(From a press release)

Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced today that Treasury’s fall unclaimed property auction brought in more than $298,000, the most ever generated by an unclaimed property auction in Pennsylvania. All proceeds are carefully logged by Treasury and will remain available for the rightful owners to claim no matter how much time passes.

“This is outstanding news, and we’re very pleased that the auction generated such an incredible result,” Treasurer Garrity said. “We work for at least three years to find the rightful owners of every item that comes to Treasury’s vault. But eventually, we do have to auction items to make room for incoming property. All auction proceeds remain at Treasury for a rightful owner to claim anytime – whether that’s tomorrow, a few months from now, or many years down the road.”

More than 4,200 items were sold during the auction that took place online on October 25 and 26, 2023. Treasury partners with Pook & Pook, Inc., of Downingtown for auctioneer and appraisal services.

“This was another tremendously successful collaboration with the Pennsylvania Treasury,” President of Pook & Pook Deidre Pook Magarelli said. “I believe this was our biggest Coins & Jewelry auction to date, and strong prices were achieved across the board in all categories. I’m continually impressed with the stellar effort the Pennsylvania Treasury puts forth into reuniting unclaimed property with its original owners, and, when that is not possible, making sure that monetary compensation for that unclaimed property is available to those individuals in perpetuity. It’s a huge undertaking, and Pook & Pook appreciates playing a part in this important process. We look forward to our next collaboration, a Coins & Jewelry auction scheduled for March 27, 2024.”

The highest selling price of a Treasury item was $27,000 for a collection of 25 early baseball tobacco cards, including Cy Young, Pennsylvania’s own Christy Mathewson and other Hall of Famers. Other high-price items included:

  • US Proof Set of collectible coins sold for $7,500
  • Two Platinum and diamond engagement rings sold for $6,500 each
  • 14K white gold ring with a 3.6 carat pear-shaped diamond sold for $4,400
  • Vietnamese gold bars sold for $2,200
  • $20 Gold St. Gaudens Double Eagle coin sold for $1,800

Treasury expects to net $298,029.60 after Pook & Pook receives its 12 percent commission of the full auction total of $338,670.00. The profits from the auction were more than $60,000 over the high estimate.

Items that are not sold at auction, or those not paid for by a winning bidder, are returned to Treasury to be listed in future auctions.

Treasury receives unclaimed property from businesses if the property has been dormant for three years. Tangible property, most often the contents of forgotten about safe deposit boxes, is stored in Treasury’s vault for another three years while Treasury tries to find the rightful owners. Treasury never auctions military decorations or memorabilia.

More than $4.5 billion in unclaimed property is available to be claimed. More than one in ten Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property, and the average claim is worth about $1,600.

To learn more about unclaimed property or to search Treasury’s database.

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