Carefully they remove small treasures from cardboard boxes-- silver bars, large coin collections, sports cards and precious jewels. Valuables, most of which come from bank vaults lay unclaimed.
"It's where the rent has gone past due on the safe deposit box," explains Terry Allen. "The bank could not locate the owner of the property, so they turn the property over to us."
Someone at one time thought enough of a valuable that they locked it up in a safe deposit box, but somewhere along the line it was forgotten
The State Treasury Department was unsuccessful in its attempts to find the owner, so the tables are prepared, the property is sorted, and the podium readied for the auction of 180 items. If you're lucky, you might find a bargain.
"A lot of times on jewelry, it goes for under appraised value," Allen says. "A lot of times coins go for a little bit more than appraised value."
The auction is cash and carry, so you want to make sure you have the funds available. If you are the rightful owner of something at the auction, you may be able to get it back.
"If they can contact us in time before we sell it, we'll hold things up and pull that out of the sale," Allen explains.
If not, someone's valuables in a few hours will become someone else's treasure.
The money raised from the auction will provide low interest loans to North Carolina students in state-supported schools.