GEM’S History

GEM’S History

GEM PAWNBROKERS was established in 1947 by the late Martin Kaminsky and has steadily grown into the largest pawnbroker in the New York City area with over TWENTY FIVE branches. The high volume of loans that GEM writes makes it the largest privately held chain in the nation as well as one of the largest in the world.

GEM FINANCIAL SERVICES, Inc. was established in 1975 as a spin-off of the successful pawnbroking business. GFS is an industry leader in total financial solutions for the pawnbroking industry, offering financial consulting and a variety of financing programs custom designed to any pawnbroker’s business model.

To this day, GEM remains a family owned and operated business. Martin’s oldest son, Mitchell is the Chairman of the Board. He is the past President of the Collateral Loanbrokers Association of New York State and is a past Director of the National Pawnbrokers Association.

Rachel Wilen, Martin’s granddaughter, has assumed the day to day operations as President. Eileen Kaminsky, Martin’s daughter serves as the Vice President of Marketing.

GEM currently employs over 130 people. For over sixty years, Gem has been serving the pawnbroking community with the best in financial services. Our name stands for integrity, stability, quality and above all, excellence in service. If you ever need to speak to a Gem agent for any reason please call our 24HR Gem information line and press: 1-718-CALL-GEM (225-5436).


Mission Statement

Gem Pawnbrokers is committed to responsible industry practices and total customer satisfaction. Gem Pawnbrokers promotes laws and regulations that balance the interests of the pawnbroking industry with those of consumers, as well as supporting and encouraging responsible industry practices. Since we hold our customers in the highest regard, all employees are committed to our “Best Practices Policy.” This Policy includes providing full disclosure to customers, complying with all city, state and federal laws and regulations, advertising truthfully and encouraging and promoting community responsibility and commitment. With over 28 locations in the New York City metropolitan area, we’ve helped millions of customers get cash fast when they need it most.

Gem Pawnbrokers knows the meaning of real customer service. Our customers have been here for us since 1947 and we thank them for making Gem the largest and most respected pawnbroker in New York State.

I hope this Website is helpful and answers all of your questions.

Mitchell Kaminsky, Chairman of the Board

Company Affiliations

We enjoy being involved in our community and industry. Gem is proud to be affiliated with the following organizations.

  • American Numismatic Association
  • Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
  • Consolidated Jewelers Association of Greater New York
  • Estate Jewelers Association of America
  • Gemological Institute of America Alumni & Associates
  • Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Professional Appraisers
  • Society for Professional Watchmakers
  • New York City Business Improvement District
  • New York City Police Athletic League
  • Jewelers of America
  • Diamond Council of America
  • Queens Chamber of Commerce
  • Jewelers Vigilance Committee
  • Jewelers Security Alliance
  • Washington Heights Chamber of Commerce

Officers | Senior Management

  • Mitchell Kaminsky | Chairman of the Board
  • Eileen Kaminsky | Vice President of Marketing
  • Rachel Wilen | President
    rachel@gempawn.net