22 June 2023- Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced today that Treasury’s spring unclaimed property auction brought in more than $285,000, making this the most successful auction to date. The two-day online auction in April included more than 4,200 items.
“Our first priority is always to return unclaimed property to its rightful owner. I’m glad to safeguard these items, but even with the largest operating vault in the country, sometimes it’s necessary to auction items due to space restrictions. The proceeds from this auction will be cataloged, and the funds will be held in perpetuity until the owner is found. And we will never stop looking for rightful owners.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
Treasury partners with Pook & Pook Inc. of Downingtown for appraisal and auctioneer services.
“We are thrilled once again to have worked with the Pennsylvania Treasury on another outstanding auction. Like every auction at Pook & Pook, there were a few fun surprises. Lot 1218, a platinum and diamond necklace, was the top lot of the sale coming in at $11,500 – almost double the high estimate. Clearly the unique design and form caught more than one bidder’s discerning eye. Lot 1075, a very unusual 18K gold pocket watch with enamel decorated mechanical figures climbed to ten times the high estimate, $7,000. The auction team wasn’t completely surprised by the high price. In the weeks prior to the auction we had received a dozen or so requests for additional photographs of the lot. All in all, it was a fabulous auction and we’re excited to begin work on our next collaboration with the Pennsylvania Treasury, scheduled for October 2023.”
President of Pook & Pook Inc., Deirdre Pook Magarelli
Along with the platinum and diamond necklace and the 18K gold pocket watch, other items sold include a 14K two-tone gold stick pin brooch with 2-carat diamond; multiple Engelhard 100 Troy ounce 999+ fine silver bars; $20 Liberty Head Double Eagle gold coins; one-ounce fine gold Canadian $50 Maple Leaf coins; Morgan dollars; and an 18K yellow gold George Melleze pocket watch with a silver-colored key attached.
More than 4,200 items were sold for a total of $324,750; Pook & Pook receives a 12 percent commission for their services. Treasury expects to net $285,780 after all payments are received. Items not sold, or for which the winning bidder does not pay, will be returned to Treasury’s vault and relisted in future auctions.
State law requires businesses to report most types of unclaimed property to Treasury after three years of dormancy. Treasury keeps tangible unclaimed property for at least three years before it is auctioned. The only items never auctioned are military decorations and memorabilia, which will remain in Treasury’s care until a veteran or their family are found.
Treasury is working to return more than $4 billion in unclaimed property to its rightful owners. One in ten Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property, and the average claim is worth about $1,600.
To learn more about unclaimed property or to search Treasury’s database, visit patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property.