‘Pawn Stars’: Chumlee Bought Japanese Swords Without Rick’s Advice, Stumbled Upon a Small Fortune

by Amy Myers

As fans of Pawn Stars know, fan-favorite employee Chumlee can sometimes make some risky deals without boss Rick Harrison at his side. Eager to show off his pawn skills, Chumlee can get himself into some hot water with the rest of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop crew after making a big purchase without any consultation. Still, he decides to trust his gut when he spots a good deal, and more a few times, that’s turned into a big payday for the staff.

Lucky for Harrison, this is exactly what happened when a customer walked into the shop with three “authentic” samurai swords in hand. Chumlee waited on the man and opted not to call on a samurai swords expert for confirmation on the value. According to the Pawn Stars team member, the man with the swords had a barbecue to get to, so he had to make the deal quickly. The customer pocketed $4,000 from the exchange, leaving co-owner of the shop, Corey Harrison, skeptical and his father, Rick, furious.

Once Harrison heard word of Chumlee’s huge purchase, he decided to call in his swords expert to see “how much money” he lost.

Watch what happens next in the clip below.

‘Pawn Stars’ Employee Lucks out with Two of Customer’s Samurai Swords

Once Pawn Stars sword expert, Mike Yamasaki, began to examine the three Japanese weapons, he gave Harrison and Chumlee the good news: the first of the trio is, indeed, authentic. On the tang of the blade, Yamasaki noticed the signature of the famous swordsmith, Takahashi Naganobu. With only one small knick on the dagger’s edge, the instrument was still in good condition, given the fact that Naganobu’s swords were present in World War II.

Up next was a more traditional-looking samurai sword that especially piqued Chumlee’s interest. As Yamasaki began disassembling the weapon, he explained that a single, small notch of bamboo held the sword together even during battle.

“Well, you’re lucky on this one, too,” Yamasaki told the Pawn Stars.

According to the expert, the sword dates back to the late 1400s to early 1500s. Immediately upon hearing the appraisal, Chumlee began celebrating.

Then Yamasaki moved on to the third sword, which like the first had the signature of a famous swordsmith. On the base of the blade, the expert read the name of Soshu Ju Akihiro, Japan’s most renowned swordsmith.

“Unfortunately, the signature appears to be a forgery,” the Pawn Stars expert explained.

Despite the loss on the last sword, Yamasaki chalked up the three blades to equal roughly $13,000, leaving the Pawn Stars crew with a $9,000 profit.

Chumlee waited for his boss to praise him for his risky purchase, but Harrison refused.

“I’m not gonna congratulate you,” the Pawn Stars owner told Chumlee. “It doesn’t take skill to win at a slot machine.”