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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!

Crazy About Clutch Bags

Pradabag_prestige

 

Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend clearly wasn’t in on the infatuation ladies have with handbags. While totes and shoppers are must-have everyday essentials, evening antics call for something a little more refined. That’s where the clutch bag comes in. Simple, compact and oh so stylish, these petite purses are perfect for rocking at cocktail parties, the theatre, dinner dates and more. So which clutch bags are pulling at our heartstrings this season? Read on for a glimpse at some of our most stunning new additions.

 

Jimmy Choo Ubai Snakeskin Clutch Bag

 

The sensual snakeskin outer of this clutch is guaranteed to make any girl swoon. The provocative textured finish feels wonderful on the fingers, while the red and black colouring is downright sexy.

 

Balenciaga Agneau Giant 12 Gold Envelope Strap Clutch

 

At just £595, this Balenciaga belle is an absolute steal for any woman who loves to flaunt luxury leather goods. The buttery-soft, semi-distressed agneau leather features an exquisite texture that’s set off by slightly dulled gold tone fittings and zips for a touch of understated bling.

 

Barneys New York Alligator Clutch

 

Simply uttering the words ‘Barneys’ and ‘New York’ in the same sentence is a surefire way to get any girl’s heart beating faster. This clutch is crafted with tough alligator skin which keeps the contents safe, secure and, of course, ultra-stylish. Fancy a handbag? The 50cm removable strap turns this handheld purse into a shoulder bag in just seconds. Oh so versatile!

 

Chanel Quilted Caviar Leather O Case Clutch Makeup Bag

 

Store your lotions and potions in utter luxury with this gorgeous caviar calf leather makeup clutch featuring the classic Chanel diamond quilted pattern. A sparking gold tone CC emblem conceals a magnificent burgundy interior that screams royalty.

 

D&G Miss Sunflower Black Suede Clutch Bag

 

In search of something elegant yet extravagant? This D&G number is just the ticket. The silky-smooth suede is fabulously soft to the touch, while the subtle design ensures that the Miss Sunflower remains an icon of both quality and style. All for the preloved price of £495.

 

Bottega Veneta Nero Intrecciato SilkStretchKnot Clutch Bag

 

This clutch bag leans towards the smaller end of the scale, which makes it perfect to accessorise a little black dress that never fails to score a compliment or two. It’s an elongated version of the signature Knot clutch bag, and boasts incredible artisanal craftsmanship and luxurious intrecciato silk fabric.

Sneak Peek: Posh Pawn – Episode 4

PoshPawn_Claudia

With the new season of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn well underway, the team has already managed to get their hands on some stunning items. Elevating the concept of high-end pawn broking, there has been no shortage of luxury products on this year’s season, from haute couture handbags to remarkable gemstone rings – and even a luxury yacht! What will episode four bring? Check out our rundown of what not to miss.

 

Claudia and the Ibiza Club DJ

 

Many of those who come through the Posh Pawn doors want to sell their luxury items to finance interests and pursuits. This week Claudia, our new in-house handbag specialist, has a big surprise in store for one glamourous Ibiza club DJ who is trying to go global. Claudia – who is fiancée to the big boss, James – swoons over the DJ’s stunning designer goods, and her reaction is not to be missed. How much will the coveted collection bring? Tune in and find out for yourself.

 

Alicja’ Goes for Gold 

 

 

Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. Our gemologist, Alicja, gets excited this week when a vintage gold and diamond timepiece gets brought into Posh Pawn. The stunning piece exudes old school elegance and timeless sophistication. No one loves gorgeous gemstones like Alicja, and the timepiece is right up her street. Will it be worthy of a visit to diamond specialist, Ian Towing? Be sure not to miss this week’s bedazzling episode.

 

James Gets All Revved Up

 

Vehicles are a seriously lucrative business and no one knows this better than Posh Pawn boss, James Constantinou. This week sees him get hot under the collar when he is faced with a unique imported chopper motorbike. No stranger to all things wheeled, James is faced with a conundrum like no other. But what price will the chopper bring in?

An unredeemed Aston Martin is also auctioned off. The sophisticated vehicle is a hit with James – but will the bids be high enough to see him break even and raise enough money to recoup his losses?

 

Catch the latest episode on Channel 4  and join the discussion on social media as you watch with us. Share your favourite items and see if you can guess how much the posh pawn is worth.

