Just in Time for the Holidays: Abandoned Bling on eBay

State pays off pension fund debt by selling unclaimed jewelry on eBay

You can find holiday shopping deals from an unexpected source: abandoned safe deposit boxes.

The Illinois Treasury Department's "Silver and Gold" jewelry eBay sale begins Sunday and runs through December 14.

All of the items—including bracelets, watches, and necklaces—are from bank safe deposit boxes that haven't been visited in at least 10 years.

Banks have tried to locate the owners of the boxes, but when they can't find them, the banks are required by law to hand over the contents to the state.

If you're hoping to see people's dirty little secrets, you're out of luck. The state destroys any "adult material" (ahem) and confiscates all guns.

However, the jewelry is purposely saved for the holiday season, when the state can make the most money off the unclaimed property. Last year, the Treasury Dept raised over $240,000 (according to the Chicago Tribune). Proceeds help pay off the pension fund debt.

To preview the diamonds, pearls, and gems, visit http://www.treasurer.il.gov/. The select items will be for sale November 23 at http://stores.ebay.com/IL-Treasurers-Unclaimed-Property.

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