Pawn Stars' Rick Harrison on why it's so hard to find silver right now
(Kitco News) - Supply disruptions that began during the outbreak of COVID still linger and continue to cause shortages of physical silver deliveries, driving premiums up, according to Rick Harrison, owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop as featured in the hit reality TV show "Pawn Stars".
"It's very hard to keep any bullion in stock and the bullion I do have I'm selling them for $4, $5 over spot when it comes to silver. It's very difficult to get. Physical silver is a very hard thing to find right now. I know a lot of people in this business…physical delivery is very hard right now," Harrison told Michelle Makori, editor-in-chief of Kitco News.
Pawn Stars is a hit reality TV show that chronicles the daily activities of the family-run World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. The series airs on The History Channel and has been the network's highest rated program.
"With COVID, the U.S. government stopped making Eagles for a while, they got really behind, so there was a lag there. All last year there was massive physical demand, there's a lot of physical demand right now, and [there are just] whole supply issues. I was talking to a supply manufacturer and it's supply chain issues, getting the silver from point A to point B to point C…it's not the way it used to be," he said.
Harrison noted that there's a lot of "free money" in the system right now, which has caused bids on collectible items and luxury goods to skyrocket.
"I'm selling some video games right now for tens of thousands of dollars, just the cartridge. I can't keep a Rolex in stock, I can't find any Rolexes. Generally, there's tons of people selling used Rolexes wholesale, I can't get any," he said.
Harrison added that one of the biggest business trends in the U.S. right now is a shortage of labor.
"I was talking to a person yesterday, he has 12 fast food restaurants here in Southern California. He's closing two of them, not because he's not making money, but because he can't get an employee," he said.
For Harrison's views on inflation and NFTs, watch the full video above. Follow Michelle Makori on Twitter @MichelleMakori.