An ancient profession dating back 3,000 years is booming in 21st century Wrexham.

The recession has fuelled new growth in pawn broking where customers can temporarily off-load goods for instant cash.

According to Martin Rees, the Jeweller and Pawnbroker, in Chester Street, they have never been busier.

The business was founded just over 30 years ago by Martin Rees and his wife, Ruth.

As well as selling pre-owned and new stock, they offer secured loans using jewellery as collateral.

Going to a reputable pawnbroker is normally a much cheaper option than the "exorbitant" interest rates charged by the rash of short-term loan companies promoted by wall to wall advertising on television.

It also has the added advantage of enabling customers to reclaim treasured possessions by repaying the loan.

Their ethical approach last year helped Martin Rees win a national award from Skillsmart Retail for the excellence of their customer service.

They were one of only a half dozen businesses across the UK to gain a 100 per cent mark following two visits by a mystery shopper.

The origins of pawnbroking can be traced back to China in 1,000 BC and we have the profession thank for the discovery of the Americas - Christopher Columbus' voyage was funded largely by pawning Queen Isabella of Spain's jewels! And it was a shared passion for jewellery that brought Martin and Ruth Rees into the trade.

Ruth recalled: "I love the gemmology side of the business, it’s an endlessly fascinating subject. For me, there's no better way to make a living than this.

According to Ruth, one ingredient in their success as a business was the invaluable professional advice and guidance they receive from Coxeys.

She said: "Having great professional advice has made a tremendous difference to our business, they are very reassuring and supportive.

"They’re interested in our business as a whole and they’re genuinely trying to help us run a better and more successful business - more than just looking at the nitty gritty of the cheques and the invoicing. That's very valuable.

"I think Wrexham’s very lucky to have a firm like Coxeys looking after so many of us. They have been a huge benefit to us in good times and bad."

Gill Atkinson, a Director at Coxeys Chartered Accountants, said: "It is an absolute pleasure to provide a service to such ethical people who are so passionate about their business and customer care.

"Their professional approach is a shining example to others and I am delighted that our role is contributing to their success."