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'Pawn Stars' Rick Harrison on how to spot a fake

Rick Harrison of 'Pawn Stars' on How to Spot a Fake

Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars" joined Sara Murray on WSJ's Lunch Break to talk about how to spot a true original from a fake.


He explained that he got started in reality TV because he's a "publicity whore," and he thought that a show would be good for business. He pitched the idea for four years, saying that someone finally "wanted to see four fat guys in a pawn shop."

When asked about how long it takes to put a value on what might be a hidden gem, Harrison said that it could take anywhere from five seconds to 45 minutes to make sure it's real. When he's not quite sure what something is worth, that's when he'll tell the cameras to stop rolling so he can figure it out.

Harrison also said he hopes the reality series is changing the reputation of pawn stars for the better. "Most people don't realize that until the 1950s, pawn shops were the number one form of consumer credit in the United States. ... If you were short on cash, that was the only place to go. In the 1960s, Hollywood vilified pawn shops, and hopefully, because of me, they're making a resurgence."

Harrison said that even after 28 years in the business, it's still " a little shocking" when people try to pass off fake items as the real deal. He said that jewelry continues to be the best seller, along with good art, 1960s Gibson and Fender guitars. "A Picasso's always worth something."

What items shock Harrison when they're brought into his shop? "I've seen everything from shrunken heads to human skulls. Turns out [the seller] bought them at a dental school." He said the shrunken heads were fake, and the human skull was "just creepy to me."

As the show continues to bring in great ratings, Harrison wants to keep having fun with the program. Eventually, he wants to just "get a ranch and some horses, and some cows."

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cutwagman March 23 2014 at 8:05 AM

Fake headline. Time to spot: 5 seconds (It's from AOL)

Flag Reply +2 rate up
nam2205 March 23 2014 at 8:55 AM

Besides the news it one of the only things on TV that I watch. All the other showes are ether stupid or imoral. If it wasn't for Net Flex I would throw the TV away.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
user135835 March 23 2014 at 1:47 PM

I never knew what Pawn Shops were all about. I took my treasured 3-D camera, projector, screen, cutter for sale. I was expecting over $1000 because of the rarity of the items. I got $400, which is just about what I paid for in 1946. It is a way to get rid of stuff that is still great but useless as time goes by.

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1 reply
zztxusa user135835 March 23 2014 at 1:52 PM

But if you believe that your item is worth some money, the last place you want to sell it is at a pawn shop. You will NEVER get it's true value.

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1 reply
mrcorrie63 zztxusa March 23 2014 at 3:08 PM

So very true!
It always amazes me when someone has an item of great value .....and they settle for " peanuts"

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Larry March 23 2014 at 8:58 AM

a much better show than those low lifes in detroit. guys in chicago are cool though

Flag Reply +2 rate up
crockjack March 23 2014 at 8:59 AM

The old man adds all the flavor to the pot. The rest of the crew just
stand around stirring it, sampling it, and hoping the old fart didn't
have a lapse of memory and forget to add a key ingredient!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
randyprociw March 23 2014 at 8:59 AM

CHUM WOULD WORK FOR ME , MAYBE 2 MINUTES !!!!!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
RICH March 23 2014 at 9:00 AM

What a bunch of trolls !

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1 reply
Gary RICH March 23 2014 at 11:33 AM

Rich trolls!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
adsautorescue March 23 2014 at 2:28 PM

wait they do want 30$ for a shirt there

Flag Reply +2 rate up
madmax11117 March 23 2014 at 9:04 AM

I enjoy this show,just like my other fav was dirty jobs, just wish they would stop showing chumlee as lazy ass snake. if he did this any where else he would be **** canned

Flag Reply +4 rate up
moyer2424 March 23 2014 at 9:07 AM

I personally visited the pawn shop last week. Seems everyone is doing fine. Rick and Chumley are driving Rolls Royces. Cory has had stomach staple and has lost a lot of weight, good job Cory.....They must have a second store where they tape the shows. There are a lot of differences between what we saw and whats on tv......Enjoyed the visit and the show....keep up the good work

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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