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Unclaimed Jewelry, Rare Coins, and Memorabilia Up for Auction

Friday, July 19, 2002

(Washington, DC) The DC Office of Finance and Treasury (OFT) will hold its annual Unclaimed Safe Deposit Box Auction on July 25. US and foreign coins, silver certificates, large bank notes, stamps, sterling flatware, jewelry and watches are among the items to be put up for bid at Adam A. Weschler & Son's auction facility at 909 E Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Many abandoned items can be previewed Monday, July 22 through Wednesday, July 24, from 10 am to 5 pm. The auction will begin Thursday, July 25, at 10 am.

Each year, OFT receives abandoned safe deposit box contents from banks, credit unions, and hospitals from around the District. Items from the boxes are turned over to the District if the owner has not paid rent on the boxes for three years and attempts to contact the renter are unsuccessful.

OFT also attempts to contact the rightful owners before the contents are sold, through letters and advertisements as well as by contacting former employers, funeral homes, and relatives. Even if owners fail to claim their property before the items are auctioned, they are still entitled to the net proceeds if they file a claim any time in the future.

"The department does not want to sell someone's personal effects, so we make an extra effort to find the owner of the property or the owner's heirs," says N. Anthony Calhoun, treasurer and deputy chief financial officer for finance and treasury.

District residents are advised to include some record of their safe deposit box in estate papers at home. If something should happen to them, their heirs could then recover the box. Residents are also encouraged to check to see if the District is holding any unclaimed property for them by searching the unclaimed property database or by calling (202) 442-8181.

For more information on the unclaimed property auction, including a catalog of items, visit Weschler & Son's website or call (202) 628-1281.

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