Treasurer Stenberg Announces eBay Auction of Unclaimed Property
Treasurer Stenberg Announces eBay Auction of Unclaimed Property

Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg announced today that he is hosting an online eBay auction of contents from abandoned safe deposit boxes that were turned over to the Treasurer’s Office seven or more years ago.

The auction will begin at 10 a.m. CDT Monday, Sept. 17, and will run for one week, ending at 10 a.m. CDT Monday, Sept. 24. Bidding is open to any registered user of eBay. Registering as an eBay user is a free service.

The auction site can be accessed at:

Bidders also can access the auction site from the home page of the Treasurer’s website at

Nebraska law provides for auctions, at least once every five years, of property that has gone unclaimed despite repeated efforts to find the rightful owners. The last auction conducted by the Treasurer’s Office was in 2009. The auction beginning Monday contains 272 lots of items, including collectable sports cards, collectable coins, silver dollars, jewelry, and pocket watches. The items range in appraised value from $2 to $950. Money raised from the sale of each item will be held for the owner or heir in perpetuity.

“We are looking forward to our upcoming auction, and we are pleased with the quality of the items that will be available for sale,” State Treasurer Stenberg said. “We have a wide variety of items to auction, ranging from a set of collectable sports cards featuring the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team to a lady’s diamond and platinum wedding ring set, size 4 1/2.” The 1992 team, nicknamed the Dream Team, won the gold medal in a final game against Croatia in the Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Other auction items displayed Thursday in the Treasurer’s Office were a 1983 Cal Ripken baseball card; a 1975 Babe Ruth commemorative card; a pocket watch in a 14K gold case engraved case; a Wedgwood cameo pendant; an antique hat pin with a large purple stone; an antique cameo ring; an antique locket engraved with the name, Emily; six matching sterling silver teaspoons; silver certificates; Red Seal $2 bills; and Morgan and Peace silver dollars.

All items have been inspected and appraised by an independent appraiser. Multiple efforts to locate the original owners have been unsuccessful. Those efforts have included letters to owners for which the Treasurer’s Office has addresses, auto dial phone calls, skip tracing, in-house research, publication of names on the Treasurer’s website, and publication of names in an annual tabloid circulated in Nebraska newspapers. The Unclaimed Property staff also attends outreach events throughout the state to help visitors search the database and file claims.

“While we would like nothing better than to see these items back in the hands of their owners or their owners’ heirs, we do not have the storage space to keep these items indefinitely and we would like to see them enjoyed and treasured by new owners. Proceeds from the sale of each item will be recorded in the original owner’s name and be held in that name in perpetuity,” Treasurer Stenberg said.

“Our office has worked diligently to promote awareness of our Unclaimed Property program and to help owners locate and document their property. We returned more than $10 million of unclaimed property to rightful owners in 2011 and more than $5.1 million so far in 2012. But we are still holding more than $125 million for more than 350,000 Nebraskans or former Nebraskans,” Stenberg said.

Nebraska law requires banks, financial institutions, businesses, and other organizations to turn over to the State Treasurer property that has been abandoned or whose owners cannot be located. Unclaimed property is generally cash, court deposits, dividends, gift certificates, insurance payments, lost IRSs or CDs, savings bonds, stock and mutual funds, wages, rebates, refunds, utility deposits, and abandoned safe deposit boxes. Items being auctioned on eBay all come from abandoned safe deposit boxes.

Items to be sold on the auction will be available for viewing at the auction site when the auction begins at 10 a.m. Monday. Interested bidders are encouraged to follow the Nebraska State Treasurer’s office on Facebook, beginning Thursday, Sept. 13, for a preview of items that will be offered for sale. The Treasurer, his employees, and members of their immediate families are excluded from bidding in the auction.

Nebraskans can check at their convenience for unclaimed property at the Treasurer’s Office website,, by typing their names in the search box on the home page.

Representative Samples of Items to be Auctioned on eBay by State Treasurer

Owner Name Description
Stephen, Wade L. Jr. & Hepburn, Felicia Y.
Remitted by:
First National Bank of Omaha
J. Unitas football card, year unknown
Cal Ripken card, 1983
Babe Ruth commemorative card, 1975
  Brien Taylor, baseball card, 1992
  Brien Taylor, baseball card, 1992 $5 1992 USA Men's Basketball Team cards
Caniglia, Lou
Remitted by:
US Bank
26 1926 Morgan silver dollars, mostly F-XF
26 Peace dollars, mostly VG-XF
Hampden pocket watch; ornate, 20-year warranted case; 15 jewels; appears to be in running condition
Wynne, Robin
Remitted by: US Bank
Illinois pocket watch, 14K gold case, open face, 17 jewels, approximately 20 grams, not running, but appears in excellent condition otherwise (a presentation piece to "Dr." on his 61st birthday
Lady's diamond and platinum rings, wedding set fastened together, center stone is a beautiful emerald-cut diamond, estimated at .75 ct with 4 baguette diamonds, size 4 1/2
14K gold "add-a-pearl" necklace with 6 small pearls, 13 1/2 inches long
Petite pearl necklace, sterling clasp, 13 1/2 inches long
Schafer, George & George Earl Jr.
Remitted by: Pinnacle Bank
Antique hat pin, 8 inches, purple stone
Antique cameo ring, unmarked, likely 14K gold, 3 grams, size 2-2 ½
Older initial ring, 18K white gold, 4.6 grams, size 7
"Wedgwood"cameo pendant in 10K bezel, gold-filled chain Antique opal stick pin
Antique opal stick pin
Antique cameo brooch, possibly 10K gold, 1 1/4 X 1 inch
Lady Elgin watch, 14K white gold with small diamonds, not running
Vintage necklace and earrings, 1940s-50s era
3 vintage brooches with colored stones
2 antique lockets, "Emily" locket is 1 1/8 inches in diameter
Castillo, Virginia
Remitted by:
US Bank
80 1964 JFK 50-cent pieces
60 silver quarters
146 silver Roosevelt dimes
32 silver war five-cent pieces
Four $2 red seal bills, average condition
19 $1 silver certificates, average condition
Three $5 silver certificates (one is 1934 C VF)
Weddell, Gary & Marcia
Remitted by:
Platte Valley State Bank & Trust Co
Six matching ornate sterling teaspoons, monogrammed, plus one plain sterling pin, approximately 120 grams
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