State Treasurer of Iowa

Successful Unclaimed Property Auction on eBay

December 5, 2012

Des Moines, IA – State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald recently concluded Iowa’s first unclaimed property eBay auction. “This auction was a tremendous success. We had a diamond ring that sold for $960, a roll of 1887 Morgan silver dollars that sold for $2,425 and even a 1931-S Lincoln penny that sold for $104.02. We brought in over $6,800 that we will hold for the owners of the boxes to claim at any time” Fitzgerald said. “Items went for much more than we expected and we are ready to roll out our next auction, which is slated to start December 12.” Check for items that will be on the auction block soon at If you see someone you know, contact the treasurer’s office immediately.  
Items sold in the eBay auction are from abandoned safe deposit box contents that were reported to the State Treasurer as unclaimed property by various financial institutions across the state.  Prior to any auction, the Treasurer’s Office completes an exhaustive effort to locate the owner. Letters are mailed to the last known address; names are published in a newspaper in the county of the last known address; names are posted on; and names are taken to the Iowa State Fair and other events around the state.
“The auction heightened the public’s awareness of our unclaimed property program and created an increased volume of callers and traffic to our website,” stated Fitzgerald. “Eighteen of the items were purchased by Iowans, which means these treasures will stay right here. We are required by law to sell the items once our vault gets full and eBay helps ensure that we are doing what is in the best interest of the box owner.”
Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions, businesses and other organizations that have lost contact with the owner for a specific period of time. Common forms of unclaimed property include checking and saving accounts, court deposits, stocks, dividends, gift certificates, life insurance policies, utility deposits, refunds, rebates, wages, and abandoned safe deposit boxes. 
Search our unclaimed property database to see if the State Treasurer has property belonging to you. Simply visit to begin your search. The list of owners for the December 12 auction is listed online. If you are on this list, please contact the treasurer’s office immediately. 

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