The Nixon Item That Crushed A Seller's Hopes On Pawn Stars

Some of the most valuable items featured on Pawn Stars — both monetarily and historically — are things once owned by famous people (or infamous people, in certain cases). Jimi Hendrix's 1963 Fender Stratocaster guitar is a perfect example, valued well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. O.J. Simpson's 1994 Ford Bronco is another, which Rick Harrsion was lucky enough to take on a test drive even though the deal ultimately falls through. Indeed, there's been quite a variety of famous historical figures' items over the course of the show's many years on air.

For all that variety, however, items owned by a specific group of people have appeared relatively consistently on Pawn Stars: U.S. presidents. Whether it's through auctions, collections, or even garage sales, these pieces of presidential memorabilia have a strange way of passing hands until they finally appear on the show. John F. Kennedy's personal humidor complete with several unsmoked cigars is one of these items, though the asking price unfortunately proved too high for the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop to consider. Yet even that price pales in comparison to a centuries-old suit owned and worn by George Washington himself.

During season 11, a hopeful seller changed things up when he brought in an item not owned by a president, but signed by one.

Which edition?

Richard Nixon was well aware that he would forever be connected to the Watergate scandal — which is part of the reason why he wrote RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. "These memoirs," as Rick put it, "were Nixon's attempt to clear his name and take attention away from the Watergate scandal." A man named Jon came onto the show with not just any old copy of the book, but a first edition signed by Nixon himself.

Employees at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum told Jon that the book is worth around $2,500, but he was willing to part with it for $2,200. Despite Rick's interest — in his own words, "presidential stuff usually does well" — he called in an expert to both verify the signature and appraise the book. Always a smart move, just in case there's something fishy his untrained eyes can't or don't spot.

The expert, Rebecca Romney (no relation), revealed that a signed first edition from RN publisher Easton Press "goes for about $1,000," disappointing Jon. To make matters worse, she discovered that it's not a first edition at all, but a second — not nearly as tantalizing for collectors. The signature is real, but Romney concluded that the book is worth ... $250. You can practically hear Jon's heart snap in half as he reacts to the appraisal.

Following Romney's departure, Rick and Jon negotiate a final price of $125. Not a great day for the seller, but at least the book wasn't fake.