Unless you have been living under a rock, there’s no way you don’t know what History channel’s “Pawn Stars” is about. The show has been on air for over a decade, and besides the huge fame and worldwide recognition it has accumulated over the years, its cast has been not only well financially rewarded from it, but has also attained the status of reality TV stars.
While we know well who the Harrisons guys and Chumlee are, the audience have also grown interested in the experts who from time to time appear in the series, to save the day of either the shop or its customers. That’s why many people were flabbergasted when the literature expert Rebecca Romney suddenly stopped appearing in the show after many years of being a recurrent cast member, raising many questions regarding what happened to her.
So where is Rebecca Romney now, and why did she leave? Keep with us to know the truth about this iconic “Pawn Stars” expert!
— Pawn Stars (@pawnstars) May 10, 2021
Who Is “Pawn Stars” Rebecca Romney?
Rebecca Romney is a name that good fans of “Pawn Stars” surely remember. She was one of the few female experts to appear in the show, and was well known for her meticulous ways, smartness and thorough takes when it came to pricing rarely seen books.
While we know her birth name is Rebecca Angeline Engeat, she doesn’t exactly reveal details about her personal life, such as her hometown or family, to the general public. However, we fortunately know a lot about her career and professional journey to put together the puzzle that Rebecca is to many people.
Starting with the fact that she’s an old book expert, many of her followers wonder if she studied for a career directly related to her job, but that’s actually not the case. Although Rebecca is a Classical Studies and Linguistics graduate, she has assured that what actually led her path to become a books’ specialist was to be in ‘the ‘right place at the right time, or so she describes the hiring process she went through to join the famous old book dealer company, Bauman Rare Books in 2007.
Though you might think that she was already well prepared to take the job at the time, considering her educational background, Rebecca actually had to enrol into a Rare Book School to further her knowledge in the field even after being hired by Bauman. As Rebecca affirms, furthering her studies was necessary to become a capable specialist with experience in all types of antique or ancient literature. That’s probably the reason she passed from being initially a salesperson to a gallery manager, and subsequently the company’s senior director in only a couple years.
Debut on TV
It’s not hard to remember Rebecca Romney from her time in “Pawn Stars”, as she was quite different compared to the shop’s guys and other experts both in looks and specialization.
She made her debut on TV in 2011 during “Pawn Stars” fourth season, subsequently becoming one of the most recurring field experts in the show until 2014. Her role in it was more than just pricing whatever old book a customer brought to the Pawn Shop, but also gave her insights about rarely seen documents and manuscripts.
Her expertise in any potentially valuable literature piece produced between the 15th to the 20th century is indisputable, but knowing how tricky reality TV can be at times, people always wonder if her appearances in the show were real or staged. Fortunately, Rebecca is very open regarding her time in “Pawn Stars”, and even addressed the subject of its legitimacy during a Question and Answers thread she started on Reddit. As she affirms, everytime she was invited into the show, the situations and setting were apparently genuine, though she was always informed beforehand what the item she was going to appraise was, so she would have the right information at hand, and the final estimate of value would be more exact.
The Best Items
Throughout the years she appeared in “Pawn Stars”, Rebecca Romney appraised a handful of books and other literature-related items, not easy to forget for their historical value or lack thereof.
In the latter category, we can count an ancient edition of Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”, brought to the Pawn Shop by a potential customer with the hopes of getting several thousands for it. However, Rebecca determined that although said “Walden” was indeed a first edition, it was worth only $100 for having been printed in England.
Another one of those cases in which the seller ended up greatly disappointed happened in “Pawn Stars” episode “Zoodoo”, when a guy named Jon brought in “The Memoirs of Richard Nixon” signed by the former US President himself. Unfortunately for Jon, Rebecca discovered that for being a second edition, the book was barely worth $200 and not even Nixon’s signature could add more value to it.
While the previous items weren’t good deals for the sellers, there have been cases in which they have got quite a lot for ‘only’ a book. For example, a rare copy of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” was bought by the shop for $5,500, or when a very rare book by Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben dating from 1779 was priced by Rebecca at $18,000. Though those numbers are quite impressive, Rebecca has admitted to having priced books for over $100,000 in her own shop.
Was She Fired From “Pawn Stars”?
Proving that every good thing has to end, Rebecca Romney stopped appearing in “Pawn Stars” after the ninth season’s episode “Field Trip” aired in 2014.
Her disappearance certainly left her fans with many unanswered questions, especially considering that even despite her obvious popularity with the audience, neither she nor the show’s production staff ever explained why she was no longer in it.
As you can imagine, the situation did raise many rumors and speculations, from theories that she was fired, to that she had problems with her fellow cast members.
As we have already mentioned, an official statement regarding the situation was never released by any of the parts, but we can at least connect the dots to conclude that the reason Rebecca left “Pawn Stars” was related to the fact she left her job in the Las Vegas’ Bauman Rare Books shop to take a position in the company’s Philadelphia office, meaning that she could no longer film the show due to the long distance. The theory seems more plausible if you take a look into her job history listed on her LinkedIn profile, and see that the events’ dates coincide.
