Jewelry, coins to be auctioned in Tampa - WFLA News Channel 8

Jewelry, coins to be auctioned in Tampa

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Emeralds, coins and baseball cards are among 76,000 items set to be auctioned off by the state of Florida in Tampa on Saturday.

Florida is selling items left in safe deposit boxes for which the state hasn't found the owners or their heirs. The auction starts at 10 a.m. at the Tampa Grand Hyatt.

"Over the last five years we have been trying to reunite Floridians with items that were in their safe deposit box of a family member," said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. "It may be a parent, grandparents, aunt or uncle, something maybe they had forgotten was part of the family asset collection."

If the rightful owner comes forward before the auction, the item could be pulled from the auction block. If the item has already been sold, the owner can get the money from the sale. There is no statute of limitation to make that claim, Atwater said.

For buyers, items not claimed are up for grabs with minimum "reserve" amounts for each piece.

A ring with an 11-carat sapphire surrounded by diamonds, for example, has a reserve amount set at $8,000. Other items set to be auctioned off include silver place settings, an 1876 gold pocket watch and a 1776 continental note.

Peter Lustig of Coconut Grove was at the auction preview on Friday, eyeing some of the watches and coins.  

"I'm looking for things that I could pass on to the next generation," he said.

To find out whether you or your family members have unclaimed property being held by the state of Florida, go to www.fltreasurehunt.org.

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