Is the silver Shekel part of the Pawnbroker Symbol?
One of the least known origins that has been researched is that of the coin known as the "Silver Shekel" or "Shekel of Israel" which was issued in A.D. 68 after a Jewish revolt against the Romans. One side of the coin depicted three pomegranates, with a common stalk. This may have been an inspiration for the Pawnbrokers symbol.
The Traditional History of the Three Balls
Wikipedia explains The pawnbrokers' symbol is three spheres suspended from a bar. The three sphere symbol is attributed to the Medici family of Florence, Italy, owing to its symbolic meaning of Lombard. This refers to the Italian province of Lombardy, where pawn shop banking originated under the name of Lombard Banking. The three golden spheres were originally a symbol medieval Lombard merchants hung in front of their houses, and not originally part of the coat of arms of the Medici family. It has been conjectured that the golden spheres were originally three flat yellow effigies of byzants, or gold coins, laid heraldically upon a sable field, but that they were converted into spheres to better attract attention. Most European towns called the pawn shop the "Lombard". The House of Lombard was a banking family in medieval London, England. According to legend, a Medici employed by Charlemagne slew a giant using three bags of rocks. The three-ball symbol became the family crest. Throughout the Middle Ages, coats of arms bore three balls, orbs, plates, discs, coins and more as symbols of monetary success.
The Medici Connection The symbol of the three balls was eventually incorporated as part of the coat of arms of the Medici family, who established the Medici trading and banking empire in Florence, Italy. The Medicis were a 15th century Italian family of bankers and lenders, with considerable fame and fortune. They became so well known in the finance and lending profession that the other lenders, wanting to share in their success, adopted similar coats of arms, signs, shields and symbols, with three golden balls being the most popular. Once other merchants involved in monetary dealing adopted the three golden balls as their symbol, the three balls came to symbolize the entire profession founded on the ethic of mutual trust.