Now that’s cleared up, fans also question the current state of Rebecca’s relationship with the cast of “Pawn Stars”, though that’s uncertain. While we know that she used to be friends with Rick Harrison in real life, we haven’t seen them together recently.
Exit From Bauman
Being upgraded to a higher and potentially better paid position in your company is not an easy feat, but we’re sure Rebecca Romney’s promotion was well deserved.
As a senior director for Bauman Rare Books, she worked under the direct command of the company’s co-founder Natalie Bauman, and was in charge of not only managing human resources, but led researches, marketing strategies and acquisitions.
Rebecca held that position until 2016, when she left Bauman to join the Brooklyn-based Honey & Wax Booksellers, another rare book business. It seems that Rebecca was really passionate about her new job, or that is what it looked like in late 2018 when she posted an online article revealing some of her personal favorite books sold by the company throughout that year, including a French edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Histoires Extraordinaires” and the Nigerian magazine “Black Orpheus”.
So are you wondering what caused her exit from Bauman? As much as we would like to answer that, to date it’s still uncertain what led her to leave the business. All the same, she also left Honey & Wax in mid-2019, though in this case at least we know it was to focus completely on her own business.
Podcast & Business
Rebecca Romney founded her own rare book business – Type Punch Matrix – based in Washington DC, where she currently resides. Looking on the company’s website, you can see that Rebecca created it with the means of being a responsible and inclusive firm, which sets it apart from many other old school businesses in the same field.
While that’s actually impressive, Rebecca hasn’t stopped at only that, and has been pursuing other independent projects even before founding Type Punch. From 2016 to 2017, she hosted the “Biblioclast Podcast” with her husband J.P Romney, which served the couple to share their mutual love for literature, while also disagreeing at times.
— Pawn Stars (@pawnstars) March 7, 2014
Despite the short life of the audio-show, in 2019 Rebecca was showcased in the highly praised documentary “The Booksellers”, which premiered in several international festivals and even gained her the praise of Variety as ‘the movie’s cockeyed optimist of bibliophilia’.
If you take all of these things into consideration, it’s quite obvious that the path Rebecca is building in the business of rare books still looks very promising.
If you happen to follow Rebecca Romney on Instagram or Twitter, you might have noticed that she doesn’t publicly share a lot of information on her personal life.
Despite how hard it is to find those type of details about her, we can certainly assure that Rebecca is married to J.P Romney, author of books such as “The Monster on the Road is Me”.
As you can see, their mutual passion for books and literature surely was one of the reasons the couple fell in love in the first place. If you look into Romney’s biography on the book specialized website Fierce Reads, you might be surprised to discover that he and Rebecca have two children.
One of the most common questions Rebecca receives it’s whether or not she’s related to the US Senator Mitt Romney; the answer is yes, she’s related to him through her marriage to J.P, who as you might have guessed already, is part of the political family Romney even if he has refrained from joining public office.
Knowing the immense number of books she’s read throughout her life, it’s not surprising to find out that Rebecca Romney is a published author as well. In 2017 she and her husband co-wrote “Printer’s Errors”, which collects several stories of people related to the book printing business, and authors.
The book received the approval of journals such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, putting emphasis on how the couple’s writing was entertaining and easy to digest.
Although Rebecca hasn’t published any other books, her work as a writer for several important websites is impressive as well. She actually wrote a handful of articles for Bauman Rare Books’ online blog, and has made important contributions to CrimeReads.com, Literary Hub and Mental Floss.
As if that wasn’t enough, Rebecca’s work as a literary researcher has been quite fruitful as well, gaining her a spot in editorial edition projects, and as a writer of forewords, making it obvious that she’s very versatile when it comes to her work.
Language Mastering and More
With all the things about Rebecca Romney that we have mentioned so far, you may think you already know everything about her, but actually there’s more.
Typically I ignore the clickbait articles & videos that appear because of Pawn Stars: they're riddled with verifiable errors & purposely misleading gotchas. (For the record: I wasn't born in Vegas, I have never been fired, I still film on Pawn Stars.) But this one is too funny. pic.twitter.com/y4SRsRPstf
— Rebecca Romney (@rebeccaromney) October 9, 2020
Impressively enough, Rebecca is multiple lingual, counting French, Latin, Greek and Japanese, and is still mastering at least the reading of old English. If you’re wondering why she is such a fan of learning other lingos, it’s because it makes it easier for her to read foreign and antique books without the limitations that translation entails.
If you love books like Rebecca does, or are simply her fan, you surely have wondered what is her personal taste in literature. Fortunately for you, we can tell you that she’s a big fan of romance, science fiction and fantasy genres, and if that doesn’t make it obvious enough, Rebecca enjoys modern literature as much as classical works.
While we know you would love to see Rebecca return to “Pawn Stars”, there hasn’t been any sign that she would return to it. However, if you’re just too eager to see her showcasing her impressive knowledge in rare books again, we have good news for you – Rebecca has recently participated in live public talks for universities, and often collaborates with podcasts as well. Besides that, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, on which she often updates her followers on her business and literary interests.