For the first time ever, the state will auction off unclaimed property over eBay.

State Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass says they've tried auctioning off unclaimed property before on the state's website but that includes everything such as snowplows and heavy equipment.

An item like a 15-thousand dollar Knights Templar Ring never reached a minimum bid so it and other items will go on eBay. The most interesting item, Sass says is woman's diamond watch valued at $16,995.

The proceeds are invested. The state keeps the interest but if someone shows up years later and can prove ownership they will get the appraised amount if the item's been sold.

Sass says the unclaimed property comes from safe deposit boxes. If the rent hasn't been paid for five years,  banks will turn the contents over to the Treasurer's Office.

Then the state must spend three years trying to locate the owners before an item can be put on the auction block.

Sass feels any fees the state must pay eBay and PayPal will be offset by the amount they can get with eBay bids. They're hoping to get face value or more.



AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( 1:08 MP3 )

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