State Lures Bargain Shoppers With Online Auction

By Sarah Birnbaum

Oct. 26, 2011

cartier snake bracelet

Is there a jewelry lover on your holiday shopping lisssssst? The state is auctioning about 1,000 items, including this Cartier snake bracelet, on eBay. (Courtesy of the Mass. Abandoned Property Division)

BOSTON — Just in time for early holiday shopping, the Massachusetts Abandoned Property Division is auctioning off unclaimed valuables on eBay.

The items range from the posh, like a $25,000 diamond pendant necklace, to the… shall we say… unique, like a Harry Potter wristwatch with Dumbledore lurking in the background.
Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman’s favorite item is a pin in the shape of a tiger with tiny emeralds for eyes and a bejeweled snout. 
"It’s only appraised at $1,000, but I just happen to think it’s a really cool item,” he said. “In fact we thought it was such an exciting item that we put it on our poster. You know, if you’re ‘on the prowl’ for some great deals.”
Most of the items come from safe-deposit boxes that have been abandoned for nine years or more. Grossman said the Treasury also stores unclaimed cash, stocks and bonds. “One out of 10 people in the Commonwealth has unclaimed property,” to the tune of $2 billion, he said.
Officials expect the auction to fetch upwards of $350,000. About 1,000 items will be auctioned off over the coming month. The first batch will be posted for bidding on October 29.

To find out if you have abandoned property, go to the state's website

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