State to auction $1M in unclaimed property

Tallahassee, Florida -- Inside the Florida Department of Financial Services lies a vault full of boxes. But, what's in those boxes is considered treasure - fascinating items like diamond and platinum rings, a gold stopwatch and ancient coins.

Millions of dollars worth of items are stored in the vault. Every year, banks turn over unclaimed property to the department. State workers try to find the owners, but after waiting several years auction the items off.

PREVIEW:See the catalog of items at auction

"Most of them are not something were you're going to be able to walk into a store and see and purchase on your own," said Liz Tatum, vault supervisor.

This weekend the prized possessions will go up for auction in Orlando. Bidders will find gold coins, an old flute and authentic baseball cards starring Jackie Robinson.

"It is Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and Willie Mays, those are very unusual and rare for us to get," Tatum said.

SEARCH:Does the state have your property?

The state offers this treasure to buy but consumers give them an important treasure in return because unclaimed proceeds go to benefit the state's education.

"Nearly $2 billion has gone to help schools," said Walter Graham, bureau of unclaimed property chief. "This is a free service that's offered to all citizens by the state of Florida."

However, Graham says the No. 1 priority is for them to find owners to come forward to pick up their items or cash in on what was sold.

AUCTION FAQS:Introduction to the auction


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