December 13, 2018 / Modified dec 13, 2018 11:15 a.m.

Things People Leave Behind: Forgotten Valuables Up for Auction

Items up for bid include gold, silver, and collectibles left in safe deposit boxes.

Forgotten Gold Gold coins are among the unclaimed property being auctioned off by the Arizona Department of Revenue in December 2018
Arizona Department of Revenue

If you're looking for a gift that's truly different, you could surprise someone with gold coins, silver bars or a set of classic baseball cards. Those are some of the finds the state is auctioning off from forgotten safe deposit boxes.

The Arizona Department of Revenue collects the things people leave behind in their safe deposit boxes when they die, or simply forget about and stop paying rent for. Department spokesman Ed Greenberg says the objects include some potentially rare finds.

"From a baseball card collection, to a lot of antique and fine jewelry, to historic currency. And there are American Eagle coins in this that will be up for auction, and there is also fine silverware," Greenberg said. He added that sometimes the owner or their survivors just can't be found.

"These are safe deposit boxes that have been sitting dormant for a number of years and after an exhaustive search for the rightful owners, or relatives of the owners, we come to a point where the items are then put up for auction," Greenberg said.

A Phoenix auction house is hosting live bidding Friday morning, and bids can also be placed online through Sunday. The state holds on to the proceeds from the auction in case the owner is later found.

And if you think there might be a long-forgotten safe deposit box with your name on it, the revenue department's website has an unclaimed property page where you can check.

MORE: Arizona, Economy, News
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona