2020 Valentine’s Gift Guide

“Seriously? It was just Christmas!” Right? You just got finished spending all that cash on your sweetie, and now you’re sitting here reading a Valentine’s Day gift guide. Hey, you can wait until the last minute, but here’s the thing: If you really love them, then you gotta step it up this year—and if you want some pretty cool gift ideas, we’ve got ‘em. Oh, and you can get them all at a jewelry pawnshop. Yeah, we said it!

Why Pawn Shops Are the Place to Go for Heart Day

It’s true that pawnshops haven’t had the best reputation over the years, but, thanks to those reality TV shows, everyone now knows that you can find all kinds of weird and wonderful things in one—way beyond jewelry (which is still a great way to rack up the romance points, by the way).

People take their stuff to sell at pawnshops for lots of reasons, but it all comes down to this: Their loss can be your gain, and you can get stuff for a lot cheaper than buying new—now do we have your attention?

How Can You Know What They Want?

This is a tough one, especially for the guys. All those hearts and flowers can be a little unsettling for some. Okay, so a lot unsettling. Does she really want jewelry? Is she expecting you to put a ring on it? Talk about pressure! Except that there isn’t any if you know what she likes and where the relationship is at. We’ll leave that to you. In the meantime, here’s some stuff she might like.


Anything with a heart shape can work for you this year. From gold and silver to diamonds and rubies, she’s pretty likely to love something sparkly. Imagine how a necklace might look on her, or picture her in earrings. Bottom line—the pawn shop’s probably got it, but you definitely don’t want to wait long because this stuff moves fast before Valentine’s Day.

Jewelry’s a great way to tell her you think she’s special, and there are tons of styles to choose from. There are intertwining hearts, open hearts with diamonds, solid gold or silver puffed hearts, floating hearts … we could go on, but you get the gist. You can get charms, pins, and bracelets, too.

If you’re wondering how you’re going to choose from all that, think about your girl and what made you choose her. She stood out in some way, right? Well, that’s just how you choose the right sparkly thing. Look them over, and pick the one that speaks to you.

heart necklace pendant

Okay, but What if She’s Not into Jewelry?

The great thing about pawn shops is that it’s kind of a one-stop deal. If she loves movies, chances are there’ll be DVDs. Antiques? Yup, pawn shops have those too. Does she collect stuff? Collectibles are big business for pawn shops.

What about designer stuff? Yup, lots of pawn shops carry designer purses, shoes, watches, and all kinds of other high-end items. If it’s something other than jewelry you’re after, then you’ll have to be really sure it’s what she wants before you buy it.

Popping the Question

If your plan is to get engaged on the 14th, then, really, the pawn shop’s The place to go, with a capital T. More engagement and wedding rings move through pawnshops than most anything else, really. You can get an amazing deal on pawn shop engagement rings, from antique to modern, subtle to blingy. Again, it’s all about your girl’s style. Sneak a peek at the kinds of rings she already wears, and go from there. Oh, and good luck!

For the Boys

If you’ve got a boyfriend, the pressure can be just as bad. Because let’s face it; your boy probably won’t get the warm fuzzies over heart-shaped earrings! So, what on earth do you get him that says “I love you”? These are pretty cool ideas:

Video games, but not just any video games. How about a retro console with a game? You can’t get these elsewhere, so he’ll know you did some searching. Many times you get the console and game as a set, but every pawn shop’s different. Anyway, once you find it and give it, you can indulge your own inner gamer by playing together.

Movies are great for him, too. Maybe it’s the gore-fest you refused to see at the movies with him or a classic he loves but doesn’t have in his collection yet. Whatever you choose, he won’t be able to deny you love him with this gift. Better yet, sit through it with him and you get to sneak some snuggles. Aww!

Happy Black Couple Enjoying Playing Video Games Together

Nothing brings people together like music. If you’re in love with a budding or professional musician, how about some accessories? Maybe he could use a new guitar strap, mic stand, or drum stick holder. Or, check this out: You can buy an instrument, learn a song, and play it for him on Valentine’s Day. This is a sweet idea whether he’s a musician or not. You’re welcome!

What to Know Before You Go

It’s true that you can get lots of expensive gifts at pawn shops for literally a fraction of the price you’d pay for them new. Still, it’s all about the numbers—everything is worth something, and everything can be haggled down to the best price.

So, before you head to the pawnshop, get a handle on what that piece of jewelry, game console, or other gifts are going for elsewhere. Auction and classified ad sites can be a good place to get an idea of prices. Carats, brands, and designer names are also good things to know.

You Only Really Need One Pawn Shop: The Right One

If you’re in NYC, there are tons of pawnshops to choose from, but if you choose the right one the first time, you can save a lot of time and get your love the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. So, how can you tell a good pawn shop from one that’s not so much? Go online and compare. There are a couple of things to look for.

Jewelry is something you don’t want to fool with when you go to a pawn shop. The place you choose should specialize in it. Not only that, but they should also be legally able to put a value on the stuff they sell and certify it with papers. That means having GIA and JA certification.

You should be able to bring stuff in to either trade for or put toward the cost of whatever gift you’re buying—but you don’t want to bring something in that looks like you-know-what. So do us a favor: Do what you can to clean it up and make it look nice before you bring it in.

Last, for the love of Pete, pick a shop with experience. We can’t stress this enough. The longer experience a shop has, the better they can be at giving you the absolute best deal. How do we know what we’re talking about?

We are GEM Pawnbrokers, and we’ve been in business for over 70 years. We’re still in business because we know our stuff. We’ll give you the best price on stuff you want to sell and, if you’re in the market for some jewelry, all of our staff are JA- and GIA-certified. Plus, we’ve got 24 locations.

Don’t mess around this Valentine’s Day; go straight to GEM for the best gifts. Get info on the closest pawn shop to you by calling (718) 596-5626.

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