Nevada jewelry auction is chance for early holiday shopping

It should be called something hip and funky — The Silver State Boutique, maybe — this website where adventurous pre-holiday shoppers can score potentially great deals on cool, retro, maybe even one-of-a-kind jewelry.

But it isn’t, so just call it what it is: The Nevada State Treasurer office’s online auction of more than 40 pieces of pre-owned, gaudy, elegant and interesting jewelry retrieved from a bank safe deposit box.

The inventory includes pieces ranging from a likely kept-for-sentimental-reasons religious medal appraised at less than 30 bucks to a blinged-out watch appraised at a lofty $7,500. Representing price points in between are earrings, bracelets, pendants, rings, watches and pins at four-digit prices. The accessories would have looked right at home on Mom and Dad as they took in a Sinatra show on the Strip during the ’60s and ’70s.

The jewelry in the auction — which opened last week and ends at 1 p.m. Wednesday — was orphaned when a woman whose heirs the state treasurer’s office couldn’t find abandoned the safe deposit box in which the pieces were kept.

According to the state treasurer’s office, the contents of safe deposit boxes must be turned over to Nevada’s Unclaimed Property Division after three years of dormancy. The property is held for at least one year and up to two years while efforts are made to find an owner. If no owner can be found, the property may be auctioned, with proceeds kept by the state for heirs, if they ever do turn up.

Linda Tobin, the division’s deputy treasurer, said all items in this particular auction come from a single box. Although the woman had an uncommon name, “we had very little information to go on” in finding a relative, she said.

This auction also is unusual in that it’s for jewelry only. Tobin said auctions usually involve several of the types of items found in boxes.

”The most typical items we see is jewelry,” Tobin said. “Also, we get quite a bit of collectible items — coins, stamps, baseball cards.”

While the Unclaimed Property Division usually holds at least one auction a year, usually in the spring, Tobin said the gifting potential of the jewelry meshes well with the holiday shopping season.

“We thought it’d be fun and that there would be a lot of interest around the holidays,” she said.

Jim Edwards, manager of TNT Auction, which is conducting the online auction, said prospective bidders should register at the TNT Auction site (tntauction.com/calendar/129) as soon as possible.

They also should “read all of the terms so they know what they’re getting into,” he said. “And (registration) can take a day or a little bit longer for the web service to approve them, so you want to get on early.”

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

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