|From Arabic coins to a Nineteenth Century book, the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes brought hundreds of bidders and thousands of dollars to White City, Oregon on April 4 and 5.
“We had an extremely smooth-running, successful auction this year,” said Pat Tate, unclaimed property manager. “One ring fetched $8,000 and several silver bars yielded $1800 apiece. We had lots of people – dealers and folks just having fun – vying for the most interesting pieces in the nearly 1400 lots we put up for bid.”
Every year, the Department of State Lands receives hundreds of boxes, envelopes and packages containing the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes. Financial institutions must turn over the contents to the state when owners have not kept up rental payments and when they are not able to be located.
The state auctions the items and holds the proceeds in the owner’s name. The funds are held in the Common School Fund whose earnings are sent twice a year to Oregon’s 197 public school districts.
After auction expenses were paid, the proceeds totaled $196,000 for the school fund, Tate said. The auction was conducted by Grants Pass-based Liska Auctioneers.