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How to Spot a Fake Watch

Breitling_watch_Prestige

Whether you wear it for fashion or function, your watch will always be noticed –and you want it to be noticed for the right reasons. How can you tell if it’s authentic? Take a close look at it; does it look like a good quality watch? You can use a jeweller’s loupe to magnify the watch face in particular, and check for any imperfections. Look at the finish: is it clean-cut and polished? Look for the serial number – does it even have a serial number? Check the brand stamp, too: if it’s at all blurred or smudged, then it’s most likely a fake. The crown used to wind the watch should also be consistent with the quality of the rest of the watch, have a good finish and rotate smoothly. It will usually bear some kind of stamp.

 

The strap can give an indication of legitimacy although in some cases – especially if the goods are pre-owned – a worn or aged strap doesn’t necessarily affect value. Observe whether the watch is uniform: if the main body is gold, the screws that hold the back in place should also be gold. Upon purchasing it, check the condition of its packaging: if it’s still in the original box, with its protective coverings, this bodes well.

 

Shake it and see: hold the watch up to your ear and give it a shake. What you don’t want to hear is a rattle from the pieces moving inside – an expensive watch should be a sturdy watch, and nothing should move around in the case. Hold it still and out it to your ear again: you’re listening for the smoothness (or perhaps lack of smoothness) of the watch hand movements. A fake watch is probably powered by a cheap battery, which means the flow of the watch is going to be very distinctive: it will have a delayed tick, a step-by-step gradual kind of movement instead of a seamless, effortless one – and for the money you’re paying, seamless is really what you want.

 

Now you know how the watch looks and sounds, but how does it feel? If you’re meant to be getting a gold Rolex, be alert – the watch should have heft and weight to it, and you should know instantly when holding it in your hands whether it feels authentic or not.

 

One – admittedly risky – way to determine the quality of your watch is to dip it water: an expensive designer watch is made so that you should theoretically be able to fully submerge the watch in water, and it still come out intact and working fine. If you really want to be certain, though, take it to someone who can take the back off for you. It’s the only real way to know for sure.

 

Want to find out more about watches? Get in touch with the Prestige Pawnbrokers team today.

How to Spot a Fake Bag

 

Chanel_prestige_bag

Everyone loves to indulge in a little luxury – and why shouldn’t we, from time to time? But when it comes to luxury goods, there’s nothing worse than finding out your holy grail is in reality nothing but a tin cup. You want to make sure you’re getting what you’re expecting. How do you do this? If you want to make sure the bag you’ve fallen in love with won’t break your heart and turn out to be a dud, there are three things you should look out for.

 

The first is leather, leather, leather! The quality of the leather will tell you almost everything you need to know. Trust your senses: the way it looks, feels and smells. Your fingertips should glide across it. Breathe it in: good leather smells expensive, and you should be smelling money. The second thing to look out for is stitching. It should be consistent throughout the whole bag: you’re looking for straight lines and perfect little stitches. Finally, pay attention to the hardware: what does the quality of the buckles or stamping look like? And don’t forget the zip: it should look, and work, effortlessly.

 

If you want to get more specific, here’s a real life comparison between a Chanel and a Cha-NO. If you put an authentic Chanel bag next to a replica version, the differences start to become quite apparent. In this instance we’re using Chanel’s 10-inch classic flap bag as our example. One thing to take note of is how the bag packaged: is it still in the original dust bag? Looking at the bag itself, again, leather is always a main focus: the authentic Chanel is made from lambskin, known for its buttery-smooth look and feel. Back to hardware: both the real bag and a fake will feature the iconic double C turnstile lock, which fastens the bag shut. The fake, however, generally has thinner and slightly shorter Cs, whereas on the real bag they are slightly wider and longer, with a characteristic flat edge finish (fake Chanel hardware tends to have a rounded finish). Bear in mind that, when you’re looking at the lock, the right C should always overlap the left C hook. Looking closely look at the lock itself, on the left should be engraved ‘Chanel’, and on the right should be ‘Paris’.

 

Another thing to note is a mark that appears on one of the Cs – this simply tells you where your bag was made, and is nothing to worry about. Do take note of it, though – a mark on authentic bag tells you that the bag was made in France, and if you take a look inside, your bag should have a ‘made in France’ stamp. On a real Chanel, the ‘made in France’ stamp will be positioned directly opposite the Chanel stamp on the inside of the flap. The two would never be found together as ‘Chanel, made in France’, except in one special case: the stamp on the caviar leather version.

