Over a century ago, there were connections between the Mafia and Las Vegas. Despite Nevada’s 1910 ban on gambling, the mob continued to operate clandestine casinos and speakeasies (via History). Politicians, of course, authorised the activity in 1931, but organised crime had already established operations there, particularly in Sin City. There are still a tonne of interesting tales of criminals running what was practically a civilised Wild West, despite the fact that the Italian Mafia’s role in the city has significantly decreased.
Mafia-related items are therefore in high demand locally, which is good news for the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop that was featured on History’s “Pawn Stars.” The men usually like looking at objects with connections to early Las Vegas. A vendor shows up with what he believes to be one of the most important artefacts in Mafia history in Season 5’s “Ring Around the Rockne”—a ring that once belonged to Charles “Lucky” Luciano.
Luciano left behind a violent, brutal legacy and is often regarded as the founding father of organised crime in the United States. The lads naturally show curiosity when a man enters and claims to own the ring that Luciano wore. The seller is asking at least $100,000 for the item, which might not be unreasonable if he could have shown a connection.
The seller has no way to authenticate the ring
The “Pawn Stars” cast always wants a second opinion when discussing six figures, and they have their go-to experts on hand to help. Jonathan Ullman, who at the time served as the executive director of The Mob Museum of Las Vegas, is consulted by Rick Harrison for this article. He clearly shows interest in the object, but the seller is unable to establish that Luciano was the original owner. He makes it apparent that he doesn’t want to implicate anyone who may be in possession of the ring by only mentioning that his mother worked for the Mafia when explaining how she acquired it.
Even if everything might appear to be in order (roughly speaking), Ullman is unable to confirm that the ring truly belonged to Luciano at one point in time in the absence of supporting documentation. The “Pawn Stars” crew ultimately decides against purchasing the item because they are not in the business of making impulsive purchases.
The guys have shown they don’t mind purchasing illicit goods, but dealers must first provide the necessary paperwork. In a different episode, a man enters carrying a fragment of a banknote that was taken in 1971 by D.B. Cooper. Even though it’s just a piece of a bill, Rick is willing to spend up to $1,600 to obtain it. The Mafia shouldn’t be as litigious when it comes to documenting the origins of their regalia, we suppose.
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