State sells unclaimed valuables

Grossman’s favorite item, a 14k gold tiger pin with diamonds, was the inspiration behind the campaign’s mascot and slogan, “The thrill of the hunt is on,” he said.

The state is sitting on billions of dollars worth of unclaimed cash and jewelry, some of which is ready to go up for sale on eBay starting Saturday.

But before the bidding begins, State Treasurer Steve Grossman wants to give people a chance to get back their lost treasures.

“One in 10 people in the state have unclaimed property,” Grossman said as he stood amongst an array of diamond studded jewels at the State House yesterday.

More than 1,000 trinkets from silver slabs to pocket watches, rare gold coins and century-old dollar bills, will be showcased to the public prior to going out to Internet auction.

One hundred of those items will go up for bid this weekend.

According to Grossman, most items come from abandoned safety deposit boxes, which the state takes ownership of after nine years of inactivity.

In the last seven years on eBay, items sold for 60 percent over their appraised value on average.
That money goes into the state’s general fund.

“Our first objective is to reunite people with their rightfully owned property,” said Grossman, adding that if no one steps up, the item is auctioned online.

Last year’s eBay sales raised nearly $480,000  through the sale of 2,418 separate bids.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.



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