BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — All you treasure hunters, listen up! Every year the state puts forgotten treasures up on the auction block.
It may be worth your while to have a look, if not to bid on a unique antique, than to see if one of those items may actually belong to you.
The state’s annual Unclaimed Property Ebay Auction is currently displaying a traveling showcase of items across the state, which made their debut at the State House Monday. State Treasurer Steve Grossman, whose office oversees the auction, gave 22 News a private look at some of the items. “This is a 100 ounce silver bar,” said Grossman, picking up a hefty-looking block of silver. “Pretty heavy, doesn’t look as heavy as it is and silver is about $36 dollars an ounce right now. This will probably sell in the auction for between $3700 and $4000 dollars. It’s an unusual item.”
Grossman says all the items up for bid come from safety deposit boxes that have been abandoned for at least nine years. Anyone who can demonstrate that an item belongs to them or their family can reclaim their property.
“If we’ve already sold them we’re obligated to give [claimants] the proceeds of whatever the value was on the day it was sold. So our goal is always to return property to its rightful owner. That’s our principal goal,” said Grossman.
The value of the items range from a $17,000 2 karat diamond ring to an old copper penny worth two cents; With 2,000 lots on the auction block, the state Treasury believes it will be a record year that could haul in more than half a million dollars.
“We’re going to be out in Springfield on Thursday,” said Unclaimed Property Assistant Treasurer Mark Bracken. “We’re going to be at the State Office Building on Dwight Street from 12pm to 5pm. We go out there every year and we’ll be bringing the same cases representing samplings so people can kind of get an idea of what we will be auctioning off beginning on October 20.”
All the proceeds from the auction will go to the Massachusetts general fund.