Items Left Unclaimed in Safety Deposit Boxes

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These bills may look like your average American currency. But take a closer look, and you'll see $0.50, $0.25, even $0.05 paper money. Collectible coin and bill items left behind in safety deposit boxes, they're now the property of the Michigan Department of Treasury with the Department of Management and Budget responsible for their disposal.

"We do try to wait because the objective is to return the property back to the property owner. But in instances such as these where we have no one that's picked them up, we dispose of it here at an auction," says Edward Woods III of the Dept. of Management & Budget.

There are close to 500 items up for auction, including an 1893 morgan silver dollar. It's estimated book value is worth $1,500.

"We've had a lot of collectors that have come to take a closer look at what we have, and they're interested in bidding," Woods III said.

One of those collectors is Martin Herstein. He spent Friday afternoon previewing the items for Saturday's auction -- the first in four years. And he's found a couple of coins he likes.

"Oh, like a standing liberty quarter and a couple of silver dollars."

Nick Bozen, on the other hand, hasn't found what he's looking for just yet.

"A 1921 dime, a mercury dime."

Other items left in safety deposit boxes, like jewelery, are auctioned off during a separate event. But the profits from the auctions all go to the same place -- into the state's general fund.

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