By Jim Donovan: Going, going, almost gone! This Friday and Saturday (Feb 8 and 9) dozens of items that have been held by the Pennsylvania Treasury in its Bureau of Unclaimed Property will be auctioned off. This will be the first live unclaimed property auction sanctioned by the state in more than a decade.

The goods will be auctioned by Morphy Auctions and come from safe deposit boxes located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The items have been stored in the State Treasury’s Finance Building vault in Harrisburg.

Items to be sold include bags of silver coins, precious-metal bars, 1,500 watches and timepieces by Rolex and other makers, antique firearms and swords, musical instruments, historical documents (including one signed by Benjamin Franklin), and a large selection of fine jewelry

Here’s a sampling:

A stunning 14K white gold bracelet, approx. 3.4 ctw with marquise and round-cut diamonds, is estimated at $10,000-$15,000; as is a chic Art Deco-style platinum bracelet with 9 ctw diamonds – the largest being approx. .80 ct – accented by 10 small, fancy-cut rubies. An old European-cut solitaire diamond weighing 4.25 ct is flanked by two baguettes, each weighing .30 ct, in a platinum engagement ring estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

Many fine timepieces are included in the Treasury Department consignment, among them, an 18K yellow gold men’s Rolex Presidential watch with diamond-encrusted face, bezel and link band. Having an approximate weight of 8 ct, it could fetch $6,000-$10,000. Made by the popular Swiss company Breitling, a boxed circa-2006 chronograph with cobalt-blue face carries a $4,000-$5,500 estimate. Ladies wristwatches are led by a Baume & Mercier 14K white gold bangle-style watch with elegant diamond-framed square face. Estimate: $3,000-$4,000.

Also from the Treasury Department vaults comes a nice 60-lot selection of gold and silver coins and bullion; and platinum ingots. Coins include a 1795 draped bust silver dollar, $2,000-$3,000; a similar coin dated 1799, $2,000-$3,000; and an 1855 $3 gold piece, $3,000-$4,000.

An important item of Pennsylvania history from the Treasury Department is 1787 property deed signed by Benjamin Franklin. Estimate: $7,000-$10,000.

All items in the Feb. 8-9 auction are currently available to preview at Morphy’s gallery. Both the Friday and Saturday auction sessions will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live or View the fully illustrated catalog online at or For additional information, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail

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