There’s nothing more entertaining than seeing families having issues on television, especially if it involves money and business. While drama might not be the main reason people tuned into “Hardcore Pawn” when it premiered in 2010, the sibling rivalry and the way it affected their pawn shop was definitely one reason why the audience continued on loyally watching for nine seasons.

Knowing how popular “Hardcore Pawn” was, it’s normal to wonder why it was suddenly cancelled in 2015. Was it a fall in ratings that caused it, or is there any controversy around the show? All the details about “Hardcore Pawn”s ending, how famous it actually was, and whatever its cast is doing nowadays are in this vid, so keep with us to discover it!

Why Was “Hardcore Pawn” Cancelled?

For a show as drama-inducing as “Hardcore Pawn” was, people somehow expect its cancellation to be related to a hidden scandal, or issues between the cast. However, in this case the reality is a little less interesting.

From its inception in 2010, “Hardcore Pawn” was an indisputable success, to the point of becoming TruTV’s most watched series without much extra effort. By the time TruTV ceased its production, the show had maintained its status and high audience numbers, but the network’s executives didn’t like “Hardcore Pawn” anymore for a good reason.

As it happens, in early 2014 TruTV went through a revamp, which included changing the network’s image and the content of its shows, giving space to more comedic and light-hearted productions while leaving behind drama-filled series. On one ad meant to promote the news, they showed a viewer’s comment, which said: ‘I want to hardcore punch whoever made this show’ in reference to “Hardcore Pawn”, to which TruTv responded: ‘We heard you, and we’re making big changes’.

Despite their big and daring words, a couple of months later TruTV premiered “Hardcore Pawn” for another season, though the announcement was kept low=key. The show’s last season wrapped up in 2015, with no other network showing an interest in acquiring it.

Where Is The Cast Now?

Les Gold

If you watched “Hardcore Pawn” at least once, you surely know that Les Gold doesn’t need an introduction. As the owner of American Jewelry and Loan, Les is evidently a man driven by actions but also by his sixth sense in business. Defining himself as a ‘street-level economist’, Les definitely believes that knowledge is more properly acquired through experience than from theory, applying those same principles to his business.

Though Les has been involved with the pawn industry since he was just seven years old, his money-driven mind also took him to establish a small pizza-reselling business at school in his teens. From there he grew up to take every opportunity and turn it to his favour, as it’s evident in his autobiography “For What It’s Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker”, published in 2013. The book has been described by Forbes’ Josh Likner as an influence in his decision-making processes, and as a useful inspiration provider for entrepreneurs.

While Led can proudly say a very praised TEDx Talk with his name is available online, you can also book him as an inspirational talker for private events, through the official American Jewelry and Loan’s website. He’s also available on Cameo.com, on which you can arrange for him to film a personalized video for you.

Seth Gold

One of the most memorable sub-plots in “Hardcore Pawn” was definitely the sibling rivalry between Seth and his sister Ashley. Though in the show he was introduced as the business’s leading marketing expert, he’s also a co-owner and Vice-President.

While Seth’s career is still on the rise, he has a couple of interesting accomplishments to be proud of, such as being named Pawnbroker of the Year by the National Pawnbrokers Association in 2013, in addition to entering the 2016’s 40 Under 40 Class selection made by the local magazine Crain’s Detroit Business, an honor Seth gained due to his compromise of providing people with alternative means to obtain money when traditional ways aren’t available to them.

Seth’s is also credited for the big presence that American Jewelry and Loan has nowadays on the internet, to the point that it’s become one of the biggest local e-commerce businesses. His program Power to the Grid has also helped people with physical or mental handicaps to secure a job.

While there’s unfortunately not a lot to say about Seth’s personal life, his career as a pawnbroker, businessman and public speaker looks very promising.

Ashley Gold

As the only daughter of Les Gold, Ashely was the co-owner of the American Jewelry and Loan shop. Her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan definitely made her fit for managing the shop’s jewelry department, a field she enjoyed, despite how often the drama of her rivalry with Seth overshadowed that.

While many people have the impression that Seth was the most daring out of the siblings, the truth is that those terms are more easily fitting for Ashley.

After “Hardcore Pawn”s cancellation in 2015, Ashley left the family’s business to establish Pawn Chick Shopping, an online and physical jewelry shop with products handmade by herself. As read on the business’ website, her shop was inspired by her love for genuine gold jewelry, and accumulated experience working for her family for decades.

Besides considering herself a daring business woman, Ashley’s good taste and love for fashionable things surely played a role in her shop’s success. Her business is nowadays named Ashely Gold, and has accumulated an impressive 60,000 followers on Instagram, in addition to offering services such as wholesale selling and an affiliate program to her associates.

Why Did She Leave The Shop?

Although it’s obvious that Ashley’s exit from her family’s shop was motivated by her desire to become independent, there’s more to it. In a 2016 interview she gave to Detroit’s local TV station WDIV, working at the American Jewelry and Loan was taking a toll on her.

Listing reasons such as not having a healthy lifestyle, being overweight, facing a huge work load, and on top of it all, being unable to spend time with her husband and very young children, it’s understandable Ashley eventually wanted to find an alternative in her career that didn’t make her personal life so difficult.

In addition to that, she was seen evidently relieved for not having to appear anymore in “Hardcore Pawn” following its cancellation, as the drama was definitely not something she wanted again. However, her experience in the show and working for her family taught her to ‘negotiate, make deals, stand up for myself’, which are lessons she found truly valuable in the grand scheme of things.

