Pasadena’s Pawn Star

Friday, February 13, 2015 | 8:22 pm

EARPHONES 015Todd Robinson, owner of Crown City Loan and Jewelry, admits that reality TV shows like Pawn Stars do a lot of good in his industry. “You know, it lets people know what pawnshops actually do,” Robinson said.

While his family-owned and operated pawnshop business does not have out-of-this-world deals like in the TV show, Robinson has had his share of unforgettable purchases like “a Rolex President Watch with 20-karats of diamonds in it and national championship and football NFL rings.”

Established in 1953, Crown City Loan and Jewelry is one of the most trusted pawnshops in Southern California. It carries jewelry, coins, and firearms, and welcomes Pasadenans in need of personal loans. Robinson has been in the family business since 1989, and has seen the evolution of what’s being sold and bought in his store.

“Gold, diamonds, high-end watches, iPhones and iPads, vintage guitars, things of that nature that have good liquidity…. We don’t have a problem loaning or purchasing it at a much higher rate than we would for a TV or digital camera or other musical instruments like a trumpet or clarinet,” explained Robinson.

“Whatever the situation is, when something comes [through] these doors and hits the floor, it’s an open game,” added Robinson. What is notable about Crown City is it has a Federal Firearms License, which puts the pawnshop in the position to buy, sell, and loan on firearms. “Because we’re an FFL dealer, we transfer guns also, which means when people buy guns from out of state and have them sent to California. I do the buy and hold them, do the background check and deliver them to customers after they’ve satisfied the Department of Justice,” said Robinson.

Crown City is also part of the California Pawn Association, and is regulated by the DOJ and local law enforcement. “There is a lot of integrity and [regulations] that you have to [follow] to be a pawnbroker. You don’t just open a shop,” Robinson said. “Some do, but they’re not obviously within the parameters of the law.”

Crown City Loan and Jewelry is located at 65 E. Colorado Blvd Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 793-5404 or visit


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