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Books Signed By This King Of England That Made It On Pawn Stars

The pawnbrokers on History's "Pawn Stars" definitely love them some governmental memorabilia, whether it comes in the form of a signed letter from President James A. Garfield or a set of post-Napoleonic royal jeweled buttons. So when seller Kane comes into the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop with some signatures from the English monarchy in the Season 5 episode "Cash Is King," Rick Harrison and the Old Man are more than just a little interested.

Kane — a book collector whose library is getting out of hand — has decided he's ready to part ways with two signed memoirs of English royal figures: "A King's Story," King Edward VIII's memoir, and "The Heart Has Its Reasons," by his wife, Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson. This pairing is a potentially lucrative one, as the couple's relationship was mired in scandal. Simpson had been divorced once before and was still married when she and the then-Prince Edward fell in love, so she divorced a second time for a shot at true love (via Biography). But, complicating matters immensely, King George V died in 1936, and Edward rose to the throne. His rule would, however, be short-lived. On December 11, 1936 — just 325 days into his reign — King Edward VIII became the only king in British history to voluntarily abdicate the throne, and he did it to be with the woman he loved — kings of England were not allowed to marry divorcées at the time.

This story and more are covered in the two memoirs, and the signatures of each partner on their memoir add to the dazzling intrigue of these collectibles. Kane wants to get $5,000 for his special, signed books but says in the pre-negotiation interview that he'll go as low as $2,000 if needed. We'll see what happens!

Rick Harrison enlists an expert to value the signed books

Rick Harrison calls in Rebecca Romney, the manager at the Las Vegas Gallery of Bauman Rare Books, to learn what these signed royal memoirs are really worth. She tells him that the more valuable book of the two is King Edward VIII's memoir, noting that Wallis Simpson's is missing its dust jacket. But, she says, "The condition doesn't really matter because all the value is really in the signature." These being royal signatures, the books' value seems promising.

Rebecca then gives her price estimate: $700, at which Kane lets out an anguished sigh. But — thankfully for the seller — that's only her valuation of "The Heart Has Its Reasons." Kane is hopeful that his signed copy of "A King's Story" will be worth more than its counterpart, but when Rebecca tells the room that the King Edward VIII memoir is worth $2,500 — a "generous estimate" — he's a bit crushed, as he knows the Pawn Shop won't be offering him that much.

Will Rick Harrison offer enough to secure the royal memoirs for the shop?

Rebecca leaves, and an opportunistic Rick opens the negotiations by asking (more like telling) Kane, "Okay, so what do you want now?" The seller replies that he'll give the shop both memoirs for $3,000, but Rick quickly shuts that down. $3,000 for both books would leave no place for the pawn shop to profit, and they are a business, not a charity, after all. (The Old Man charmingly chimes in, "No room!" at this offer.) Rick counters with $2,000 for the pair of memoirs — higher than the Old Man says he would have gone — but Kane is just not comfortable with the deal. The seller makes a second counter with $2,500, but both pawnbrokers say no. He tries again to counter $2,250, and again it's a no-go. It's $2,000, take it or leave it — and for a moment it seems he might.

But remember earlier on when Kane told the camera he'd accept $2,000 as a lowest offer in his pre-negotiation interview? It turns out, he's just been trying to squeeze every last dime out of the shop. So he happily accepts the $2,000 once it's clear he can't get any more for his beloved signed royal memoirs. While Kane did manage to get a price he deemed acceptable, he's definitely still a little sore he didn't get his initial $5,000. Maybe he would have, he surmises, if the economy were better.