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‘Pawn shop’ for rich booming in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Jewelry worth thousands of dollars. Valuable art, watches, and sports memorabilia. Even titles for collectible cars.

These are just a few of the items that are winding up in a Scottsdale business where people take their high-end valuables to get a little extra cash.

“We have everything from signed Babe Ruth bats, to some very fine art from quite a variety of artists,” said David Goldstein, who founded Biltmore Loan and Jewelry eight months ago.

Goldstein said it’s more like a bank than a pawn shop. He started the business because he saw that the banking system was broken four years ago.

“People had no alternative,” he said. “They didn’t know where to go. The banks weren’t lending and the pawn shops were inundated and [too] uneducated to pay prices that are fair. So we just saw a beautiful fit to fit right between the two, and discount the rates.”

Biltmore Loan and Jewelry gets anywhere between 2 1/2-6 percent interest per month on each collateral loan it makes. Goldstein said that some of his clients have had money in the past and are now down on their luck. For others, getting the loan is kind of a business deal.

“Our core market is more business-to-business,” he said. “People who need short-term bridge loans to facilitate their business in a cash crunch.”

Goldstein said his clients’ privacy is important and whatever they bring into his store isn’t just laying around.

“It’s kept in a state-of-the-art security facility that’s covered by Lloyd’s of London while it’s in our possession,” he said.

Goldstein has made loans as high as $300,000 since opening.