Illinois treasurer auction yields $93,000 for coins, comics and more

From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois state treasurer online auction took in $92,653, eclipsing the anticipated amount of $60,425.

“Our auctions occur after the items have not been claimed after a 10-year search,” Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said. “It is exciting to know these valuables will bring enjoyment to so many people after so many years.”

Commemorative coins, jewelry, baseball cards and comic books were among the 16,200 items auctioned between March 16 and March 20.

Following best practices, individual auction items were appraised by an outside vendor and grouped together to increase bidding interest. Net proceeds fund efforts to reunite cash and valuables with their owners. Interest earned on investments is used to pay state bills. Typically, that amount exceeds $130 million each year.

The Treasurer’s Office holds more than $2.1 billion in unclaimed cash and property. Examples include forgotten bank accounts, payroll checks, insurance proceeds, consumer refunds and unclaimed safe-deposit box items. Last year, one-in-four people who searched I Cash found cash or an item. The average discovery was valued at $1,000. The largest amount of unclaimed property recovered through I-Cash was in 2008 and valued at more than $1 million.

Top items in the auction included a lot with an 1894 Morgan Silver Dollar ($4,550), a lot with a $50 Liberty Eagle One Ounce Gold Piece ($2,775), and a lot with a Rookwood Pottery vase ($1,075). The lot with a Chicago Cubs 1965 Ernie Banks baseball card and a Chicago White Sox Frank Thomas signed rookie card garnered $685.

More information about unclaimed property, including the ability to search by last name, is available at illinoistreasurer.gov. Click on the I-Cash button.

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