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The Coin That Sold For Almost 500% More Than The Asking Price On Pawn Stars

In virtually every transaction aired on History Channel's pawn shop reality series Pawn Stars, somebody leaves a winner. Sometimes that winner is the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, NV, where the show takes place. In those cases, one of the store's faces and series stars is able to purchase an item for well under its actual value and flip it for a substantial profit later on. Other times the winner is the seller, ending up with more money than they anticipated for an item to which they're relatively unattached.

When a seller approached the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop with a golden Spanish coin from the 1700s, he soon found himself in the latter category and arguably the winner of the transaction. He ultimately walked away with more than five times the amount of money he had initially expected. The seller left with so much money, in fact, that his sale ranks among the biggest payouts in Pawn Stars history.

Finding treasure in Nevada

When the seller first approached shop co-owner Rick Harrison with a golden coin, Rick immediately recognized it as a form of currency used in Peru under Spanish colonial rule. Rick explained that Spain owned mines in Peru in the late 1600s and early 1700s and forced the country's local population to work in them as slaves. As per his explanation, golden coins from that era are essentially wealth amassed from slave labor.

Its seller recognized the coin as likely to be valuable but was unaware of the extent of its historical significance. As the seller explained, he simply found the coin in a safe he inherited following his grandfather's death. Fortunately for him, his grandfather kept the coin in a plastic container and in good condition, which was quickly noted by Rick.

The seller opened negotiations (which, when shown on camera, are fake but reflect an off-camera deal made beforehand) with a desire to sell his coin for $2,000. In response, Rick brought in an expert on Spanish colonial coins to assess whether or not the coin was the real deal, citing a recent forgery as cause for his concern. According to him, the coin was not only legitimate but an exemplary specimen. With the seller to his immediate left, Rick's Spanish colonial coin expert valued the item at $18,000.

Thus, with negotiations between the seller and Rick back on, the seller, naturally, opened by asking for $18,000 following its valuation. Rick countered with $10,000. After a bit of back-and-forth and a threat from the seller to walk, the two landed on a price tag of $11,000. As the seller explained, he showed up on set expecting to walk away with $2,000 and got exponentially more than that, making him a very happy man.