A treasure of unclaimed items attracted attention at a preliminary auction held at the Thompson center On Aug. 5.  This display was only an overview of some of the items that would feature in the real auction which was to go down on Aug. 17 at the Illinois State Fair.

 The Baseball souvenir included a ball with autographs of the 1984 Cubs among other items like special coins, luxurious watches, and diamond rings.

Whenever a registered owner of a bank’s safe box passes away or moves to another location without leaving any contact info, the state takes responsibility of the abandoned items.

According to Michael Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer, someone must have locked these items in safe boxes because they valued them. Each item has a memorable story behind it.

“These are incredible tales locked in vaults. “There’s a reason they were locked in safe boxes, they must have meant a lot to somebody,” said Frerichs.

State Treasurer Frerichs also assured attendees that his office will see to it that those treasures reach their rightful heirs. The items will only be released for auctioning if the Treasury office fails to identify the legal owners.

Illinois hosts these auctions annually and has at one time collected money to the tune of $9,000 from a rare US penny according to Frerichs’ team. The office of the treasurer holds the money from the auctions; it stores the funds until the legit owner appears to claim them. According to employees, in most cases the true owners of the items never show up.

But not all items found in safe boxes are not sold out; stuff like love letter or strands of hair are not listed for auctioning.

More and more items are on offer this 2019 for the highest bidders among Illinois residents and other US citizens who are keen to keep tabs on this annual auction. Employees from the treasurer’s office said there are over 25,000 items the State Treasury will be auctioning this year.

Final Words

The State Treasury auctioned items worth $96,000 last year, a drop from 2016’s figures which stood at a staggering $173,000, according to employees.

These figures are a sign there’s still a treasure of unclaimed riches locked up in bank safe boxes.

Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high risk payment processing company eMerchantBroker. He’s just as passionate about assisting businesses set up penny auction merchant accounts as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.