Pawnbrokers' Signs. The most wealthy of the Italian bankers, generally called Lombards, belonged to the princely house of the Medici of Florence. They bore pills on their armorial bearings, as indicative of the profession of the family. At that time it was customary to cover boluses, etc, with gold or silver leaf, and hence the Lombards adopted the sign of three golden pills upon their signs. In the course of time, as the great reputation of the Italian bankers increased, others assumed the device, and it has since become general.