Volume 2 Number 30
July 25, 2005

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Jewelry, coins, antiques and collectibles will be among approximately 40,000 items to be auctioned by the state to benefit Florida’s public schools.  Among the items are a 14-karat gold purse, a 5-carat sapphire ring, and an 1889 CC Morgan silver dollar. The net proceeds of the auction will be deposited directly into the Principal State School Trust Fund for the benefit of Florida’s public schools.

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher is inviting interested Floridians to participate. The auction will be held at the Wyndham Hotel, 1870 Griffin Road, near the airport in Ft. Lauderdale.  The preview will be held Friday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the auction will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 30. 

"Please visit the unclaimed property website and you'll be surprised at the great selection of items you can bid on. There are many rare and collectible pieces," Gallagher said.

There will be an online simulcast of the auction to enable citizens who cannot attend the live auction to participate in the bidding process. If you would like more information, or to register for online bidding, please visit www.fisherauction.com.  Bidders may place an absentee bid by contacting Fisher Auction Co. at info@fisherauction.com 

The items offered for sale are unclaimed contents from safe deposit boxes. If a safe deposit box rental is not paid, Florida law requires financial institutions to make a diligent effort to locate the owner of the box. If the owner is not located, the institution sends the contents of the box to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Unclaimed Property. Attempts are made to locate unclaimed property owners using various methods, including the Internet and database searches. When the owner (or heir) of the auctioned items comes forward to claim the property after the auction, he or she can claim the net proceeds from the sale at any time.

An independent appraiser identifies and determines the value of the items. The 'opening bid price' is a minimum or reserve bid price and is not meant to be the 'fair market value' or 'replacement value' of the items. The lots sold at the unclaimed property auction might sell for double or triple the opening bid price. Bids must begin at minimum value for a lot or item to be sold.

To enter the inspection/preview of the lots, as well as to bid on an item up for auction, potential bidders will be required to register with the auctioneer.  Registration requires a refundable $200 cash deposit and valid driver’s license providing full name and current address.

Purchases can only be made with certified funds - cash, travelers checks, certified checks or most debit cards. If you plan to use a debit card, please check with your bank regarding your withdrawal limit. Most banks put a limit on debit purchases.

A catalog of the items to be auctioned is available for download on the auction website in PDF format. A printed version will be available at the preview and the auction.
Claiming money or property turned over to the state is free, and at any time owners or their heirs can claim the money the items earn at auction.  The website,  www.FLtreasurehunt.org, is easy to check to see if the state is holding your unclaimed property.  Or call 1-88-VALUABLE for assistance by phone.

Walton County was created in 1824, shortly after Florida became a territory of the United States. The courthouse is in the county seat of DeFuniak Springs.