‘Pawn Stars’: This Military Document Printed Some Serious Cash for One Collector

by Courtney Blackann

Some of the coolest things that come into the “Pawn Stars” shop aren’t just the items themselves. Rather, it’s the story each item tells that makes it valuable to a collector or historian. For one lucky man, he’s about to find out that his collection of military papers could be worth a big payday.

Civil War-era items never decrease in value. It was a major part of American History that’s spawned movies, documentaries, reenactments and history talks. When a man brings in a collection of military medals and papers belonging to one soldier, Rick Harrison is quickly interested.

Upon closer examination, Harrison and his son Corey see that each military document is a promotional official paper. This means that anytime a soldier promoted during the war, that promotion had to be authorized. In this case, it was done so with signatures from Civil War era presidents. That makes the papers even more valuable. However, before shelling out the big bucks, Harrison had to bring in an expert to examine the signatures for verification.

Originally, the man said he would like to get $12,000 for the documents. Harrison quickly notes that “that’s a lot of money,” but offers to have the artifacts examined. When the expert arrives, she uses a tool to carefully identify each president’s handwriting. When she’s done, she concludes that all the signatures appear to be real, albeit one Andrew Johnson. She notes that early into his presidency, Johnson hurt his hand and typically used a stamp to sign any sort of documents. That’s the case in these papers. However, all six other papers were authentically signed – making the collection worth about $10,000, she said.

“Pawn Stars” Patron Makes Big Bucks

Of course, during this season seven episode, Harrison is a veteran himself when it comes to negotiating. He says that it will probably take him a year to find the right buyer and offers the man $5,000. Quickly counter offering, the man says he will let it go for $6,500. But Harrison makes it clear this is one time he’s not willing to go over his original offer.

At the end, they two are able to make a deal and the man walks with $5,000 for the rare documents. He happily shares that he’s getting married soon and will be able to use the money to finance his wedding. It’s a happy day for everyone all around.

While the “Pawn Stars” workers are used to negotiating, they have to be careful not to get swindled. In one case, a man brings in a rare antique sword he believes is hundreds of years old. It looks the part too – with intricate writing and engravings. However, after bringing in a sword expert to examine the piece, it’s found to be a replica and only about a decade old.

Though it’s disappointing, that’s why the “Pawn Stars” stars have to be extremely careful. An honest mistake could cost them hundreds – or even thousands of dollars.