 

Remember that the second thing you should always look at is the stitching of the bag – and that a high stitch count equates to a high-end bag. With a designer bag, you should be able to count over 10 stitches per 1 inch. Makers of cheap fakes will try and cut corners with fewer stiches.

 

What about the lining? Does it look smooth and tight to the bag, with no lumps and bumps visible or perceptible when you run your hand along it? Also, the Chanel stamp should always sit 1 and half centimetres below the quilted C on the inside of the flap – does it?

 

Finally, one of the most popular and recognisable features of the Chanel is the chain and leather straps. The fact that the chain is gilded in 24-carat gold doesn’t hurt either – gold is good! So make sure you don’t get cheated. An authentic chain will be a brighter yellow, and weigh more, than the chain on a replica bag.

 

Most importantly, if you really want to ensure you’re getting the real deal, be particular about where you source your goods – cheap is probably not credible.

 

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for Christmas, you’ll love our stunning selection. And if you need a hand deciding on the perfect pressie, one of our team will be happy to help!

Need to Borrow Against Your Car? We’ve Got You Covered!

Poshpawn_cars

 

Love fast cars? So do we! The sheer thought of sumptuously soft leather seats, a glossy paint job and a shiny hood ornament never fails to get our hearts beating faster. While cruising city streets and country roads is wildly enjoyable, luxury car owners also encounter times when it’s necessary to borrow against their wheels. This is where we can help.

 

Our highly experienced team of Prestige Pawnbrokers valuers are experts in the appraisal of all types of vehicles, from the very latest 2015 models to vintage classics. We have immense market knowledge for a myriad of cars, including Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Maybach, Audi, Maserati, Aston Martin, Bentley, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, Range Rover and many more. If your ride is worth over £4000, we’re happy to consider your application.

 

Have an authentic vehicle logbook? We may also be able to loan against this article to offer you an even better deal. Our cash loans are calculated at your vehicle’s highest market value which means you could secure up to three times more cash than other lenders.

 

Secure loans for when you need cash fast

 

We understand that well-heeled individuals are often high on assets but low on cash. That’s why we aim to process loans in lighting fast time. Once you’ve approved a Prestige Pawnbrokers offer we’ll fix you up with cash in hand, or via another pre-arranged method. For car owners in need of cash that’s just as fast as their odometer this is a supercharged perk. Our cash loans are calculated at your vehicle’s highest market value which means you could secure up to three times more cash than other lenders.

 

Deals that save you cash

 

Loan terms can be arranged for up to 12 months which gives car owners plenty of flexibility when it comes to paying off credit. With no early redemption fees and no early exit fees, our plans are designed to get drivers back on the road and enjoying their sweet rides, ASAP. Plus, we only charge interest for the period on which the loan is outstanding which means you’ll never pay for what you don’t use.

 

Want to use your vehicle to secure yourself an instant cash loan? Get in touch today to arrange an appraisal with one of our expert valuers, or apply online.

 

If you want to see our deals in action check out Posh Pawn where you can get the inside scoop on all our hottest four wheel loans.

Where do the rich and famous go when they require funds?

PrestigePawnbrokers

When you think of celebrities, business tycoons and other well-heeled individuals, your imagination automatically flickers to luxurious houses, designer wardrobes, exotic holidays, private jets and seemingly infinite bank accounts. While the first four may be true, the reality is that a never-ending supply of cash just isn’t available to the majority of affluent individuals.

 

That said, this doesn’t stop them from spending up big, even when they don’t necessarily have a whole lot of disposable money at their fingertips. Whether they’re waiting on a lucrative pay check, in the middle of closing a profitable business deal or in the process of selling multi-million pound property, cash can often be hard to come by. So how do they continue to fund their lavish lifestyles?

 

Cash poor, asset rich

 

Often, personal loans taken out against valuable assets are the solution. Plenty of people that live the high life are high on assets yet low on disposable cash. Some people are under the impression that this means that in order to access their wealth they need to sell their assets. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With businesses such as Prestige Pawnbrokers, asset affluent individuals can take out personal loans backed by a myriad of different material goods.

From seriously pricey luxury cars, private helicopters and sailboats to smaller scale items such as diamond jewellery, designer handbags and fine wine collections, more or less any valuable asset can be turned into cold hard cash.

 

Fast cash

 

When it comes to securing cash, the rich and famous aren’t generally in a position to wait around. Whether it’s paying off a lofty credit card bill, putting down a deposit on a brand new fashion fix, purchasing an engagement ring for a long-time lover, snapping up an unmissable vintage car, throwing a lavish party or funding any other expense, personal loans are easy and instant.

And the best thing about working with Prestige Pawnbrokers is that you’ll receive quotes based on your item’s highest market value. Alternatively, you can also choose to part with your items permanently and sell them for interest free cash that you get to keep.

 

Total discretion

 

Cash strapped well-to-doers can rest assured that all personal loans are 100% safe, secure and discreet. All agreements are confidential which means that no one will ever know that a personal loan was used to fund their latest purchase.

 

Want to find out if your possessions could be cashed in for a personal loan? Get in touch with the Prestige Pawnbrokers team today.

Posh Pawn Catch-up

PoshPawn_James

Prestige started back in 2009: with his background in business, sales and marketing, vintage cars and property development, the transition into pawnbroking made a great deal of sense to James. The original Posh Pawn documentary came soon after – and if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you do! After the success of the documentary, we all know what happened next… the thing that completes our Wednesday nights: Posh Pawn the show.

 

We’ve come a long way since the start, and the journey only continues. If you’ve been loyal since the beginning, you’ll know what we’re about. Prestige is the ultimate king of pawnbrokers: we aren’t your average business, so we don’t deal with average items, preferring to focus on the expensive, the exclusive and – sometimes– the wacky. But whatever the object is, you can bet it’s high-end.

 

Season 1 showcased interesting finds and even more interesting characters. What’s engaging about the pawnbroking business isn’t simply the objects we value and acquire – although we do get excited about unique finds – it’s also the stories and histories behind the objects and their owners, as well as the satisfaction of helping someone get what they want. We’ve had a reformed 1980s cat burglar approach us, as well as a former catwalk model who wanted to borrow £50,000 to launch a range of lingerie – and we’ve had intriguing buys too, everything from Lamborghinis to a 40ft American motorhome. We’re all about providing the best in terms both of products and services. Whether you hope to realise a dream or simply raise funds, we aim to get the job done and to do it to your satisfaction.

 

The second season didn’t disappoint: we were back, bigger and better with another 9 episodes packed full of beautiful and quirky items and a whole lot of laughs. A Chelsea footballer showed off more than his football skills when he brought us a set of Rolex watches, and our James had the opportunity to value a unique item used by James Bond in one of the Bond movies. Speaking of memorabilia, a Swarovski-crystal covered drum kit used on a Kylie Minogue tour made its way to Hatton Garden. Other celebrities also featured this season when paintings by East End gangsters the Kray twins found a new home at Prestige. Finally, we’re suckers for the unusual and adventurous, so for us the yellow submarine worth a whopping 1.5 million definitely stole the show.

 

We’re now in our third season, 5 episodes in and taking a short interval –but fear not, we will be returning to you soon, and with more posh than you can handle! In the meantime, we’re airing every episode from the start of Posh Pawn daily at 11am on our usual home of Channel 4 from 26th October. So stay with us, keep updated and look forward to the start of the next chapter of Posh Pawn. We certainly are!

Posh Pawn Team Thanks Fans!

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The third series of Posh Pawn is well and truly underway, and James Constantinou and the rest of the team would like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has watched the show over the past few months. So far this season included some seriously lavish assets and great locations, from the sunny shores of Spain and the beaches of Brighton to the boroughs of London and beyond.

 

As one of the UK’s most high profile businessmen, as well as one of the richest pawnbrokers on the planet, James has turned the concept of pawn broking on its head. During the early months of the 2009 recession he identified a gap in the market for loans catering to cash-poor yet asset-rich individuals. Today, Prestige Pawnbrokers is considered one of the UK’s most coveted secured loan providers. We may have already aired some fantastic season three episodes but we can confirm that the excitement isn’t over just yet! There’s still plenty more Posh Pawn to be had, with the show resuming in November.

 

James says, “While Prestige Pawnbrokers is first and foremost a business, Posh Pawn relies entirely on fans to retain its crown as one of Channel 4’s most popular shows. We’re now three seasons in and while the content is undeniably captivating, it’s British viewers that keep the show on its feet. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who’s tuned in during season three and after a quick break, we’re looking forward to sharing more of our most lucrative pawn deals when the season kicks off again in November. Watch this space!”

 

So far this season has seen the Prestige Pawnbrokers team take on some seriously well-heeled clients. James jetted into Lanzarote to value a million Euro wine collection, an unredeemed Aston Martin hit the auction blocks, a retired couple parted ways with their beloved back garden railway, a double decker bus came to a sticky end. Not to mention a glut of designer handbags, luxury watches, rare coins, exclusive collectables, fine works of art, treasured antiques and more.

