Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Chinese Fingernail Guard That Scored Big Bucks On Pawn Stars

Chumlee is a goofball who makes more business mistakes than anyone else on History's long-running reality hit "Pawn Stars," but sometimes he knows what he's doing and makes some money for the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. One of those times was in the Season 13 episode "Four Score and Seven Pawns," when he made an impressive profit from a Chinese fingernail guard he bought.

In the clip, which is available to watch on YouTube, a seller came in with an antique Chinese fingernail guard, which is a sort of decorative claw that high-class Chinese ladies used to wear on their fingertips to show off that they were so rich and elite that they didn't have to do manual labor. Chum actually seemed to know a little bit about it, and recognized that it was a fairly valuable item from the Qing dynasty. It was made of silver and ornately decorated. The seller wanted $250, and Chumlee didn't work her down too much, taking it for $240. He had a feeling it was worth a lot more than that.

"Plus, maybe I can get some use out of it and convince Rick I shouldn't have to work," Chum joked in a direct-to-camera interview. "I wouldn't want to break a nail."

Chumlee makes money

After closing the deal, Chumlee took his new treasure into the office to show off to Rick and Corey. They were not impressed, but they didn't understand. Rick asked him where it was from.

"It's from China," Chum answered defensively. "It's for ancient empresses in China."

"How can you tell that?" Rick asked.

"Cuz I know it," Chum said. "I've seen 'em before, in a book."

"Now I know you're lying," Rick said.

"Well, the internet, same thing," Chum said.

Rick was unconvinced of its authenticity, and told Chumlee to call in Doc Phineas, the eccentric antiques expert the shop often consults. Phineas came in and confirmed what Chumlee told Rick, that it was from China and worn by ladies of the court who didn't do any labor. Phineas said that the fact that the fingernail guard was made of silver was special, as silver was almost more valuable than gold at the time this would have been made, which made him think it could have belonged to a very high-ranking court official, maybe even the Empress herself.

Phineas said that in the right auction, this fingernail guard could go for $750.

Chumlee was ecstatic. "That's $500 profit!" he gloated. "Just admit I know what I'm doing," he asked Rick. The thing about Chumlee is that when he does something good, he can't just take the satisfaction of a job well done: he has to make a big deal about it. And you know what? That's why he's entertaining.