huge steampunk fan, so much so that he helped produce the Las Vegas-based Steamathon, a weekend-long celebration of all things steampunk. Above, you can see Phineas (and a puppet) taking a tour of Main Street Station ahead of the first annual Steamathon.

Although known as "Doc" Phineas, he could technically change his name to professor. According to Phineas, he's taught college classes for over 45 years. Docs Phineas i also an actor, singer (he's a tenor), and known to tap dance every now and then.

Sean Rich

Sean Rich, owner of Tortuga Trading, is an "antique arms and armor specialist" as well as an expert on shipwreck treasure. This may be why Disney turned to Rich when filming Pirates of the Carribean. He was generous enough to lease and sell items for the making of the second and third movie, and he also provided props for AMC's American Revolution-based drama Turn.

Rich appeared on Pawns Stars series in 2011, but then walked away because, according to Rich, both the Pawn Stars producers and the History Channel required an "exclusive contract." Said Rich, "[The contract would] lock me down, control me, my business, future, my appearance, how I make a living to provide for my family."

In 2013, Rich opted to hop over to National Geographic to host and star in the series Lords of War. The History Channel must have come around eventually, because he returned to Pawn Stars in 2014.

Jessee Amoroso

Jessee Amoroso, Pawn Star's vintage musical instrument and amplifier specialist, happens to own the famous Cowtown Guitars. Amoroso and his wife Roxie, who also works at Cowtown, were known locally for their "sleaze-rock band" Pigasus before buying Cowtown in 2011. Fun fact: Cowtown was actually founded in 1990 by Bob Seger touring guitarist Mark Chatfield.

Cowtown has thrived under the ownership of Amoroso, thanks in part to the celebrity he's gained as a frequently featured expert on Pawn Stars. The boom in business may be why Amoroso ultimately decided to relocate—it's now "within walking distance of the legendary Gold & Silver Pawn." Through Cowtown, Amoroso happens to own "one of the largest collections of vintage instruments in North America." For a true music lover, it doesn't get much better than that.

Jeremy Brown

It seems pretty common for Pawn Stars experts to relocate their businesses to be closer to the Gold & Silver Pawn. Jeremy Brown, the show's go-to sports memorabilia guy, moved his Ultimate Sport Cards & Memorabilia business in 2012. Brown's business was doing pretty well for itself before he made the big move, but he's said he wanted to "fully embrace the opportunity that the show has provided and be near other fellow experts."

Brown said that his life as a sports memorabilia expert began with an addiction to collecting baseball cards. According to Sports Collectors Daily, Brown feels working with Pawn Stars is "an absolute blessing" as the show allows him to share his love of sports memorabilia "with millions of people."

Steve Grad

Steve Grad was a Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) who appeared on Pawn Stars between 2013 and 2014. Unfortunately, some embarrassing controversies make it very unlikely he'll reappear on the show anytime soon. The trouble started when Grad found himself at the center of a 2011 lawsuit; apparently, his company tried to pass off a signature as belonging to famed aviator Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh's own daughter came forward with an expert and successfully challenged the claim.

It turned out that Grad's "expert opinion" had cost collectors hundreds of thousands of dollars after he allegedly approved scores of forgeries as legitimate—and it gets worse: despite heavily implying that he'd been educated at the prestigious Columbia School of Journalism, further research determined that Grad had briefly attended Columbia College Chicago in 1993, but never actually graduated. In fact, during a court-ordered deposition, he revealed he'd received no formal training of any kind to back up his "expert" label. He instead credits much of what he knows to being mentored by the "King of Memorabilia" Bill Mastro—a man who landed in prison after being busted for various acts of fraud.

Mark Hall-Patton

In a complete reversal from our previous entry, Mark Hall-Patton was recognized by the Los Angeles Times as "the real deal." Hall-Patton is the museum administrator for the Clark County Museum system. Although nicknamed "The Beard of Knowledge," he readily admits that if he doesn't know something, he's always ready to perform detailed research. Most of us would turn to Google, but Hall-Patton can also pull facts from his personal library of over 20,000 books.

