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State Unclaimed Property Auction to Be Held July 30

7/20/2005

CONTACT:
Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE— Jewelry, coins, antiques and collectibles will be among approximately 40,000 items to be auctioned later this month 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.
 
Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher is urging potential bidders to mark their calendars for July 29 and July 30 to attend the auction at the Wyndham Hotel, 1870 Griffin Road, in Ft. Lauderdale.  The preview will be held July 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the auction will begin at 9 a.m. on the July 30.  A live simulcast of the auction will also be available at http://www.fisherauction.com
 
"This has been a record-setting year in the amount of unclaimed items reported to the state and the number of items we have been able to return to owners," Gallagher said.  "We would like to be able to return all of the items to the rightful owners, but that just doesn't always happen, so this is an opportunity to find some unique items and help Florida's school children all at the same time."
 
The items that go to auction have been unclaimed for at least three years after being found in abandoned safe deposit boxes.  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 department also has a website, www.FLtreasurehunt.org, which owners or heirs can regularly check to see if the state is holding unclaimed property for them.  They can also check by calling 1-88-VALUABLE.
 
Registration for the auction requires a refundable $200 cash deposit and valid driver license.  An 8-percent buyer's premium will be added to final bids.
 
An on-line auction catalog can be found on the Fisher Auction Co. website, and consumers can get a hard copy of the auction catalog by contacting Fisher Auction Co. at (954) 942-0917.  Catalogs will also be available at the auction. 
     
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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Gallagher also serves as the State Fire Marshal.