Jolly Old St. Nick — The Patron Saint of Pawn Shops

Santa Claus has a surprising history with pawn shops.

When you think of Christmas and Santa Claus, what’s the first thing you think of? Pawn shops, right? No? As a popular gold refiner for pawnbrokers, we at Pease & Curren know all about the long, historic relationship between Christmas and pawnshops, but you probably don’t. Never fear: Just leave your chestnuts roasting on the fire for now and let us tell you a Christmas tale of St. Nick and the pawnshops we know and love.

Pawnbrokers and St. Nicholas

Have you ever noticed the three gold balls that symbolize some pawnshops? It may interest you to know that those balls are a tribute to St. Nicholas, the inspiration for Santa Claus.

St. Nick was Nikolaos of Myra, and the pawnshops that were intertwined with his sainthood were the montes pietatius, charities from the Middle Ages that provided low-interest loans to the poor so they could feed their families. At a young age, Nikolaos, an orphan, was enamored of Jesus’ teachings, specifically the desire to cast off material things and help others. In service of this ideal, Nikolaos give away his inheritance in the form of gold coins — later symbolized as gold balls — to poor people in need of a quick influx of cash. In honor of his generosity, in 1514 Pope Julius II honored Nikolaos as the patron Saint of montes pietatius missions.

Pawn Shops and Christmas

When you think about it, pawnshops can play an important role in Christmas in the same way St. Nick played an important role for the less fortunate all those years ago. Many people who have fallen on hard times no longer have to worry about whether or not they will be able to buy presents for their kids on Christmas. They can go to their local pawnshop, get a loan against some little-used pieces of jewelry, make sure there are plenty of happy faces on Christmas, then reclaim their property at a time when their financial fortunes are back on the upswing.

Pease & Curren and Pawnshops

Pease & Curren is proud to help uphold the tradition of the helpful pawnshop by being the most reliable gold refiner for pawnshops around the country. If you’re a pawnshop owner in need of an accurate gold refiner, please contact Pease & Curren today.