He's appeared on close to 100 episodes of Pawn Stars, making him one of the show's better-known experts. His wife, Dr. Colleen Hall-Patton, wrote a Celebrity Studies article on her husband's sudden fame. He even has a group of fanboys in the Washington State Penitentiary.

Stuart Lutz

Stuart Lutz appeared briefly on Pawn Stars during its eighth season. He authenticates "historic documents, manuscripts and letters," and he's also one of the few experts to be granted a seal of approval by the Appraisers Association of America "in the field on Books and Manuscripts: Historic Documents." Lutz has an online catalog of historic documents, autographs, letters, and manuscripts, and also owns one of just three authentic castings of President Eisenhower's hands, something that's either really awesome or really creepy. We can't quite decide.

Lutz wrote The Last Leaf, a book about the last known survivors to witness major historical events or interact with now deceased celebrities. You can learn a bit more about this fascinating subject and Lutz's contribution in the video clip above.

Brett Maly

Brett Maly is a fine art appraiser who appeared on Pawn Stars between 2010 and 2014. In addition to his work on Pawn Stars, Maly earned a bit of celebrity for his 2011 appraisal of an authentic Andy Warhol sketch, which was purchased for just $5 at a garage sale. If that example isn't enough to show Maly knows his stuff, you can check out his full credentials. They're pretty impressive.

Not content to leave the fine art world to the rich, Maly published a 2014 book titled The Pocket Picker-for Fine Art, which features a foreward penned by Pawn Stars' Rick Harrison. The book is meant to help the average person procure and profit from fine art…and avoid selling off rare art they happen to own for a meager $5.

Long before his current highbrow occupation, Maly worked as a DJ for KOOL 105.5, where he was often responsible for radio voiceovers and board operations.

Rebecca Romney

Antiquarian book dealer Rebecca Romney is the only female expert featured on Pawn Stars. The History Channel shares that Romney's expertise is "rare and antiquarian books and documents," but there's a bit more to her than dusty old texts: she speaks three languages (English, French, Japanese) fluently, but can actually read six when you include Latin, Ancient Greek and Old English.

She hosted a Reddit "ask me anything" in 2014 during which she admitted to going on double dates with Pawn Stars' Rick Harrison. She also brought filming on the Pawn Stars set to a halt because a rare book wasn't being handled properly. Now that's a bibliophile.

Murray Sawchuck

Murray Sawchuck, or "Magic Murray," is easily distinguishable thanks to his spiky, bleach-blond hairstyle. The celebrity magician and funnyman is called upon from time to time to give his expert opinion on all sorts of "magical items." The self-proclaimed "Dennis the Menace of Magic" is no stranger to the reality TV show circuit—you can watch him above performing a magic act on America's Got Talent, and below, take a look at his 2005 appearance on the reality dating series Blind Date, which detailed his magical search for love.



Although things didn't work out with Georgia, Magic Murray did find eventually love with Chloe Crawford, and the couple were married in 2012. A few years later, Crawford dumped him for rival illusionist Criss Angel. Harsh. Well, they say what goes around comes around, and Crawford was reportedly dumped by Angel less than a year after she left Sawchuck.

Matthew C. Shortal

Matthew C. Shortal is an expert on all things military and aviation—and he definitely has the background to back it up: he achieved the rank of Lietenent Colonel in the United States Marines and is a former U.S. Navy Blue Angel Pilot. Also—eat your heart out, Tom Cruise—Shortal happens to be an actual graduate of the elite TOPGUN program.

Shortal is an avid triathlon competitor. In the above clip, you can see him discuss the military connection to and support of the Ironman competition. He actually competed in Ironman 70.3 as part of a team. (The since-disgraced Lance Armstrong memorably won the Ironman 70.3 event.)

As you can see, Pawn Stars has brings in some rather unique individuals. Their contributions have not only helped raise the profile of the show, but they seem to enjoy quite a bit of fame thanks to their frequent appearances.

It's curious to note that experts seem more willing to interact with Pawn Stars fans than the show's actual main cast. The same L.A. Times article that lauded Pawn Stars expert Mark Hall-Patton's genuine expertise also mentioned that the cast hardly ever interact with fans or customers in the pawn shop's public area; most of the business and show taping occurs in the back.