Minnesota raised just over $140,000 this month from an online auction that listed more than 1,000 items for sale from abandoned safe deposit boxes.
The state Commerce Department conducted the auction, as required by state law, for items left in bank safe deposit boxes where the lease for the box ended many years ago.
Going forward, owners or heirs still have the chance to submit claims for proceeds from the event, which ran Sept. 1-13.
Here are highlights from the sale as reported by the department:
- Bidders: 500, from almost every state and Canada.
- Buyers: 150.
- Catalog views: 200,000.
- Top bid: $7,600 for a woman's ring. Several lots containing jewelry or coins sold for $1,000 to $4,200. None of the individual bids came close to the $27,500 paid for a coin dating to 1795 at a similar state auction in 2013.
State law says the department must hold auctions at least every 10 years. This month's event was the first since 2019, when items sold for a total of $115,000.
Banks must try to find owners of items left in safe deposit boxes after the lease has ended. After five years, abandoned items are turned over to the Commerce Department's unclaimed property program.
This month's auction included gold and silver rings as well as topazes and other gems. Watches and pocket watches were auctioned along with old coins, including a gold U.S. dollar from 1853 and a silver U.S. coin from 1852.