So, when todays newspaper was delivered the front page story was about how the State of Rhode Island has become and Ebay seller in order to try to raise money to close the deficit. Yup, that’s right, no joke! Apparently the items that are going to be up for auction are valuable items that have long been forgotten in safe-deposit boxes across the state.
On the electronic auction block will be valuable coins, gold bars, baseball cards, jewelry, a 18-carat gold Tiffany chalice appraised at $12,000, and hand-carved scrimshaw worth $4,000. I’m sure that the original owners of these items never thought they would be donating them to the state. But now, it seems that the state has a veritable treasure trove of other peoples items to sell off.
I’m not quite sure how all of these items became unclaimed. Yet, somehow they were forgotten and lost in the safe deposit boxes, and that’s where the state has stepped in. Once a year, the general treasurer publishes a list of the names and addresses of the owners of the unclaimed property with instructions on how to file claims. The state has the right to sell the unclaimed belongings and to place the proceeds in the state’s general fund. At any time after that, owners may still make claims and are entitled to the cash value of the items.
Right now there is some really beautiful jewelry up for auction. You can check out the items up for sale at the Treasures website here, or at the States ebay store here. Image above: scrimshaw up for sale.