For years, the American television game show “The Price Is Right” was hosted by the famous Missourian Bob Barker. With his recent passing, I couldn’t help but think of Mr. Barker’s signature catchphrase, “Come on down!”, as it relates to Missouri’s upcoming unclaimed property auction. In his honor, as State Treasurer, I want to extend an invitation to every Missourian to “Come on down!” to Cape Girardeau for the 2023 Unclaimed Property Auction on September 27-28.
The Unclaimed Property Auction will include a wide range of collectibles, antiques, jewelry, and more. For book lovers, there is a rare 1913 pilgrimage journal to Rome. For history and coin collectors, there is a 5- piece Great Depression coin set from 1929 which includes a Wheat penny, Buffalo nickel, Mercury dime, and more. In addition, we will auction a $1 Liberty Head gold coin from 1853 and a complete set of U.S. proof coins from 1973-1980. Moreover, jewelry collectors will find treasures, such as a white gold pearl bracelet with matching earrings and an 18-caret white gold ring with a black stone engraved “B”.
I sincerely hope that you will take a moment to view the booklet of inventory prepared for this year’s Unclaimed Property Auction. There are approximately 2,100 lots listed that will be up for public auction and available to the highest bidder. The booklet is available via the Internet at UCPAuctionLotBook.pdf (mo.gov). This year, the Unclaimed Property Auction will be held at the Drury Plaza Hotel, Cape Girardeau Conference Center, 3351 Percy Drive, Cape Girardeau. There will be an auction preview on the evening of Tuesday, September 26th. Bidding will begin each morning at 9:00 am on Wednesday, September 27th and Thursday, September 28th and will last throughout the day. This is an exceptional event that you don’t want to miss!
Under Missouri law, financial institutions surrender safe deposit boxes after five years of inactivity. Each year, my office receives the contents of approximately 1,000 safe deposit boxes. The Treasurer’s Office staff works diligently to locate the rightful owners of the contents of safe deposit boxes and return their unclaimed property to them. Once we have completed an exhaustive search for the rightful owners, which generally takes several years, my office holds public auctions to sell to the highest bidder the items of value contained in safe deposit boxes. The last Unclaimed Property Auction was held in Columbia in October 2022.
It is important to note that the only non-cash unclaimed items we never sell are military medals and insignia, which we still hope to return to the owners someday. The money raised from an auction is held by the state and may still be claimed by the rightful owner of the unclaimed property. I want to emphasize that unclaimed property never becomes state property. Our goal is reuniting original owners whenever possible.
As Missouri State Treasurer, I would like for you to come get your money. The fastest and most efficient way to check to see if you have Unclaimed Property is to search the Missouri Treasurer’s database at http://www.ShowMeMoney.com. Otherwise, I want to encourage you to review the auction booklet as well as to “Come on down!” and join us in Cape Girardeau for the 2023 Unclaimed Property Auction.