Deserted collectables, coins up for Minn. auction

Published 10:38 am Thursday, July 25, 2013

MINNETONKA — Autographed baseball cards, other sports memorabilia, rare coins, notable artwork and vintage jewelry taken from abandoned safe-deposit boxes are up for grabs at an auction being staged by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

The unclaimed property auction is being held Thursday and Friday at a suburban Minneapolis hotel. The auction will dispatch the contents of some 5,000 bank boxes considered deserted. Money from the sales will be held in accounts for the original owners to potentially claim.

This year’s auction includes Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth sports collectables, currency such as $1,000 bills and a Tiffany cigarette lighter.

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Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says families are often unaware of safe-deposit boxes with important mementos when a loved one passes on. The boxes were turned over by financial institutions.