Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford Launches Unclaimed Property Auction


“We are auctioning off 12,116 pieces of unclaimed property in the Illinois Treasurer’s Online Unclaimed Property Auction because the rightful owners have not come forward to claim the items in more than five years,” said Rutherford. “We have a variety of interesting items to sell in this auction. You’ll find anything from a diamond ring and a 24-carat gold butterfly pin to a 1934 $500 federal reserve note —there’s something that appeals to everyone.” All items for sale in this auction have been appraised by an outside vendor. The sale price of each lot must reach at least 75 percent of the appraised value.

Buyers are responsible for purchasing their auction winnings with either Visa or MasterCard (other arrangements will be available for purchases over $10,000). In addition, a 2 percent administrative fee will be assessed. Buyers are also required to pay for shipping through the preferred list of shippers.

Rutherford has chosen to conduct this unclaimed property auction online because it’s more cost effective than having a live, in-person auction. “Using this process cuts auction costs significantly,” said Rutherford.  Under the previously-used eBay auction system, it cost the treasurer’s office approximately $29,000 to sell a similarly appraised amount of unclaimed property. Under Rutherford’s online auction system, the cost of an auction totals only $2,000 because the treasurer’s office uses the iBid program to sell approximately $125,000 worth of items. “The savings from using iBid versus eBay is about $27,000 per auction, which I’m holding four times each year,” said Rutherford. In addition, Rutherford says using this online auction requires less time and attention from salaried employees, plus no physical space, hardware or security expenses.

If you would like to participate in the upcoming 2012 Illinois Treasurer’s Online Unclaimed Property Auction, please visit and follow the link to the auction.  One must register to become an active bidder. For questions about registration, please contact 217-782-9748.