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Illinois to auction unclaimed coins, jewelry

Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 10:51 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 10:52 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD – Thousands of coins, jewelry and silverware locked away in an Illinois Capitol vault will be auctioned off next month, including a 24-karat gold-covered John F. Kennedy commemorative dollar and several six-pound silver bars.

Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s office announced on Tuesday that it will auction almost 9,000 pieces of property that have gone unclaimed for years. The state often receives the items from bank owners with unclaimed safe deposit boxes, and can put them up for auction after five years, spokeswoman Melissa Hahn said. In recent years, gold coins have been sold for more than $10,000 in similar auctions.

“The auction has items ranging from coins to fine jewelry. There is something for everyone,” Rutherford – a Chenoa Republican – said in a statement.

Many of the coins are vintage – from a set of Roosevelt dimes to Jefferson wartime nickels – and date back to the 1800s. The treasure trove also includes presidential campaign buttons, silver spoons and a $1 Virginia Treasury bill.

All items in the auction have been appraised by an outside vendor, and the sale price must reach at least 75 percent of the value. The online auction is July 7 to 11.

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