"We're not a pawn shop, we're a pawn boutique!" says manager Victor Guzman, proudly.
From vintage Cartier sunglasses, to Louis Vuitton bags, and even a piece by artist Diego Rivera, you won't see cluttered neon-lit items at Midtown Pawn Boutique.
"It falls right in with Miami style," Guzman says.
The boutique at 261 NW 36 St. opened in mid-July and offers Miami's wealthy not just a place to unload last season's handbags, but also an unconventional way to get liquid assets. In a still-shaky economy business owners can pawn their high price-tag items for loans. Guzman says a typical client may be an entrepreneur having trouble making payroll or who needs cash for unexpected expenses.
"We have yachts presented to us. We probably have a yacht brought to us once a month," Guzman said.
The pieces are special, from an $18,000 Cartier necklace, to a bright orange rotary dial phone.
"This is from Germany, so you'll need to be good with your Deutsch," says Guzman.
The luxury pawn concept was inspired by an old legend about Queen Isabella of Castile.
"She funded Christopher Columbus' journey. She did so by pawning her royal jewels," says Guzman.
Artist Diana Contreras, also known as "Sofia Rose," created a modern take on the queen in a larger-than-life mural that is splashed onto the side of the building. It fits right in with the nearby Wynwood neighborhood.
On Saturday, the boutique will give you a chance to find out how much your royal jewels are worth. Guests are invited to the open event that will feature professional appraisers. Think "Antique Roadshow" plus wine, music and live art.
Contreras will also be spray-painting a Smart Car at the event, which goes on from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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