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Empire Loan, a Boston-based chain of pawn shops around New England, has developed a mobile app that allows users to upload photos of items such as paintings, jewelry and instruments, to discover whether they’re valuable.

The app, which launched in the Apple App Store in late April, is the latest way Empire Loan is leveraging technology as a way to differentiate itself in the pawn shop industry, said CEO Michael Goldstein.

“We’re trying to find our competitive edge,” he said in an interview.

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