Public invited to event Saturday, March 31, at Parrish Middle School in Salem

SALEM - "With more than 900 lots, this is our largest offering of jewelry, gold, coins, and collectibles in several years," is how Patrick Tate, unclaimed property manager at the Department of State Lands (DSL), characterizes the contents of an upcoming public auction. "Besides our typical assortment of collectible coins, pocket watches, and jewelry, we have some notable items this year. A Rolex watch, vintage opera glasses, ivory cribbage board, and Civil War coins and fractional currency are up for sale."

The public oral auction will be held Saturday, March 31, at Parrish Middle School, 802 Capitol St. NE, starting at 8:30 a.m. An auction preview is scheduled for Friday, March 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Parrish.

Every year, DSL receives hundreds of boxes, envelopes and packages containing the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes. Financial institutions must turn over the contents to the state when owners have not kept up rental payments and when they are not able to be located.

Unclaimed property staff looks for owners by posting their names on DSL's searchable database on the Web and by performing specialized individual searches. Any contents that haven't been claimed within two years are sold at public auction.

"It is always bittersweet for us when we hold an auction. While we make a serious attempt, we are just not able to locate all the owners or their heirs and must auction items because of our limited storage area," said Tate. "The sales proceeds go back to the box owners."

All proceeds from safe-deposit box auctions are held in trust in the Common School Fund. The fund sends twice-yearly distributions to all of Oregon's K-12 public schools.

Saturday's auction will be conducted by Liska Auctioneers. Additional information, including auction catalogs, is available on the DSL website --- - or by calling DSL (503-986-5200) or Liska (541 471-0916).

The State Land Board consists of Gov. John A. Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property.

Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon's Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.

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