 

Bowing Down to the Beautiful Ballon Bleu de Cartier Watch

BallonBleuDeCartierWatch_PoshPawn

 

At Prestige Pawnbrokers we love all things luxurious, and high-end horology falls neatly into that category. Upmarket retailer Cartier is one of our all-time favourite brands, continually dazzling us with perfectly cut diamonds, stunning engagement rings and of course, exclusive timepieces. In fact, their watches are so coveted that they’re worthy of a princess!

 

A watch worthy of Buckingham Palace

 

That’s right! The iconic Ballon Bleu timepiece has graced the wrist of none other than Kate Middleton, or as she’s now know, the Duchess of Cambridge. She’s one of Britain’s most beloved personalities and has done amazing things for raising the style profile of the royal family. After all, she did commission Sarah Burton, creative director of luxury fashion house Alexander McQueen to design her a bespoke wedding dress. If that isn’t worthy of a mention, nothing is! She’s got expensive taste, but our humble princess also loves to step out in high street items, with Whistles, LK Bennet and Reiss being particular favourites.

 

While her immaculate blow-dry and elegant, yet on-trend, outfits do steal the headlines, Kate also turns heads with her accessories inventory. Her Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch is one of her favourite pieces, making an appearance at prestigious events such as the re-opening of Bletchley Park and the Wimbledon Championships. The Parisian brand has become synonymous with luxury and is the perfect choice for a princess. It features classic Cartier styling with a timeless Roman dial, sword-shaped hands, cabochon set crown and quartz powered components. Simple, stylish and superlatively stunning, the clean curves and lines complement any outfit.

 

The embodiment of perfection

 

We’re ecstatic to announce that we’ve now got our hands on our very own Ballon Bleu de Cartier. And to be quite honest, we think it shines even brighter than the counterpart worn by the Duchess. With its steel and pink gold bracelet and Roman numeral dial dotted with square cut diamonds, it’s an absolute stunner. The case diameter measures 36.6mm which gives it a noticeable presence, yet doesn’t overwhelm the wrist. It’s barely been worn, yet is priced at just £4500 ─ making it a steal for anyone wanting to flaunt a Ballon Bleu de Cartier without the eye-watering price tag. As well as receiving the magnificent timepiece the buyer will also enjoy its original box, booklet and tags to guarantee absolute authenticity.

 

 

 

A Sneak Peek at Posh Pawn Episode Three Highlight

PoshPawn_episode3 

We’re only two episodes into season three of Posh Pawn, and already the team have managed to get their hands on some pretty amazing items. From luxury yachts and miniature railways to dazzling gemstone rings and oodles of designer handbags, there’s definitely been no shortage of extravagant goods to pawn. So what’s in store for episode three? Check out our rundown of the highlights.

 

Joy and her jewellery

 

Joy is our in-house jewellery aficionada and enjoys a handful of regular clients who love high-end trinkets just as much as she does. When regular buyer Suzanne wishes to exchange several items for jewellery showcased on our e-shop, Joy is on hand to help. If you love jewellery don’t miss this episode, as it showcases some of our finest pieces!

 

Lawrence and F1 memorabilia

 

Formula One is a seriously lucrative business, and it’s not just the supercars themselves that are worth a pretty penny. When Bente and Ken decide they want to sell their 1961 Brands Hatch signed Formula One race programme and donate the proceeds to charity, Lawrence gladly takes on the job. After a visit to memorabilia expert Marc, Lawrence gets to work on behalf of the generous duo.

 

James and his double-decker bus

 

London is famous for its iconic double-decker buses ─ so when Joel figuratively wheeled one into Prestige Pawnbrokers, we were suitably impressed. James immediately signs on for a test drive, which is quite the experience! We also pay a special visit to Joel’s quirky Chubby Chops dog-friendly café, located in Hove. Needless to say it’s a popular haunt with eccentric Hove locals and their playful pooches.

 

Michael and the Girard-Perregaux timepiece

 

A large proportion of our customers want to sell high-value assets in order to fund business endeavours. Lauren and Doraj fall into this category, and are pawning a luxury Girard-Perregaux watch in order to raise funds for their jewellery business. They’re a fantastic couple, and we wish them all the best!

 

James visits Presmans Mastermelt

 

Ever wondered how to make something out of nothing? When James visits London’s Presmans Mastermelt, he gets a first-hand look at how old trash gets turned into cold hard cash.

