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Liquid assets: the rise of wine pawning

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How much will I get for the 1983 Mouton Cadet I found in my grandmother’s house? And can I sell two bottles of old ruby port that I found at the back of the garage? These are questions I am often asked. The answers are: nothing, and not unless you find a sucker on eBay.

 

But if you have fine wine that has been properly stored, then it has never been easier to turn it into cash. This used to mean putting in a discreet call to your wine merchant – now it either means getting online or getting on to the pawnbroker.

 

Yes – the pawnbroker, now moving into Château Cheval Blanc and Côte d’Or as more people in need of swift cash rootle through their cellar records and ask to secure loans against what you might call their liquid assets.

 

“We’ve seen quite a lot of it in the past three years or so,” says Rob Davies of the National Pawnbrokers Association. “Post-2008, there are a lot of people who are asset-rich but cash-poor. As the banks have made more stringent demands on lending they find they can’t get finance through the usual channels, so there’s an increasing demand to borrow against wine, and niche pawnbrokers have popped up to service it.”

 

One of those is Prestige Pawnbrokers, whose headquarters are in Weybridge, Surrey, and who have opened a new office in Richmond and Manchester.

 

“This area is growing – there are similar patterns as in loans offered against fine art,” says chief executive James Constantinou. “Our borrowers are savvy, passionate about the wines they’ve bought or collected … they’re often businessmen who did well pre-recession – well enough, anyway, to afford to buy good wine – and who are looking to raise capital in the short term.”

Read the full article on the Telegraph website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/wine/10273882/Liquid-assets-the-rise-of-wine-pawning.html

Exclusive Preview of Episode 2

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Last week we had our first insight into the world of high end pawnbroking this year, and episode two is about to get even more exciting. Channel 4’s documentary Posh Pawn follows pawnbroker James Constantinou and his team of valuation experts at Prestige. It gives a hidden glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous and takes viewers all around the world in the name of pawn.

 

Are you hooked on the new series already? We’ve got an exclusive preview of what’s in store for episode two, so read on to find out before anyone else.

 

James jets off to Ibiza

This episode sees Prestige Founder James jet off to Ibiza for a mini-holiday – with some work involved, of course. He’s been asked to check out a luxury speedboat which is worth a whopping £100,000 – but you’ll have to tune in to find out if a loan is agreed.

 

Diamonds are forever?

While James is taking time out on the famous party island, he also has the chance to appraise a diamond ring. There seems to be something extra special about this rock, as he gets rather hot under the collar!

 

Lawrence’s boxing memorabilia

Lawrence is the company’s memorabilia expert, and this week he has the task of valuing some impressive boxing collectables. Is episode two the one where Lawrence is finally set a heavyweight challenge he can’t claim victory over?

 

Claudia’s purse

Claudia, James’ stunning fiancée, has sadly been left behind on the trip to Ibiza. But nevertheless she has her own adventure when she’s confronted with her own purse from yesteryear. As a luxury handbag expert, she knows her stuff but even an experienced pawnbroker such as Claudia has to do some research on this one. It’s time for the designer handbag pro to brush up on some history.

 

This is just a little sneak preview into some of the stunning items that make their way through the doors of Posh Pawn in episode two. Even though this season has only just begun, we can tell it’s going to be one of the best yet. From luxury cars and yachts to some of the world’s most dazzling diamonds and gems, Posh Pawn is addictive for anyone with a taste of the finer things in life.

 

Tune in this Wednesday to catch all the action and find out how much the designer purse and mysterious diamond ring is worth.

 

Posh Pawn Christmas Special

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Lights are twinkling, holiday pop classics are blaring and mistletoe is strategically dangling under every doorway of Prestige Pawnbrokers HQ. Yet despite the festive atmosphere in the air, owner James Constantinou has been struggling to get into the Christmas spirit. With the Posh Pawn Christmas special on the horizon, his fellow pawn stars knew that his grinchy attitude simply wouldn’t do.

 

Goodbye Santa sleighs. Hello superbikes!

 

So what did they do? Forget reruns of Love Actually and marathon gingerbread man baking sessions. When it comes to getting James into the festive spirit, motors and macho time are the order of the day. What better way to perk up the Prestige Pawnbrokers founder than with a day out on the track with legendary superbike champion Carl Fogarty. How will James shape up against the undisputed king of World Superbike racing? Foggy’s got some serious speed up his sleeves, including the star power to secure James a seriously generous charity deal. While Posh Pawn usually shines the spotlight on securing the best deals for well-heeled asset owners, Christmas is a time for giving, and the seasonal special reflects this sentiment.

 

Diamonds are a girl’s best payday

 

Of course, a Christmas special wouldn’t be complete without a good dose of dazzle. This year Posh Pawn delivers with the resplendent rocks of a former Miss England. Sick of life in London, the beauty queen decides to trade in her diamonds for a cash payment that she’ll use to fund a new life in the USA. Watch all the action unfold as our expert team of in-house jewel aficionados scrutinize the rocks in order to come up with a price tag. Will it be enough to get Miss England to the US of A?

