‘Pawn Stars’: Here’s How Rick Harrison Chooses What Items to Put on Show

by Chris Haney

Fans of Pawn Stars know Rick Harrison well. The Las Vegas pawn shop owner has a knack for being knowledgable about almost anything that could make him money. But have you ever wondered how Rick and his crew pick out what items appear on their popular History Channel show? If so, we’ve got you covered.

Patrons and fans alike flock to the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop close to the Las Vegas Strip. While anyone can visit, the shop is essentially shut down during production. The show is filmed in an active part of the shop, but what you see on screen is only filmed when they’ve closed their doors to the public.

When it comes to the Pawn Stars shop’s selection of goods though, viewers are treated to an array of various items. While speaking with British outlet Freesat in January, owner Rick Harrison explained how they choose what items make it on their show.

“Basically if it’s something different and it hasn’t been on the show before,” Rick shared with Freesat. “Sometimes I see just a picture of something and then I’ll approve it. And then I won’t see it again until it’s actually in front of me a couple of months later.”

“Sometimes I actually have to stop the camera and do a little research,” he continued. “But in general that’s all me, I’m just that nerd you see on television and that’s how we do it. Usually, if it’s something different and cool. It’s normally based off an image on the internet, a really small one, and I think it looks really cool. I say bring it on in. Because with most of these things if you want to see if it’s real you’ve got to see it in person.”

‘Pawn Stars’ Owner Rick Harrison Explains How His Family Got Into the Pawn Business

Pawn Stars fans have enjoyed the show since its debut on the History Channel in 2009. But their time at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop dates back to the 1980s.

“Old Man” Richard Harrison, his son Rick, and the rest of their family moved from San Diego to Las Vegas in the ’80s. The father-son duo opened their doors to the public in 1989, but it took persistence and time to get their pawn license. In fact, it took years before they were able to even get their license. Rick called the city for more than two years to check on the area’s official population numbers. Eventually, it paid off.

“The good-ol’ boys, back in the ’50s, figured we’ve got our pawn shops, we don’t want any competition,” Rick explained, according to Las Vegas Weekly. “So they passed a law saying that they would issue one more pawn license when there are 250,000 people in the city of Las Vegas. This was when there were only 20,000 people in Las Vegas and nobody ever thought it would get to 250,000. But lo and behold, in 1988, I was the first to get a license.”

The following year, their store became the first new pawn shop in Las Vegas in decades. Fast forward to the late 2000s, and they’re the most popular and frequently visited pawn shop in the area.