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How Much A Replica Of The Declaration Was Actually Worth On Pawn Stars

There are always items that seem to do well on History's "Pawn Stars." If Rick, Corey, and the rest of the Gold & Silver crew can get their hands on an antique firearm or a guitar played by a famous musician, they'll go the extra mile to make it a fixture of the shop. That goes double for good, old-fashioned Americana, which is precisely what happened for Season 14's "Declaration of Dopeness."

A seller enters the shop with a copy of the Declaration of Independence. And no, he didn't have to pull a Nic Cage and try to steal it. It's an authentic reproduction made by William J. Stone two centuries ago. President John Adams commissioned him to make the duplication so that the document's message would always exist in the event something happened to the original (via National Archives).

It's a scarce piece, and naturally, Corey calls in an expert to ensure it's authentic. It turns out to be the real McCoy, and from there, it's time to talk dollars and cents. Unfortunately, the two parties were so far apart when determining the document's overall value.

William J. Stone copies of the Declaration of Independence have sold for millions

The seller initially asks for $25,000 for the piece. Corey's more comfortable sticking under $10,000, insisting he'll have to spend several more thousand dollars to get it restored. Even though the seller was willing to come down a bit, it wasn't enough to close the gap. It's a shame when you learn how much these copies have gone for in the past.

Only several dozen William J. Stone copies of the Declaration still exist, making them a valuable commodity. In July 2021, a different copy was sold at auction for $4.4 million (via The Philadelphia Inquirer). That's not even the most amount of money one of these antiques has gone for, seeing how a different version sold for $8.14 million in 2000. 

It's unlikely the copy that came into the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop would've fetched that much. As Chumlee pointed out, the document had holes and other signs of damage. Even if Corey went through the trouble of getting it restored, it still wouldn't be a wholly original piece, but surely for an item of this rarity, it still would've earned a pretty penny at auction. Then again, the guys on "Pawn Stars" aren't ones to take risks with that level of money. Even if they spent $25,000 getting the document, it could still be a while until it sold. That's a lot of money to have tied up in one item, and when you run a business, you have to think long-term about these things.