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Cajun Pawn Stars: A visit to Alexandria's Silver Dollar Pawn

Got a musical instrument, a piece of movie memorabilia or some rare coins you want to get rid of? If you’re anywhere near North Louisiana, there’s no question as to where to go to make a deal: The Silver Dollar Pawn and Jewelry Center in Alexandria. But you don’t have to be looking to pawn something to enjoy a visit to “The Tiffany’s of Pawn Shops;” Silver Dollar Pawn is a fun store to browse in and, as the set for the History Channel’s “Cajun Pawn Stars” television show, one that’s loaded with personality.

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Photo by Kevin Wierzbicki
"Cajun Pawn Stars" Jimmie DeRamus and daughter Tammie DeRamus
Photo by Kevin Wierzbicki

The main reason why a visit to Silver Dollar Pawn is so much fun is because of the store owners and stars of “Cajun Pawn Stars;” Jimmie, Peggy and Johnnie DeRamus and Tammie DeRamus-Credeur. The family is very approachable and usually on hand, so store patrons can meet them and perhaps get a photo or two. The DeRamuses are always working though; Jimmie might be making a pawn deal while Johnnie’s outside closing a sale on one of the store’s classic automobiles, so fans need to be patient when the store is busy. Otherwise, walk right up to your favorite Cajun Pawn Star and ask away if you have questions about the merchandise or want to chat about something you saw on the show.

As if the people running the store aren’t attraction enough, there’s some amazing stuff on display at Silver Dollar Pawn. Before you even step inside you’ll meet the General; The General Lee that is. The General Lee is the 1969 Dodge Charger that featured prominently in the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard,” now polished to a sheen and parked right by the store’s main entrance. Another automobile on display at Silver Dollar Pawn evokes a more solemn reaction; the centerpiece of the store’s Civil Rights display, located inside, is the “lost” hearse of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the vehicle that carried Dr. King’s body after his assassination in 1968.

Silver Dollar Pawn is a large store that includes a mezzanine and you could literally spend hours shopping or just gawking at the merchandise. The mezzanine is primarily filled with musical instruments and all that goes with them; here you’ll find dozens and dozens of electric guitars and amps along with keyboards and lots of acoustic instruments like fiddles and banjos. Downstairs is a delight where sections of the store feature jewelry, coins, guns, Elvis and Coca-Cola memorabilia and collectibles galore. Autographed memorabilia ranges from the expected (a promotional photo of Beyonce) to the unbelievable (a framed Jerry Lee Lewis collection that includes a lock of his hair, a pair of pink underwear signed by notorious Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.) There’s a BB King signed guitar, a way-beyond life-size Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator promotional prop, Beverly Hillbillies paraphernalia, and tens of thousands of smaller items to marvel at. And of course since the store is constantly buying, you never know what might go on sale from day to day. It’s not often that a store would constitute a tourist attraction but Silver Dollar Pawn is an Alexandria must-see.

Silver Dollar Pawn is located at 2417 Lee Street in Alexandria, Louisiana. The store is open Monday – Saturday 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM. Photography is not allowed while “Cajun Pawn Stars” is being filmed.

For ideas on other fun things to do in the area visit the Explore Louisiana North website and the Alexandria/Pineville Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

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