 

Catch the latest episode on Channel 4.

 

All Hail Hermès!

OK, we admit it: at Prestige Pawnbrokers we are a self-confessed team of handbag buffs. We LOVE designer labels and have a keen eye for flawless stitching, impeccable linings, butter-soft leather and beautiful embellishments. Hermès is without a doubt one of our absolute favourite labels, and whenever a genuine article enters our premises, we always take a moment to swoon. So can you imagine our excitement when this little number sauntered through our doors?

hermes-designer-handbag

Hello beautiful!

 

The Hermès Birkin 35 – Ooh la la!

 

With its sumptuously soft calfskin leather exterior, Chevre goatskin leather interior, silver-tone hardware, contrasting white stitching and beautiful Blue Jean colour, this is one seriously sexy handbag. We’ve described it as a “mirage of delight”, and can confirm that it captivates everyone who sets eyes on it.

 

Named after legendary actress Jane Birkin, these exclusive bags are highly prized by the well-heeled fashionistas of the world. They come in a variety of colours, but, at risk of sounding biased, we think Blue Jean is definitely the prettiest!

 

At Prestige Pawnbrokers we’re all about securing high-end items that are 100% authentic. This Hermès Birkin 35 Blue Jean has been used a handful of times, but is in very good condition. As soon as we got hold of this beauty, our in-house team of leather experts meticulously cleaned and refurbished it, restoring the bag to its absolute best. This is all part of our commitment to ensuring that every luxury handbag that hits our store is in pristine condition. The lucky buyer will not only receive the handbag itself but also a rain coat, dust bag and box to keep the item looking immaculate.

 

Coveted by celebrities

 

With a price tag of £6,200 the Hermès Birkin 35 Blue Jean doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every penny. In fact, the model is so in demand that Kris Jenner was positively over the moon when she managed to get her hands on a pair of ‘Baby Birkins’ priced at a cool US$8,000 each. The ultra-stylish reality TV matriarch flaunted her latest fashion fix on Instagram, much to the envy of her army of followers.

 

“I LOVE my new Baby Hermes Birkin bags. So happy to find them !!!!!” she captioned.

 

How Jo Lawlor started at Prestige Pawnbrokers

Jo Lawlor_PoshPawn

Jo Lawlor_PoshPawn

 

Whatever the sector, every successful business is underpinned by a team of individuals with a genuine passion for achieving excellence. As one of the UK’s poshest pawn shops, Prestige Pawnbrokers knows the inherent value of arming itself with a tight-knit team. As PA to Managing Director James Constantinou, Jo is one of the business’s most valued employees. Not to mention one of the fiercest! She lights up every episode of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn and to celebrate her, we’ve put together a glimpse at how this lovely lady first got started with us.

 

 From pal to partner

 

James and Jo go way back, with a friendship spanning over 20 years. During this time the pair built a strong and trusting relationship ─ so when James threw open the doors of Prestige Pawnbrokers and found himself in need of a PA, he reached out to Jo. She was more than happy to take on the role, and has played an integral part in helping James Constantinou build the business into the celebrity pawnbroker it is today.

 

Holistic therapy meets high-end pawn

 

Unlike other members of the Prestige Pawnbrokers team, Jo doesn’t have a background in finance, nor does she specialise in niche luxury items. Instead, she spent 14 years in the health and fitness industry, with a particular focus on holistic treatments. She’s a qualified holistic therapist, and places a particular focus on stress management. Using acupressure, reflexology, Indian head massage and deep tissue bodywork, she was the go-to woman for people wanting to de-stress, reinvigorate and enjoy a happier, healthier existence. Making the switch to pawn broking was quite the transition! Today, her friends will playfully introduce her as “Jo, the woman who was into massage but is now into pawn!”

 

The heart and soul of Prestige Pawnbrokers

 

To the Prestige Pawnbrokers team, Jo is the heart of the business, and the glue that holds it all together. While other team members deal directly with clients, Jo takes the backseat and ensures that everything’s running smoothly. As a highly organised individual who’s efficient at problem solving, as well as patient and conscientious, the role of PA is perfect for Jo.

So is Jo here to stay? Luckily for the Prestige Pawnbrokers team, the answer is yes! She loves her current role and nothing beats the excitement of the Prestige Pawnbrokers premises.

