Florida unclaimed property auction begins Saturday in Tampa

Sorboni Banerjee reports

- Money, coins, jewelry - $700,000 worth of unclaimed property is up for grabs this weekend.

Most of the items come from abandoned safe deposit boxes.

The bank holds onto items for three years - then they get handed over to the state's Division of Unclaimed Property, which makes room in its vault with an auction, once a year. This time, it’s at the Tampa Marriot on West Shore.

"We can't hold onto them forever so convert them to cash. We credit the cash to the person’s account so they, or the heirs, can claim it indefinitely," explained Walter Graham with the Division of Unclaimed Property Director.

Featured items include an 18k gold Rolex-brand watch, an 18k gold necklace with more than three dozen natural-cut diamonds, and multiple lots featuring a variety of diamonds, emeralds, pearls and rubies. In addition to vintage jewelry, several other collectable items like rare coins and trading cards featuring sports greats like Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Dan Marino and Larry Bird are available to purchase.

Unclaimed property does not just mean physical items. You might have an old paycheck or security deposit out there.      

Anyone interested in attending the auction needs to register between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday. Bidding begins at 10 a.m. You can check to see if you have any unclaimed property at www.fltreasurehunt.org.

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