The state is currently holding about $4 billion in unclaimed property. Gold, cash, jewelry and other valuables are now at a downtown Austin office but the Texas Comptroller's office has launched a new campaign to help reunite the property with the owners.
All the items are worth about a million dollars.
- Gold coins and gold bars.
- A Llano County land grant signed by Sam Houston.
- Mayan pottery
- A $1000 dollar bill
- Diamond ring.
It’s all being held by the state and is waiting to be claimed.
"That kind of thing really just blows my mind, sometimes that not only it exists but we have it here in the State of Texas,” said Comptroller spokesman Chris Bryan.
Typically, according to Bryan, unclaimed property arrives in the formed of old checks, insurance policies or a utility deposit. But bank security boxes can also hold eye catching surprises, like old flintlock pistols and a postcard that went to the moon on an Apollo mission.
"You can't help but be impressed by it and moved by some of the stories, as well,” said Bryan.
Last year almost a quarter of a billion dollars’ worth of property was returned. To do more Comptroller Glenn Hegar recently launched a new search campaign. A PSA video was placed on YouTube.
The state holds onto unclaimed property for a year and then puts some of it up for auction.
"We do have the highest available seller ranking on eBay,” said Division Supervisor Bryant Clayton.
Auctions are held every week. If the owner is identified later they are compensated with what the item sold for. But not everything is put up for sale.
"We do have items that are of a significant value that we do put on display, in museums. We have a painting on display at the Blanton currently,” said Clayton.
This gun was also recently on loan to the Alamo. But unlike that famous site it’s been forgotten waiting to be claimed like everything else on the display table in the Unclaimed Property office.
You can get more information about unclaimed property here.