 

If you’re a Posh Pawn fan don’t worry – the show will return this November! While the exact date and content are yet to be confirmed, you can be sure there’ll be lots of sparkle, designer labels, fast cars and plenty of action. See you then!

Prestige Pawnbrokers e-Boutique Dazzles with Luxury Gems

PrestigePawnbrokers

The Prestige Pawnbrokers e-boutique has its hands full with a kaleidoscope of dazzling jewellery for every budget this month – and a perfect santa’s grotto for those looking for a present with a difference. With sapphires, rubies, diamonds, smoky quartz, turquoise, topaz and more, our e-boutique is a treasure trove of exquisite items just waiting to be snapped up by savvy buyers.

 

As the UK’s most coveted pawn broking business, Prestige Pawnbrokers is the go to group for the well-heeled that are high on assets and short on cash. The result is a fabulous jewellery collection brimming with luxury items. We’ve got a lavish collection of earrings, bracelets, rings, brooches and necklaces from top global designers and jewellery houses.

 

All items showcased on the Prestige Pawnbrokers e-boutique have been professionally authenticated by our team of in house experts. This gives buyers the total peace of mind that they’re purchasing genuine gems with the Prestige Pawnbrokers seal of approval. Qualifications include Gemmology degrees from the Association of Great Britain, accreditation from the National Association of Goldsmiths and even experience working with the Queen’s jeweller, Mappin & Webb.

 

James Constantinou, owner of Prestige Pawnbrokers says, “We’re incredibly lucky to have an amazing team of gemmologists on hand to value the stunning items that come through our doors on a daily basis. Luxury jewellery is one of our biggest profit turners which is why we put so much time and effort into creating beautiful product listings.”

 

For ladies in search of stunning accessories that will have heads turning, Prestige Pawnbrokers is a mecca. Pieces such as the 18ct White Gold Tanzanite & Diamond Cluster Ring are the epitome of luxury, boasting a 12.77 carat faceted tanzanite surrounded by 16 3.1mm round brilliant cut diamonds.

 

While luxury is the name of the game, Prestige Pawnbrokers also tailors to customers with expensive taste yet limited budgets. With its regal trio of gems set in a delicate band, the 9 Carat Yellow Gold Garnet Ring is a steal.

 

Gents are equally as spoiled with a handsome range of rings and necklaces. Pieces are sourced from the world’s finest brands, including Bvlgari, Cartier, Gucci, Hermes and more.

 

Every item of jewellery has been beautifully photographed and is accompanied by detailed product descriptions. For an even greater range visit the Prestige Pawnbrokers locations in Hatton Garden, Richmond and Weybridge.

 

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for Christmas, you’ll love our stunning selection. And if you need a hand deciding on the perfect pressie, one of our team will be happy to help!

How Helen, Joy, Nigel and Monica Got Started in the Pawnbroking Business

PoshPawn_Monica

At Prestige Pawnbrokers, diversity is the name of the game. And we’re not just talking about our love for everything from luxury cars and fully functional helicopters to designer handbags and antique watches. We’re also referring to our incredible team of ladies and gents with serious expertise in the art of pawnbroking. Want to know more? Check out our quick guide to how some of our finest employees got started with Prestige.

 

Helen

 

From a young age Helen has always been surrounded by art and antiques – you could say it runs in the family. In the school holidays she worked as a porter at a local auction house in Dorset, quickly focusing her attention on luxury jewellery, gemstones and diamonds. She soon went on to study Gemmology with the  Association of Great Britain, which landed her a role in the jewellery department at Bonhams in London. Naturally, a career in pawnbroking followed. During her time in London and New York she’s issued millions of pounds worth of loans against luxury goods, including some of the finest diamonds on the planet!

 

Joy

 

Joy is our management guru extraordinaire, and keeps us all in line with her self-motivated, results-oriented and highly competitive approach. She has over 10 years of experience driving teams and personally oversees our e-boutique, where customers can browse a huge inventory of luxury preowned goods.

 

Nigel

 

Name a professional jewellery qualification, and it’s highly likely Nigel can produce it. He has earned himself a National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) diploma, is a registered valuer, a first-year FGA student and former manager of a high-end London jewellery showroom. After several years in the retail business, he started to seek new challenges and was quickly attracted by the exciting and innovative style of pawnbroking. He gets his thrills from researching unusual items, securing loan packages and meeting client requirements.

