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Treasurer plans unclaimed property auction at the Illinois State Fair

CHICAGO – An Ernie Banks rookie card, an 1856 flying eagle cent, and an Elvis Presley concert ticket stub are some of the 21,500 unclaimed property items worth $167,000 to be auctioned live on August 20 on the Ethnic Village Stage at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

“For the first time in 10 years, the treasurer’s office is hosting a live unclaimed property auction at the Illinois State Fair to give collectors a rare opportunity to bid on items in person,” Treasurer Mike Frerichs said. “Collectors can also take advantage of seeing the items in advance at our auction preview events in Chicago and Springfield.”

Additional live auction items include a one-thousand dollar bill, a Patek Philippe-Cartier men’s watch, a new pair of 1997 Air Jordan XII basketball shoes, a Series 1891 Ten Dollar “Tombstone” Silver Certificate, a 1893 Bronze Ten Dollar Pattern Coin, and a 22KT 4.36 oz gold bar. The live auction will include 255 lots. Auction items have been appraised by an outside vendor. Luke Lee Gaule will serve as auctioneer for the live auction on Aug. 20 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

The treasurer’s office attempts to return valuables to their rightful owners. After 10 years of private and public attempts to locate the owners, the unclaimed items are put up for auction.

So far this year, the treasurer’s office has held three online unclaimed property auctions. The last live unclaimed property auction was held in 2006.

Collectors will have two opportunities to preview the live auction items. All auction items will be on display at the Springfield event. Select auction items will be on display in Chicago.

Live auction previews

Aug. 2, Illinois State Capitol (Rotunda), 401 S. Second St., Springfield, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Aug. 5, James R. Thompson Center (Atrium), 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Live auction

Aug. 20, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Ethic Village Stage, 801E.Sangamon Ave., Springfield, noon. Preview: 8 a.m. to noon.

Winning bidders must submit payment on the day of the auction using a major credit card or cash. No checks will be accepted.

For more information about the live auction, call (217) 557-8567. Collectors may also view items online by clicking the auction link under the Resource Center at www.illinoistreasurer.gov.

The treasurer’s office is the custodian of unclaimed property including lost bank accounts, insurance policy proceeds, unpaid rebate cards, and safe deposit boxes. Items are surrendered to the treasurer’s office after private entities have tried for at least five years to locate the owner. All auction proceeds will be held for the rightful owners in perpetuity.

Because thousands of items are surrendered each year, residents should check I-Cash every six months. Visit www.illinoistreasurer.gov or call (217) 785.6998. The office does not charge money to search or return unclaimed property.

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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