Oldest Pawn Shop in Boston Celebrates 100 Years in Business

Suffolk Jewelers & Pawnbrokers is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The pawn shop has anchored Boston’s historic South End district since its opening in the early 20th century.

Suffolk Jewelers & Pawnbrokers opened at the corner of Washington Street and Newcomb Street in Boston in 1910. It is the oldest pawn shop in Boston as well as in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the largest store of its kind in New England.

Suffolk Jewelers & Pawnbrokers is located along the thriving commercial and residential strip of Washington Street. The South End district grew into a thriving commercial district throughout the late 18th and early 19th century because of quick access to the city’s railways and ports. The South End is the largest intact Victorian row house district in the country, with distinctive architecture covering more than 300 acres. The neighborhood was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and the South End was designated a Landmark District and Protection Area in the city of Boston 10 years later, in 1983.

The business was originally named Suffolk Loan Company, and changed its name to Suffolk Jewelers & Pawnbrokers in 1986.

Suffolk has been a mainstay of Boston’s South End since its opening. The store has served customers through two World Wars and the Great Depression, as well as during the neighborhood’s many transitions, including the economic downturn of the 1960s and 1970s, the removal of the famous elevated train tracks along Washington Street in 1987, and the neighborhood’s recent resurgence as a popular restaurant and shopping district.

Throughout the transitions, Suffolk has remained an anchor on Washington Street. Generations of families have continued to return the store, drawn by its reputation and support of the community. The store is well-known by locals, who return year after year because of Suffolk’s friendly salespeople and dedicated staff.

Suffolk Jewelers & Pawnbrokers has a beautiful collection of engagement rings, wedding bands, and other fine estate and pre-owned jewelry. It also sells unique antique and vintage items. Suffolk also offers collateral loans, with fast transactions and personal service. Suffolk is renowned for its quality, which is part of the secret of its success to remaining in business for a century.

“We are extremely proud to have been in business for 100 years,” said Ed Bean. “We have enjoyed being part of this community and look forward to many more years of serving this area.”

Suffolk provides funding and other support to the local summer basketball league, several area churches, and numerous nonprofit organizations. It also employs staff who are local and dedicated to the community.