Diamonds fascinate us. We stare into them, read about them and bestow them as tokens of love. The very concept of the time and geological pressure it took to transform a lump of coal into a dazzling diamond is both confounding and compelling. Or, as young copywriter Frances Gerety wrote while daydreaming over ad copy for diamonds in 1947: “A Diamond is Forever.”
The House of Representatives’ version of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency bill specifically skips pawnbrokers, to the industry’s relief.
Pawning in America is something we all seem to know something about, in modern times, but many of us are not familiar with the history of our beloved industry in the United States. Wendy A. Woloson fills in both pawnbrokers and the general public on the critical role pawnbroking has played in our country in her recently released book, IN HOCK: Pawning in America from Independence through the Great Depression (University of Chicago Press, 2010).