SOLD! Dept. of Commerce holds unclaimed property auction - FOX 35 News Orlando

SOLD! Dept. of Commerce holds unclaimed property auction

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Collectors and the curious are discovering treasures now that the Minnesota Department of Commerce is holding its once-a-decade auction of unclaimed property.

Coins, jewelry, and even a $1,000 bill were up for grabs, but John Kolze has a passion of pocket watches -- and he struck gold.

"It is moving! It's working!" he exclaimed. "It really is working! I love it!"

In the end, the worth is whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

"A lot of times, you can find a whole bunch of treasures in one box and get it for cheap," John Ansell said.

The Minnesota history is priceless to some, especially to buyers who thought the items up for bid may have been lost for good.

"These treasures were there, they were just forgotten," Mike Schultz, with Schultz Auctioneers, told FOX 9 News. "They're lost, they're unknown and now, they've come to the surface."

Every item at the auction is, or was, owned by someone from Minnesota. They've been kept in deposit boxes, but without any activity for five years, the bank will turn the box over to the state. The state then gives it to the highest bidder.

It's impossible to know what all the items will bring in for the state, but the baseball signed by Babe Ruth is likely to be bought for over $5,000 alone. In the end, all the money goes back into the account of the person that owns the property until someone comes forward and claims it.

The auction, which only takes place once every 10 years, will continue through Friday at the Sheraton in Minnetonka. Bids can also be made online here:

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