 

A slice of history

 

We can’t get enough of the royal family here at Prestige Pawnbrokers HQ. Love them or hate them, they sure do have some gorgeous jewels (Kate Middleton’s antique engagement ring anyone?). However when a Falklands veteran turns up with a slice of Buckingham Palace, we didn’t think we should be taking him literally. Over 30 years, he’s managed to resist the temptation of guzzling a piece of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding cake. Now that’s self-restraint. How much is a literal slice of history worth? You’ll have to check out the upcoming Posh Pawn Christmas Special set to air on December 23rd to find out.

Prestige Pawnbrokers Set to Throw Open Manchester Branch

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Home to some of the wealthiest Brits in the UK, Manchester is brimming with high value items. When their well-heeled owners are strapped for cash, taking out asset loans is a fantastic way to boost bank accounts. While in the past they’ve had to head down to London to chat with the Posh Pawn team, James and his fellow pawn stars are ecstatic to announce that they’re throwing open the doors of a brand spanking new Manchester branch.

 

Posh Pawn launches with a bang

 

The new premises kicked off in style, with an official launch party held on December 10. As expected, the guest list was studded with stars, including antiques dealer Ian Towning and the legendary Jesse McClure from StorageHunters. ‘Queen of selfies’ Karen Danczuk also graced the party with her presence, chatting about pawn, politics and how to post the perfect Instagram pic.

 

Following in the footsteps of the London branches, the nee Manchester HQ enjoys a seriously prestigious location. It’s situated in Deansgate, home to some of the city’s most luxurious hotels, designer boutiques and high street shopping strips. After all, a posh location is an absolute must for Posh Pawn!

 

“Due to the popularity of the programme we got a lot of people from this neck of the woods coming down to see us,” says James. “We’ve had cars – Porches, Ferraris – and some amazing pieces of jewellery. We were even dealing with a Lowry painting a few days ago. It was given to the owner’s mother by the artist himself. It’s a Lowry figure with a cap on but it’s not the typical industrial scene. That fact that it has never been seen before is amazing so it was great to be involved in unearthing that.”

 

What a great way to kick of what’s sure to be one of Prestige Pawnbroker’s most successful branches!

 

The Posh Pawn Manchester branch is set to open its doors to the public early next year. No doubt it will be flooded with legions of Manchester locals looking to cash in their high end assets.

Posh Pawn Catch-up

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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!

Bowing Down to the Beautiful Ballon Bleu de Cartier Watch

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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

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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.

 

Posh Pawn Episode 2 Highlights Revealed!

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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.

 

 

 

Revealed! Highlights from Season 3, Episode 1 of Posh Pawn

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From leisure helicopters and Lamborghinis to Louis Vuitton leather goods and luxury yachts, Channel 4’s Posh Pawn elevates the concept of pawnbroking to a whole new level.  With two successful series already on film, the team has signed on for another year of giving viewers a glimpse at the hidden world of high-end pawnbroking.

 

Want to know more? Read on for a sneak peek at what’s in store for episode one of the latest Posh Pawn season.

 

James and Steve cruise around Palma

 

Pawnbroking can be a tough gig, and the crew have earned the right to relax and unwind. Viewers will be green with envy as James and Steve cruise around idyllic Palma in a luxury sailboat.

 

Patrick and Rosie

 

The world of luxury leather goods can be seriously lucrative. Thankfully, the Posh Pawn team has armed themselves with on-trend individuals who can spot quality from a mile away. Episode one showcases some gorgeous Hermès and Louis Vuitton handbags that will have fashionistas swooning.

 

Lawrence and Angela’s Oasis guitar

 

Music memorabilia generates some crazy cash, especially when it’s associated with what’s widely regarded as the biggest Britpop band of all time. When Lawrence and Angela get their hands on an original Oasis guitar, they’re suitably excited! And a visit from Britpop expert Rob is the icing on the cake for this pair of Oasis fans…

 

Alicja’s dazzling diamonds

 

Diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend, so when Italian client Herbert brings in a dazzling bracelet Alicja is smitten. The piece is stunning and she decides that it’s worthy of a visit to diamond specialist, Ian Towning.

 

Office expansion

 

Prestige Pawnbrokers is growing and with this comes the need to expand the premises. Episode one sees James move into his very own office as part of his plans to take the business to new heights. Watch this space as season three will cover the transition, and is sure to feature some exciting new developments for the Posh Pawn team.

 

So far season three of Posh Pawn is shaping up to be full of sensationally high-end deals, and we’ve only seen snippets of episode one! As August rolls on, be sure to catch all of the action on Channel 4.

 

 

James Constantinou Posh Pawn Series 3

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The Prestige Pawnbrokers team are back for a third series Posh Pawn of this autumn. Headed up by entrepreneur James Constantinou the new series has been scheduled to air on Channel 4 in October.

We are looking forward to giving the public an even closer look at the behind the scenes day to day running of Prestige including new aspects of our business such as our new online eshop

James Constantinou

James Constantinou Director & Owner of Prestige

Since series 2 the business has grown and expanded with new staff members along with favourites such as the quick witted operations manager Jo Lawlor and Jewellery Experts Lawrence and Jamo.

 

Expect a series 3 to be the best Posh Pawn series to date!

 

Missed any of the previous Posh Pawn shows? Catch up now on Channel 4 On Demand

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