This Guitar Trade Almost Had The Pawn Stars In Trouble With The Law

The guys from "Pawn Stars" have definitely seen some oddball items come into their store over the years. According to Screen Rant, they've trafficked in everything from Slash's driver's license to Marilyn Manson's figurine from "Celebrity Death Match" to Saddam Hussein's fingerprints to an old can of elephant poo. They also get quite a few ethically questionable items, like the time someone came in with what she thought was carved ivory she'd bought in Taiwan. (Rick turned her down, even though what she'd bought was bone, and not ivory.)

And some objects pose legal questions in addition to ethical ones. That's exactly what happened on an episode from season 7, when a man named Jon came into the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop trying to sell a guitar. Yes, we know what you're thinking. Really? A guitar? How could that ever get the "Pawn Stars" guys in trouble with the law? Let's take a trip down memory lane and see.

The guitar trade that was too risky for the Pawn Stars

As you can see from the clip of the proposed trade that "Pawn Stars" posted to YouTube, this was no ordinary guitar. After Jon expresses his doubts about whether or not he can even sell it, Rick turns the guitar over to reveal that the back of the instrument's body had been made with what appeared to be a sea turtle shell. Rick's red flag goes up. He knows that it could be illegal to trade this guitar, so he calls in his go-to expert on the six-string: Jesse Amoroso, owner of Las Vegas' Cowtown Guitars.

According to Jesse, guitars made from tortoise shells were popular after World War II, when GIs brought them home as novelty items. As for how much it could sell for, he says, "I know they go for a premium, they go for a lot of money." That's all well and good with Jon, but there's a catch. Jesse says there's probably no problem owning it, but selling it would be another matter. Trade in sea turtles and tortoises has been illegal since 1975. "Honestly, dude," he says to Rick, "I wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot pole."

Unfortunately for Jon, Rick agreed with his guitar guy on this one and decided he'd rather be safe than sorry. Despite the price it could have pulled in, the possibility of getting into legal trouble — the police are involved in every transaction on the show — simply made this "Pawn Stars" trade too risky.