Auction

State Treasurer Don Stenberg displays a sampling of the treasures found in abandoned safe deposit boxes as he announces during a press conference at the Capitol in September an online eBay auction to sell the items.

ERIC GREGORY, Journal Star file photo

A recent online eBay auction of the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes, authorized by the Nebraska State Treasurer's Office, brought in $78,716, Treasurer Don Stenberg said.

The office will hold the money from the auction for the box owners or their heirs. They can claim the money at any time with proper documentation, Stenberg said.

The 10-day online auction ran from Oct. 2-12.

Stenberg was pleased with the outcome of the auction, which attracted a large number of serious bidders, he said. All of the items sold at or above the appraised values. 

One lot of 45 pre-1904 Morgan silver dollars and pre-1964 silver dimes, quarters and half dollars sold for $3,350, the highest selling price in the auction, he said. One lot of collectible sports trading cards featuring Roger Maris, Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax sold for $1,125 and attracted 57 bidders, the largest number of bidders for a single lot in the auction.

The last auction hosted by the treasurer’s office brought in $15,000 in sales in 2012.

This year’s auction included coins, jewelry, sports trading cards, watches, pocket watches and sterling silver flatware that were left in safe deposit boxes turned over to the treasurer’s office by banks between 2006 and 2011.

State law requires the Treasurer’s Office to conduct an auction of the safe deposit box contents at least once every five years.

“Our office works diligently to promote awareness of our unclaimed property program and to help owners locate and document their property," Stenberg said. "We returned a record $16.3 million of unclaimed property to rightful owners in 2016 and more than $11.7 million so far this year."

The office is still holding more than $170 million for more than 350,000 Nebraskans or former Nebraskans, he said. 

The treasurer’s online database is at treasurer.nebraska.gov.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.

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JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

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