Rich Pyle

As a fan favorite of “Hardcore Pawn”, Rich Pyle’s appearances in the show were always entertaining to see. Working as the American Jewelry and Loan manager didn’t impede him from pursuing a career as a musician on the side, surely making him quite a likeable guy to the audience.

However, Rich’s 25 years working in the shop came to an abrupt end after he was fired in a sixth season episode. The incident was quite controversial, as it was deemed unfair to him and despite giving his apologies to his bosses, Rich was definitely terminated from the business without being able to talk much about the details of it publicly: ‘I was not expecting that’, he told the News-Herald.

While his exit from the show and shop altogether caused many malicious rumors to rise, there were better things awaiting for Rich. It occurred to him that giving a twist to the gold industry would be interesting for TV, a concept that National Geographic Channel picked up to create the show “Meltdown” with it.

As the show’s host, Pyle and his team of modern treasure hunters took them on a mission to turn the weirdest junk into gold. Though the show wasn’t renewed for a second season, Rich’s kept working in the entertainment world and nowadays hosts the online show “Hole Nation”.

“Hardcore Pawn” From The Inside

Though it was greatly featured in “Hardcore Pawn”, many former viewers never really knew the real history of the American Jewelry and Loan shop.

As it happens, the shop’s origins go back several years before its foundation. Les Gold’s grandfather actually owned a small pawn business, and though it’s unknown what happened to it, working there gave Les enough insight and knowledge of how the pawn and gold selling industry worked. Though he gave it a try in other fields too, his path was set after establishing his first American Jewelry and Loan location in 1978 in Oak Park. Said shop was allegedly so small that Les couldn’t turn around, but that wasn’t enough to deter his dream.

In 1993 the business was big enough to move to a better place in Detroit. Almost two decades passed before a second location opened in Pontiac in 2011, followed by a third shop in Hazel Park in 2016.

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The latest two American Jewelry and Loan shops are respectively in Lincoln Park and Southgate, and were opened in 2021 as part of the Gold family’s ever-growing business model, which isn’t limited anymore to jewelry but offers all types of products of varied value, going from furs to electronics.

Debut On TV

Though reality TV isn’t strange to shows focused on the pawn business, it’s always interesting to know how a series’ concept originated and was brought to life. Unfortunately, there’s no available information about how “Hardcore Pawn” came to be, but it’s an acknowledged fact that it was conceived in direct competition to the internationally famous History channel’s series “Pawn Stars”, even premiering in the same time slot.

However, everyone who’s watched both shows knows that these two are wildly different.

Instead of making an emphasis in the story or value of every object, the main attractive point of “Hardcore Pawn” is the Gold family’s dynamics, and the help the shop provides to its clients, something Les was definitely pleased with in the show’s premiere: ‘We’re a Detroit-made business that represents what real pawn shops do. Just a wide range of real people who need money’, as he told the web magazine Talk Of Detroit in 2010.

Nonetheless, Les makes sure people know that the shop’s purpose is ‘making a profit’ when seeing a chance, true to his businessman nature.

Spin-Offs

Most successful TV shows get its own follow-up productions and “Hardcore Pawn” is not an exception. The first spin-off was “Combat Pawn”, which premiered in July 2012 and featured North Carolina’s business Guns Plus, a firearm-specialized pawnshop mainly managed by veterans.

Though the initial concept looked promising, “Combat Pawn” was cancelled after only seven episodes.

Afterwards a second spin-off – “Hardcore Pawn: Chicago” – premiered in January 2013. As the name hints it, the show had the same concept as the original, but based in the Royal Pawn Shop in Illinois, managed by Randy and Wayne Cohen. Though this show was a little more successful than “Combat Pawn”, it was eventually cancelled after 18 episodes.

Following that cancellation, two former employees and show’s stars named Jeremy Jackson and Karl Bell were arrested in mid-2014 for theft, after looting at least $40,000 in articles from the Royal Pawn Shop. Later that year, the shop’s security guard Carl “Carlos” Deals was unfortunately found dead in his home.

Did Someone From The Show Die?

Unfortunately, a former star of “Hardcore Pawn” named David Kapuscinski, who appeared in some episodes trying to intimidate Seth Gold, was killed in 2015 in a confusing incident. As it happens, police officers were called to the house of a woman who was supposedly a victim of domestic abuse.

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When the police arrived, Kapuscinski failed to comply with their order and after apparently not seeing any way out of the situation, the police tasered him and caused his death.

However, Kapuscinski’s girlfriend affirmed that she wasn’t a victim of domestic violence and her late boyfriend had been suffering a panic attack when police arrived. She also affirmed that the portrayal in the show of Kapuscinski as a violent man was scripted.

Was The Show Fake?

Though in 2010 Les Gold affirmed “Harcore Pawn” wouldn’t be like any other reality series, and would showcase real people, the show has been severely criticized for its scripted scenes, convenient or comical situations, and unrealistic portrayal of some of its customers.

As the website The Sound End affirmed, the situations and places were evidently staged for anyone living in Detroit. However, the author also said “Hardcore Pawn” had an admittedly addictive factor which was probably the cause of its huge success. Nonetheless, was it fair to judge the show for its efforts to become more attractive for general audiences, using the old reality TV tactics? That’s something only the audience has the right to decide.

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