Posh Pawn Episode 2 Highlights Revealed!

David Railway_PoshPawnPosh Pawn Episode 2 Highlights Revealed!

 

Since making its grand TV debut, Posh Pawn has taken Channel 4 by storm. We can’t believe that our tight-knit team at Prestige Pawnbrokers has gone on to star in one of the country’s most popular TV shows! We’re ecstatic to announce that we’ve signed on for a third season and to celebrate, we’re offering readers a sneak peek at what’s in store over the next few months. We’ve already covered episode one, so read on for a glimpse at what we got up to in episode two!

 

Patrick, Sylvia and 500 handbags

 

We love our handbags at Prestige Pawnbrokers, particularly when they’re crafted from butter-soft leather and come with a sky-high price tag. If you share our obsession, don’t miss episode two, where Patrick and Sylvia get their hands on 500 designer handbags worth a seriously pretty penny. A definite thrill for all you handbag lovers out there!

 

James and David’s railway

 

Even big boys love toys, and when James and David snag themselves a miniature railway there’s no option but to set it up in David’s back garden. When they’re in good working order, miniature railways can be worth a mint. To determine how much this one’s worth, the boys call on the expertise of railway whizz Patrick.

Michael and Luci’s Tanzanite Ring

 

Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones on the planet, mined exclusively at one location in the African country of Tanzania. The brilliant blue colour is surrounded by a purplish glow which makes it a popular alternative to sapphire. This episode Michael and Luci get the pleasure of examining a dazzling tanzanite ring. When they’re not quite sure of its value, James calls on antiques expert Ian Towning for a second opinion.
James and Paul’s Nutcracker bike

 

While some people are happy to zip around on a cheap set of wheels, others prefer to cruise in style. James is our in-house bicycle expert, and when Paul wants to take out a loan backed by a Nutcracker, James heads to Bognor Regis to see it in person. What does he find? You’ll have to watch to find out!

 

It’s amazing that we managed to squeeze so much action into one episode. But for us, it’s just another hectic week at London’s most prestigious pawnbroking business.

 

 

 

From Property Developer to Pawnbroking Kingpin, James Constantinou

James constantinou

As managing director of Prestige Pawnbrokers, James Constantinou oversees one of the UK’s most coveted secured loans providers. So how did he go from small-time property developer, to celebrity pawn broker lighting up TV screens across the globe? Read on as we delve into how James got started in the industry, what drives the business to unsurpassed success and how he’s definitively reinvented the way the world views pawn.

 

The backstory

 

James is a self-confessed serial entrepreneur and has spent his career dabbling in a plethora of different areas. From vintage classic cars and property development to corporate sales and marketing, he’s developed a well-rounded set of skills that have turned him into a fierce businessman.

 

Pawnbroking

 

As an age-old practice, pawnbroking calls for a stack of different skills, from charming customers to spotting counterfeit goods. For James, high-end pawnbroking was the perfect opportunity to exercise his trading skills, while simultaneously indulging his passion for all things luxurious.

 

Prestige launches in London

 

James threw open the doors of Prestige Pawnbrokers in 2009, and hasn’t looked back since. Today he operates our two shops located in Richmond and Weybridge. Regular viewers of the show will know the business has been wildly successful and James credits this to his amazing team, and his willingness to say yes when others would say no. This bold search for success has led to the conquering of new heights. What’s James’ personal mantra? He always says, “I am a strong believer that to succeed in business you should have a hunger for gain, as opposed to a fear of loss.”

 

So what sorts of deals have graced the Prestige Pawnbrokers premises? James’ absolute favourites include a Ferrari Daytona worth £250,000, an art collection with a £1 million price tag, and rare literature that features in the Queen’s Windsor library.

 

Prestige Pawnbrokers hits Channel 4

 

Soon enough, Prestige Pawnbrokers caught the attention of the press, with James featuring in various articles and TV appearances. Thanks to dazzling deals involving helicopters, Ferraris, mini-submarines and more, he was approached by Channel 4 to feature in the reality show, Posh Pawn. The documentary follows the weird and wonderful assets that Prestige Pawnbrokers encounters on a daily basis, and has gone on to become one of the channel’s biggest hits. Episodes are broadcast across the globe and we’ve already signed on for a third season. Catch James on Channel 4 tomorrow at 8pm!

 

 

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