Due in part to popular reality television shows, the pawn shop industry has become a popular means of short term lending
. Though the thought used to exist that these stores were dingy, that is no longer the popular theory. Many owners have gone an extra step to shed a good light on the industry and have opened upscale locales. Cranston Patch reported on the opening of Cranston Pawn Brokers in Rhode Island earlier in May, which presents a storefront that look like regular stores. The source detailed glass display cases feature expensive items, including precious metals, coins, electronics and jewelry. Part of the high class nature of Cranston Pawn Brokers comes from the fact owner Alex Manzo will not be buying just anything from customers. She told the Patch she only wants to invest in a certain type of item, and hopes to expand her business to include artwork, antiques and other expensive products. Pawn shops are now being frequented by the rich with some frequency. The Sun Sentinel reported Boca Raton Pawn is another store that limits its wares to upscale items, including Jimmy Choos, Hubolt watches, canary diamonds and a Picasso painting. "We call ourselves a pawn shop, but we're really a high-end collateral lender," owner Seth Marcus assured.