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Ohio Department of Commerce auction includes coins, stamps even a gold tooth

By MARC KOVAC Capital Bureau Chief Published: May 2, 2017 11:46 AM

COLUMBUS -- Old coins and currency, stamps and other collectables, including a gold tooth, will be sold to the highest bidder this week during a second auction of unclaimed items held by the Ohio Department of Commerce.

The sale is set for Thursday and Friday at the Apple Tree Auction Center in Newark, starting at 9 a.m. on both days. The state agency's Division of Unclaimed Funds had a comparable auction in February that resulted in more than $510,000 in sales.

This time, nearly 2,400 lots of antique money, stamps, trading cards and jewelry will be on the block, all collected by state officials from safe deposit boxes that were long forgotten or abandoned and have gone unclaimed.

According to Lindsey LeBerth, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Commerce, items being sold this week were reported to the state from 2000-02. The agency plans to have similar auctions every few months to sell safe deposit box contents collected through 2012.

The state maintains a website (com.ohio.gov/unfd), where residents can check to see if any forgotten payments, security deposits or bank deposit box contents have been posted.

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Hundreds of safe deposit boxes are abandoned each year, on average. Generally, the owners stop paying rent for the boxes; after several years, the contents are reported to the state, which holds them until an owner can be identified.

The proceeds from this week's auction will be deposited into a state account, in the original owners' names, less a 15 percent commission that will be paid to the auction company.

Bids can be made in person or online. Additional information, including a list of items to be sold, is available online at www.appletreeauction.com.

Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at mkovac@recordpub.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


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