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How Much Pawn Stars Actually Paid For Two Bank Notes Worth $50k

Fans of American history and second-hand treasure hunting were in for a treat with a particular episode of History Channel's hit show Pawn Stars. The series has been following the behind-the-scenes antics and over-the-counter dealings of the Harrison family as they operate the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop located just outside of Las Vegas, Nev., and the show has been highlighting the most unique and interesting items to come into the shop since 2009.

In the season 13 episode "Killer Pawn" (per IMDb), a customer brings in a couple of $500 bills from a bygone era, and he initially asks for a top-dollar price from Rick. While the shop owner is obviously interested in the items, he wants to make sure he doesn't overpay for something he could have made a profit on. Here's the scoop on how much Pawn Stars actually paid for two bank notes that turned out to be worth $50k.

Two bank notes worth $50k came into Rick's pawn shop, but he played it cool

What the customer describes as "high-grade" currency are a 1918 $500 Federal Reserve note and a 1882 $500 gold note. Impressed, Rick says "Whoa, these are a little bit more than just high-grade," and comments that there aren't too many authentic gold notes left in the world.

Rick goes on to share a little history about how the ease of transport and traceability made gold notes so desirable during the time they were printed, but that over time, the federal government has destroyed most of them, so it's rare to see one in good condition today. His customer says he's looking to score $33,000 for the gold note and $17,000 for the Federal Reserve note, so $50K for the pair. Interested, yet still cautious, Rick says he wants to bring in a currency expert for a second opinion, as old money is often restored poorly or is sometimes an outright forgery.

Rick paid quite a bit less than the $50K the two bank notes were worth

The expert, Peter Treglia, is taken with the items, though he says his favorite is the 1918 Federal Reserve note featuring a portrait of Chief Justice John Marshall. It's also in better condition than the 1882 gold note, which the currency expert notes shows evidence of being restored.

After quoting the items of bringing $40-50K at auction, Rick asks the customer for a more reasonable asking price than his original $50K. After some haggling — and despite shaking his head "no" — the customer accepts Rick's offer of $35,000, saying, "The offer of $35,000 is a little bit on the low side, but it's a fair offer, and right now I'm just going to believe in the bank account."

It seems like what Rick actually paid for the two bank notes worth $50k was a good call for Pawn Stars.