PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Buyers could purchase high-value items without breaking the bank this week at the Oregon State Treasury’s online unclaimed property auction.
Jewelry, coins, art and first edition books are just a few of the unclaimed pieces of property that will be auctioned off Thursday. The treasury is holding the auction to get rid of items and unique treasures found in safe deposit box contents collected through Oregon’s Unclaimed Property Program.
The treasury already opened bidding on several items and as of Tuesday morning, things like 14k gold rings were a fraction of the price they’d be if purchased new. One 14k gold ring with an approximately “2+ carat diamond” had a high bid Tuesday of only $850.
“These convenient online auctions help us reach potential buyers across Oregon and the country while reducing our storage of older unclaimed items,” Trust Property Director Claudia Ciobanu said. “The program overall and special projects like auctions are designed to ensure we’re protecting people’s unclaimed money until they step up to claim it.”
The live online auction will be held Thursday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. This is the second time the treasury has conducted the auction entirely online. The previous online auction was held in November 2021 and brought in more than $25,700 to Oregon’s Unclaimed Property Program.
The Oregon State Treasury says all proceeds from items sold are held in trust in the Common School Fund, an investment fund the treasury oversees. Any interest earrings the fund generates are distributed to Oregon K-12 public schools. The treasury says the principal amount from each sale is saved in case the owners of the property ever come forward to claim it. Oregonians have an unlimited amount of time to come forward and claim unclaimed money that’s being held in their name.
The treasure says before each auction, program staff tries to contact safe deposit owners before items are put up for sale. Items such as military medals or other insignia are never sold through auctions. Instead, people can search for them online at Oregon.gov/treasury.
Feb. 3 was selected as the auction date because it’s not far behind National Unclaimed Property Day on Feb 1. The day is intended to bring awareness to unclaimed property across the country and the state treasuries protecting it.
Every fall, companies, nonprofits and government agencies across the state must report and remit unclaimed property to the Oregon State Treasury. Last October, a record $80.8 million was reported. The treasury says the unclaimed money includes uncashed checks, unreturned deposits, forgotten bank accounts and abandoned safe deposit boxes.
The program first came to the Oregon State Treasury in July 2021 and since then, the treasury says it has returned $13.3 million to nearly 11,000 people who filed claims.
Oregonians can check to see if the state is holding unclaimed property on their behalf by visiting unclaimed.oregon.gov and searching their name.