5-10-13 Ring appraises at $14,000 for Treasurer’s auction

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ringCHARLESTONA stunning two-carat diamond, surrounded by 10 smaller stones adding up to nearly another carat, will be up for bid in an unclaimed property online auction administered by State Treasurer John Perdue’s office. A certified gemologist appraised the ring for $14,000.

The auction runs May 15 to May 30 and features unclaimed property items left behind in safe deposit boxes. Anyone is eligible to bid. Go to www.wvtreasury.com and click on the “Unclaimed Property Online Auction” icon.

The jewelry, in lot 2109, is an 18-carat white gold engagement ring with a two-carat round center diamond. A 14-carat white gold “enhancer,” soldered onto the ring on each side, features 10 smaller diamonds nestling the main stone in two semi-circles.

A general appraiser examined the ring and determined that a specialized gemologist should have a look. The gemologist cited the central diamond’s size and clarity.

“We’re excited because you just don’t see many rings like this,” Treasurer Perdue said. “To date, this is the highest appraisal an item offered in any of our auctions has ever received. I hope West Virginia residents see what’s offered because all the items came from here.”

A Hancock County safe deposit box yielded the ring. Whatever money the ring fetches at auction will remain with the unclaimed property account as further attempts are made to find the rightful owner. Auctions are necessary because of insufficient space to hold the merchandise.

“Go online and have a look,” Treasurer Perdue said. “It can’t hurt.”

Other items to go up during the May 15 auction include an April 1910 magazine called “The Modern Priscilla,” catering to the 1910 modern woman. It advertises corsets and in one article forecasts $5,000 a year in earnings for beauty school graduates. For baseball fans, two tickets from the 1966 World Series will be auctioned. The Baltimore Orioles, led by American League MVP Frank Robinson, beat the Los Angeles Dodgers that year.

The Treasurer’s online auctions began in June of 2011. The office has held 40 complete auctions since then. All “lots,” or groupings of items, have been sold.

So far in fiscal 2013, the auctions have grossed $140,710, comprising 900 lots. The fiscal 2012 numbers – the first full year of the auction – showed $88,392 in gross sales. The office attributes the increase to improved public awareness.

An auction which wrapped up in March saw a Persian knife go for $75 and a 1902 Series five-dollar bank note sell for $700.

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