 

Monica

 

Hailing from Poland, Monica started her love affair with jewellery at one of Gdansk’s most exclusive boutiques. After graduating with a geography degree she moved to England – and quickly realised that her passion for jewellery far exceeded her interest in landscapes. While she started off small, Monica soon moved on to high-end pawnbroking, which kickstarted an infatuation with haute horology. She joined Prestige in 2013, and loves the opportunity it has given her to broaden her jewellery and watch expertise, as well as handle other unusual objects such as boats, planes and cars.

How Lawrence and Alicja Got Started in the Pawnbroking Business

 

Lawrance Pickett

London’s littered with hundreds of pawnbroking shops, but not all are created equal. Two of the city’s leading pawnbrokers operate in the heart of the prestigious borough of Richmond, and in Weybridge in Surrey. Both Prestige Pawnbrokers branches showcase a cornucopia of premium pre-owned luxury items, complete with a wealth of expertise from some of the best pawnbrokers in the business. Here’s how two of our most prized team members got started in the industry….

 

Alicja Luambano

 

As one of our loveliest ladies, Alicja has been building up her expertise in high-end jewellery for over six years. She first became infatuated with dazzling jewels back when she was 19, and went on to train at the National Association of Goldsmiths. This makes her one of our most valuable jewellery experts. We’d even go so far as to say that she’s priceless! While she adores all things that glimmer, Alicja also loves designer goods, cars and watches. What can we say? She’s a lady of fine taste! As well as pursuing a profession in pawnbroking, this switched-on gal is also a third-year BSc Social Science student.

 

Lawrence Pickett

 

While some people are born to pawn, others find themselves falling into the profession. Lawrence definitely falls into the latter category. After spending his early years in Nigeria, Lawrence finished school in the UK and found himself on the hunt for a stimulating and rewarding career that indulged his passion for jewellery – cue an interview with James! Lawrence was immediately won over by the big boss’s infectious enthusiasm for pawn, and quickly learned that it’s a lucrative and exciting business to be in. He now boasts over 30 years of experience in the jewellery trade, including stints with the Queen’s jeweller, Mappin & Webb. The people aspect of pawnbroking is one of the highlights for Lawrence – we can certainly testify that he loves a good chat! He’s also got an insatiable thirst for knowledge, which makes the research component a big drawcard for this self-confessed history buff. Of course, not all of us live and breathe our occupations, and in his spare time Lawrence loves to explore his new interests in modern and urban art, as well as memorabilia from bygone times.

 

Want to know more about how our fabulous team members got started in pawn? Check back for more later in the week!

 

Inside Posh Pawn Episode 5

Prestige_PoshPawn

 

We’re already four episodes into season three, and time is positively flying by! As usual, we’ve seen a plethora of high-end pre-loved items roll through our doors, from ultra-expensive watches and butter-soft designer leather handbags, to lightning-fast sets of wheels and rare works of art. If you simply can’t get enough of Posh Pawn, hold onto your hats because episode 5 is packed full of some seriously fancy deals. Read on for a sneak peek at what to expect!

 

James heads to Lanzarote to value a million euro wine collection

 

Forget house reds and whites: when James sets his sights on the Spanish island of Lanzarote, expensive taste is the name of the game. Here he meets with a well-heeled wine collector interested in flogging a collection that could be worth a colossal one million euros. Talk about an expensive drop! As well as appealing to wine buffs, James’ journey to beautiful Lanzarote showcases some lovely Spanish scenery.

 

Bentleys and booze

 

When you’re 23 and own a £250,000 Bentley, you know you’ve made it in life. Unless, of course, you need the cash to fund your dream of opening a gourmet gastropub. In this episode, viewers find out whether or not this aspiring entrepreneur can take out a loan on the car of his dreams and fund his lifelong ambition of opening a hospitality establishment.

 

Land ahoy

 

After years of living on a houseboat, a British couple decide to say farewell to their sea legs and move to dry land. Can Prestige Pawnbrokers offer them a loan on their unique houseboat and make their dry land dreams come true? And, if they can secure the cash, will it be enough to buy them a bricks and mortar home? You’ll have to watch to find out.

 

Giant gemstones

 

The Prestige Pawnbrokers team love a good gemstone, especially when it’s supersized. Of course, valuing can be a risky business, and James isn’t quite sure whether or not to take a risky deal on this enormous rock. Luckily the Prestige team is brimming with gemstone aficionados on hand to help James uncover just how much the giant gemstone is really worth.

 

Keen to watch all the action unfold? Tune into Posh Pawn and find out exactly what deals go down in episode 5. And if you find yourself hooked don’t worry, there’s plenty more Posh Pawn to be had!

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As Seen On Channel 4 TV!

Prestige Pawnbrokers – The original prime time POSH PAWN Channel 4 TV show.
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