A nearly six-karat diamond ring will be among more than 80,000 forgotten valuables that the state will auction at the Fort Lauderdale Airport Hilton Hotel
A nearly six-carat diamond ring will be among more than 80,000 forgotten valuables that the state will auction next month at the Fort Lauderdale Airport Hilton Hotel.
But if bling isn't your thing, there will also be four American eagle gold bullion coins, a 59-piece sterling silver flatware set and a 1776 $7 Continental currency note at the two-day auction set for Aug. 23-24.
After a year hiatus, the state of Florida is again auctioning items found in abandoned safe deposit boxes that banks and other financial institutions are required by law to hand over to the state. The proceeds are used to help fund the state's public schools.
Instead of the traditional yearly auction, there will be two events this year, said Chris Cate, spokesman for the office of Jeff Atwater, the state's chief financial officer.
The first, held in Tampa last month, attracted 220 bidders who paid $1.16 million, the second-highest amount in the 52-year history of the state auction, according Atwater's office. Items sold included an 1876 gold watch and a 1776 Continental note.
The upcoming Fort Lauderdale auction may generate even more money because there are about 4,000 more items for sale than at the Tampa event.
The stash has a "minimum reserve value in excess of $650,000," according to an email statement from Atwater's office Friday. That means prospective buyers are required to start bidding at a predetermined price on many items.
Florida now has about $1 billion in unclaimed property, Atwater said.
Floridians can visit http://www.FLTreasureHunt.org to see if they have unclaimed property taken by the state. If they see the state has taken property, they can file at claim at the website. The state will return it for free. If the property has already been sold, Atwater's office will issue a check for the amount received.
Atwater was $34.75 richer earlier this spring after he discovered he had forgotten to cash an insurance refund check that ended up in the state's coffers.
Floridians have reclaimed more than $535 million worth of property since January 2011, Atwater said.
Although the Fort Lauderdale event will last two days, the actual auction will take place on Aug. 24.
Aug. 23 is set aside for prospective buyers to view the property.
And if jewelry fans fail to win the bidding for the 5.82-karat diamond, they shouldn't despair. They'll still have a shot at an 8.6-karat diamond and gold watch, Cate said.
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