State Treasurer to auction $125,000 of unclaimed jewelry on eBay

By Hannah Hess

State Treasurer Alexi Giuannoulias’ office begins auctioning the contents of abandoned safety deposit boxes on eBay to holiday shoppers this Sunday, Nov. 23.

“We have diamonds, pearls, rubies and gold and silver jewelry and coins,” said Giuannoulias spokesmen Scott Burnham, speaking about the upcoming Silver and Gold auction.

All available items come from the Illlinois’ unclaimed property vault.

“Money and other assets are considered lost or abandoned when the owner cannot be contacted after a period of 10 years,” Burnham said.

According to Giuannoulias, the state holds about two billion dollars worth of unclaimed property from about ten million Illinois residents and businesses.

Auction proceeds are used to make payments into unfunded pension liabilities, which Illinois has approximately $43 billion, one of the highest in the nation, Burnham said.

“Especially since the economy is tight and budgets are softening, we’re hoping people will take advantage of these bargains on eBay,” Burnham said.

In total, three auctions will be held between Nov. 23 and Dec. 14.