Abandoned safe deposit box treasures to be auctioned off in Oklahoma City

Silver bars, coin collections, Michael Jordan basketball cards and more than seven dozen class rings are just a sampling of treasures from approximately 750 abandoned safe deposit boxes that that the state plans to auction off Dec. 18 in Oklahoma City.
by Randy Ellis Modified: December 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm •  Published: December 10, 2013

Silver bars, coin collections, Michael Jordan basketball cards and more than seven dozen class rings are just a sampling of treasures from approximately 750 abandoned safe deposit boxes that that the state plans to auction off Dec. 18 in Oklahoma City.

Employees of the state treasurer's office never know what they are going to find when they receive the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes, said state Treasurer Ken Miller.

Once they found some lacy underwear and a rose, said Tim Allen, deputy treasurer for communications and program administration.

Another time, they found a Polaroid of a “guy wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. That's it, nothing else,” he laughed.

Sorry Oklahomans, the lacy underwear and Polaroid won't be auctioned off.

Risque and of questionable monetary value, those items and items like them generally are destroyed, Allen said.

But people who like to collect valuable and rare items will have plenty to bid on next week, Miller assured.

The treasurer's office spread the contents of just eight of the more than 750 boxes on a table Tuesday and it was enough to make a collector drool.

There were six heavy silver bars, expensive-looking turquoise jewelry, Rugrats Movie watches, a huge pile of old class rings, unopened baseball card packs, two Nolan Ryan 27th Season Commemorative Collectors sets, numerous shiny silver Alaskan Christmas ornaments and much more.

Miller said the treasurer's office doesn't vouch for the authenticity of items like diamond rings and precious metal bars. It's up to bidders to examine them and decide for themselves.

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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